Thursday, May 10th, 2007
Roughriders bounce Bulldogs from postseason action
By Ryan Hines
LIMA - It has been pitching and defense that put St. Marys as the top seed in the Division II softball sectional at Bath, but it was offense that paved the way in the postseason opener for the Roughriders.
St. Marys had its best offensive postseason game in school history as the Roughriders eliminated Celina from the tournament with an 11-6 win.
"I was really surprised that we put 11 runs on the board," said St. Marys head coach Sue Grothause. "I think that in the 19 years of me coaching that's the first time that we scored 11 runs in a tournament game."
The Roughriders jumped on the Bulldogs right from the start grabbing a 6-0 advantage after the first two innings of play.
"St. Marys is a good team and they're aggressive at the plate," said Celina head coach Nicole Driggs. "We made some mistakes and they took advantage of them."
The Roughriders just followed the gameplan according to Grothause.
"I told the girls that we needed to jump out early on them and we were able to do that today," said Grothause. "I think that the big early lead paid off for us. The last time that we played Celina we struck out 12 times against her (Homan) but I was really impressed with our aggressiveness today."
Rachel Ginter, who had three RBI in the game, brought home the first Roughriders' run in the bottom of the opening inning with a fielder's choice scoring Megan Schlater, who tripled to reach base.
After Kayla Thornsberry sent Celina down 1-2-3 in the second frame, the Roughriders put together a five-run inning which included five hits. Steph Platt and Schlater each had RBI singles while Thornsberry and Ginter also drove home runs with fielder's choices.
Tasha Fowler had a two-run triple in the third inning, just after Celina's Laura Homan got the Bulldogs on the board with a two-run double in the top half of the third.
"The nice thing that we did offensively is that when Celina did score, we came right back with some offense of our own to answer their runs," said Grothause. "We were aggressive at the plate and wanted to keep scoring runs."
Kinzey Gardner had an RBI double and Kara Wagner added a run-scoring single as part of a two-run sixth inning for the Bulldogs to pull Celina within four runs at 8-4, but St. Marys added three more runs in the sixth to put the game away. Ginter and Leslie Karner each had RBI singles while Bailey Smith added an RBI triple to account for the St. Marys runs.
Celina added two more runs in the seventh before Thornsberry closed the door on the Bulldogs' season for a complete-game win. The Bulldogs' six runs were the most against Thornsberry and St. Marys all season long.
Thornsberry was in tears and nursing a sore arm after the game.
"Kayla's arm tightens up on her, but she's a fighter and she'll be ready to go when we need her for our next game," said Grothause. "It's really not a concern. When she stops, her arm gets tight."
Homan was the offensive star for Celina with a 4-for-4 day with three singles, a double and three RBI.
NOTE - In the pregame, Celina five-hole hitter and first baseman Meagen Sutter was hit in the hand with a bat during soft-toss batting practice. Sutter, who was unable to throw the ball, was believed to have a broken hand but played first base anyway during the game without hitting. Sutter went to have X-rays after the game.