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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Bottom of the order wins it for the Roughriders

By Ryan Hines

Celina's Leah Rose, left, tags out St. Marys' Jessica Taylor at third base durin. . .

ST. MARYS - The St. Marys softball team maintained a share of the lead in the Western Buckeye League standings thanks to a clutch showing by the bottom of the batting order.
St. Marys broke a 2-2 tie against Celina in the sixth inning when the last two hitters in the batting order delivered RBI singles to push the Roughriders to a 4-2 win over the rival Bulldogs.
The win keeps St. Marys (10-2, 4-1 WBL) in a tie for first place in the WBL standings along with Defiance, Bath, Shawnee and Wapakoneta. The Roughriders face a crucial road challenge on Friday when St. Marys pays a visit to Defiance.
The Roughriders' eight-hole hitter, Taylor Casey, was clutch on a couple of different occasions. Casey drove home the tying run with a sacrifice fly in the second inning to make it 2-2 and then drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the sixth as St. Marys took its first lead at 3-2.
After Casey delivered the go-ahead run, St. Marys nine-hole hitter Liz McClellon gave the Roughriders an insurance run with an RBI single to make it 4-2.
"I was really happy for Casey to come through like she did today," said St. Marys head coach Sue Grothause. "She came up big for us. She went after the first pitch and lined it for a hit. Then Liz comes up to give us another run on a hit. We got good production from the bottom of our order."
Celina (6-7, 0-5 WBL) head coach Nicole Driggs was impressed with the depth of the St. Marys batting order as the Roughriders collected 10 hits that were spread out among seven different players.
"They have a strong hitting lineup, one-through-nine, and they have scored a lot of runs because they are aggressive at the plate," said Driggs. "They had a couple girls at the bottom of their order that came through for them."
The Roughriders had to mount a comeback after the Bulldogs got started quickly.
Kylee Bader led off the game with a single for Celina and then trotted home two batters later as Samantha Bertke smashed a line drive over the left-centerfield fence for a two-run home run and a 2-0 Bulldogs lead.
That was pretty much the extent of the Celina offense in the game as St. Marys' Erika Thornsberry got better the longer she was on the mound. Thornsberry pitched all seven innings and allowed six hits to go along with a walk while striking out nine batters.
"I thought that we came out strong against her, but she got better as the game went along," said Driggs. "We weren't able to sustain any offense."
The only other offensive threat the Bulldogs had came in the sixth inning when Celina left the bases loaded. Bertke doubled before Cassie Freeman and Abbey Zacharias each singled to load the bases with one out. Thornsberry wiggled out of trouble by getting a strikeout and a weak groundball to end the threat.
Celina is back in action again on Friday with a home WBL contest against Van Wert.
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