GALION — The Galion Lady Tigers met up with the Huron Lady Tigers on Friday at Klehm Field to play for a Lexington District sectional championship.
It would be the hosting Tigers getting on the board first with a run in the bottom of the first inning as Gabby Kaple would come around to score following a Kate Schieber single. Kaple led-off the game with a double, her only hit of the game.
Neither team would score in the second and Huron would take the lead following a three-run, top of the third. In the home half of that same inning, Nevaeh Clark would belt a one-out double to put herself in scoring position with Shieber coming to the dish. Schieber would drive the ball deep to center for the second out but Clark would come around to score to cut into the Huron lead and send the game into the fourth at 3-2 in favor of the visitors.
Following a scoreless fourth and top of the fifth, Nicole Thomas would lead-off the bottom of the frame with a single before being erased from the base path on a Clark 6-4 fielder’s choice. Clark would take second on a passed ball and would come around to tie the game on a Schieber double. Emily Sedmak would follow with a double of her own but Schieber would be gunned out at the plate trying to score the go-ahead run.
“I just got greedy,” states Galion head coach Doug Hunt. “I saw the chance to go ahead and decided to send Kate last minute.”
Sedmak would remain at second as Natalee Perkins struck out looking to end the threat.
The next two innings would go by without a run being scored to send the game into extra innings with the score knotted up at three runs apiece despite the numerous chances for the Galion squad to walk it off.
In the bottom of the seventh, following the third consecutive groundout to first from Kaple, Thomas delivered a single and proceeded to steal second. With the winning run in scoring position, Clark flied out to the Huron shortstop for the second out. Schieber would dig in and hustle out a groundball to record an infield single and move Thomas to third. The visiting Tigers decided to issue an intentional walk to Sedmak to load the bases and take their chances with Perkins. Perkins would then flyout to the pitcher to end the frame, stranding three runners.
Both squads would go routinely in the ninth to send the game into the ninth inning. After the visiting Tigers were sat down by Galion ace Madelyn Thomas, Kaple led-off the home half with a flyout to second. N. Thomas stepped to the plate and belted her third single of the game before Clark flied out to short. With two outs again, Schieber came to the dish and singled before Sedmak was walked on four straight pitches to load the bases. In similar fashion to the seventh, Perkins would record the third out of the inning, this time on her second strikeout of the contest to send the game into the 10th still tied.
Groves started the 10th for Galion with her third lead-off single of the day and would move all the way to third base on a big, Kayden Caudill double. Using the same strategy as they did in the seventh, the Huron Lady Tigers issued an intentional walk to Teanna Greter to create a force out at any bag. With nobody out, Kaple stepped in and would swing early on a pitch for a flyout to second to send up N. Thomas. Thomas would prove to be the hero as she ripped her fourth single on the day, scoring Groves from third and picking up the sectional championship for the hosting Tigers; 4-3.
“I just can’t say enough about the girls’ efforts,” began Hunt postgame. “Gracie had three, huge lead-off singles for us tonight which would eventually prove to win us the game. Nicole was in the zone in her final four at-bats and just stepped up big when we needed her most.”
M. Thomas was the workhorse for Galion on Friday, pitching the entire 10 innings while allowing nine hits and three earned runs. Thomas issued five walks and struck out nine in the victory.
“Madelyn pitched a stellar game for us tonight and the defense behind her helped give us the momentum necessary to seal the win on the offensive end,” concluded Hunt.
N. Thomas and Schieber tallied four hits on the day for that Galion offense while Sedmak and Groves delivered three hits apiece. In total, the Lady Tigers scored their four runs on 17 hits and went on to strand a dozen on the base path.
Offensive statistics for Galion in the sectional championship were: N. Thomas- 4-1B, RBI, SB; Schieber- 3-1B, 2B, 2RBI; Sedmak- 2-1B, 2B, SB; Groves- 3-1B, R; Clark- 2B, 2R; Kaple- 2B, R and Caudill- 2B.
The Lady Tigers advance to the district semifinals in Lexington on Wednesday where they will clash with the Milan Edison Lady Chargers. Edison ended the Clear Fork Lady Colts’ streak of 18-consecutive sectional titles on Friday with a 6-0 victory.
Galion 13, Ontario 8
ONTARIO — Less than 24 hours after their dramatic sectional championship victory, the Lady Tigers made the trip to Ontario to meet up with the hosting Lady Warriors in a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference clash.
Galion’s offense would stay hot, racking up a total of 22 hits against Ontario pitching, including four home runs, to earn a 13-8 win over their hosts.
The Tigers trailed early and entered the fourth down 4-2. In that fourth however, Galion posted three runs to take the lead. Ontario would not go down without a fight though as they scored two in the bottom of the fifth to knot the score at six apiece. The Warriors would hold the Tigers scoreless in the sixth before plating two in the home half to send the game into the seventh with the visitors trailing by a score of 8-6. Galion would break out the bats in the seventh en route to a seven-run explosion to bring the contest to its’ eventual final score.
With the victory, the Lady Tigers improved to 18-4 overall and 9-4 in the MOAC. Galion was set to finish their season series with the Buckeye Valley Lady Barons at Klehm Field but the Barons forfeited to send the Tigers to 19-4 and 10-4.
Kaple was in the circle for the guests and went the distance, giving up 13 hits and eight runs (six earned) while issuing four walks and striking out six. Kaple allowed three home runs on the day. At the dish, Kaple helped her cause with two singles and also scored a pair of runs.
Schieber had a day at the plate as she notched five total hits; three singles and two home runs while scoring three runs and driving in five. Sedmak would also pick up five hits in five at-bats; three singles and two doubles while scoring a run.
Caudill knocked one of the four Galion home runs on the day and also recorded a pair of singles, scored two runs and drove in a run. Clark delivered the other long ball for the Lady Tigers while also belting a single, scoring two runs and netting four RBI.
Groves, N. Thomas and Greter would also tally multi-hit games for the winning Tigers on the day. Groves finished with two singles, two RBI and a stolen base. Thomas also had a pair of singles, scored twice and drove in a run. Greter wrapped the Galion offense with two singles and a run scored in the outburst at the plate for the visitors.
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