June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Sotball: Bucks swept aside

YORK TWP. — The Buckeye softball team allowed extra outs with its defense and cost itself outs with mistakes on the basepaths.

Not surprisingly, the sixth-seeded Bucks fell 10-2 Thursday to third-seeded Holy Name in a LaGrange Division II Sectional final.

The game was played at Buckeye (11-13) because Holy Name (16-5) could not secure its field, but the Green Wave remained the home team.

Buckeye shortstop Julia Sekerak tags out Holy Name’s Caitlin Welsh at second base in the third inning. Below, Buckeye third baseman Nicole Koontz catches a foul ball in the third. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JUDD SMERGLIA)

“We didn’t come with it today,” said Bucks coach Howie Calame, whose team defeated seventh-seeded Bay 7-2 Wednesday in its tourney opener. “I don’t know if we used it all up yesterday, but we gave them extra outs and they took advantage. They’re a good hitting team.”

Holy Name pounded out 11 hits, with Margaret O’Gorman clubbing a two-run homer and RBI single and winning pitcher Mary Beth Blake (9-2) collecting three singles. Meghan Brickner contributed a single and double, Brianna Jesionek had a triple and Brittany Dell doubled, walked and got hit by a pitch, so the last thing the Green Wave needed was help.

But that’s exactly what the Bucks provided, as they committed four errors that led to four unearned runs and made Chrissy Nichols (8-8) work extremely hard to keep her team from losing via the 10-run mercy rule.

“We played OK, but they just had some really, really good hits,” Buckeye senior shortstop Julia Sekerak said. “They were a pretty good hitting team, I would say.”

The Bucks compounded their problems with three baserunning gaffes, though only two resulted in outs.

Kelsie Shultz led off the top of the second with a bloop single and went to third on a double by Chessa Grzincic, who added a single later in the game to become the only Buckeye player with two hits.

Rachael Shaw hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Shultz, but Cheyenne DeDauw, who was running for Grzincic, was late moving to third and was thrown out 9-2-5.

In the third inning, Nicole Koontz reached via a one-out walk, with Sekerak then hitting a come-backer to the circle. Blake threw the ball into center field trying to force Koontz at second, but Koontz rounded the bag too far and got caught in a rundown for the second out.

“Those were pretty costly,” Sekerak said of the two mental mistakes. “We were close to getting more runs.”

In the fifth, the Bucks had two on and no outs when Sekerak lined to short. Flex player Brianna Matres, who came in to run for Kayla Kish, took off for third on contact, but the Bucks escaped harm when Holy Name’s Abbey Yaugher threw the ball into right field on what should have been an easy double play.

“Mistakes like that shouldn’t happen,” Calame said. “We had experienced girls that did it. You don’t expect that.”

The Bucks, who host Brooklyn on Monday and conclude their season Tuesday at Black River in Patriot Athletic Conference action, committed three errors in a five-run third that put Holy Name up 8-1. Only two of the runs were earned.

It was that kind of day for Buckeye, which also stranded eight runners, with five of those coming over the fourth and fifth innings.

“We gave them outs on defense,” Calame said, “and we gave them outs on offense.”

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Rick Noland About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for The Gazette and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.