LEXINGTON — Following the conclusion of the first district semifinals contest between the No. 3 seeded Margaretta Lady Polar Bears and the No. 6 seeded Bucyrus Lady Redmen, the No. 2 seeded Galion Lady Tigers softball squad took to the diamond to compete for a spot in Thursday’s championship game against the No. 5 seeded Edison Lady Chargers.
In the top of the first, Edison got just one runner on base via a walk from Galion ace Madelyn Thomas but would be unable to manufacture any further offense, sending the Tigers to the plate in the home half. Gabby Kaple laid down a well executed bunt to put herself on first but would find herself stranded after three consecutive flyouts to the outfield.
The Chargers began the second with a single but the runner was quickly erased by Emily Sedmak while trying to steal second base. Edison would pick up another single in the frame but would leave the runner stranded, sending up the Tigers in the bottom of the second with the score still at 0-0. Galion would proceed to go in order, taking the game into the third scoreless.
Edison would make Thomas throw a lot of pitches in the third as they continued their trend of fouling-off pitch after pitch but would eventually get the ball in play for two hits while also drawing a walk to load the bases. However, all three runners would remain on the bases as the Galion defense headed back into the dugout unscathed. Kayden Caudill led-off the bottom of the third for the home team with a flyout to center field, sending up freshman Teanna Greter. Greter would rip a 2-0 pitch deep, putting herself in scoring position at second with just the one out. Kaple delivered her second hit in as many at-bats, ripping a double of her own to score Greter and continue the threat for the two-seed. Nicole Thomas was next up and would flyout to left for the Tigers’ second out of the frame, sending up Nevaeh Clark. Clark wasted no time at the dish, belting the third double of the inning for Galion and bringing Kaple around to score run number two. Kate Schieber would flyout to left, ending the inning and stranding Clark at second base but the damage was done and the Lady Tigers found themselves ahead; 2-0.
The fourth inning saw both teams going down in order to send the game to the fifth with Galion still ahead by two runs. Edison’s bats would come alive in the top of the frame as they got to Thomas for three hits which consequently led to their first run of the ball game. However, the Lady Tigers defense would once again prove stout as they ended the threat with the Chargers tallying the lone run while leaving two vital runners on the base path. The home team went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fifth to send the game into the sixth inning with Galion ahead; 2-1.
Schieber would record the only hit for either team in the sixth inning on a two-out single to push the game into the eventual final inning. Thomas and the defense behind her made some stellar plays in the top of the seventh to keep their lead and championship hopes in tact as they handed the Lady Chargers the end to their season with a final score of 2-1.
Thomas went the distance in the circle for Galion en route to the victory, allowing eight hits and just one earned run while walking two and striking out a pair.
The Lady Tigers finished the contest with just five hits to plate their two runs while stranding three on the bases. Galion was spotless in the field on the afternoon.
Kaple had two of those five hits, a single and a double, while also scoring a run and driving in the other. Clark and Greter finished with a double apiece while Clark drove in a run and Greter scored a run. Schieber’s single in the sixth was the Tigers’ fifth and final hit in the win.
Galion and the Bucyrus Lady Redmen will meet up on Thursday at Lexington to play for the district championship after Bucyrus handed Margaretta, the No. 7 ranked team in the Division III state polls, a 2-1 loss via a walk-off single. The winner of that district championship will head to Findlay High School on Wednesday for the regional semifinals against the champion from the Bath District. In that district, the No. 1 seeded Sherwood Fairview (6th in the state) plays the No. 5 seeded squad from Hamler Patrick Henry.
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