facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

DIV. I SOFTBALL Rango's home run ignites Boardman



Published: Sun, May 27, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.


The Spartans are headed back to state after disposing of Cuyahoga Falls.
By TOM WILLIAMS
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
AKRON -- "Crushed," "rocketed" and "shot from a cannon" -- all were used by excited Boardman High softball fans to describe the two-run homer Gina Rango hit Saturday to end Cuyahoga Falls' dream of a state tournament appearance.
All of those descriptions seemed to capture the junior's laser-like drive that easily cleared the left-field fence at the University of Akron's Buchtel Field to give the Spartans a 3-2 triumph in the Division I regional final.
Rango's sixth-inning homer plus senior pitcher Marissa Bartholomew's three-hitter propelled the Spartans (28-3) to their second consecutive regional title and state tournament.
Bound for state: Boardman will play Hilliard Davidson in a state semifinal game Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at Ashland's Brookside Park.
Davidson defeated Hilliard Darby, the team that defeated Boardman for last year's state title, 1-0 in the Columbus regional final.
Rango's two-out homer against Cuyahoga Falls ace April Shannon broke a 1-1 tie. Mary McCabe was on third base.
Sporting an ERA of 0.24 coming into the game, Shannon allowed her only homer this season on Rango's hit.
"It was a rocket off of her bat, like it was shot out of a cannon," said Boardman manager Bill Amero, adding that Rango adjusted well after hitting two popouts earlier in the game. "That [showed] a lot of discipline by Gina at the plate. She makes adjustments.
"We told her that in her first two at-bats she was a little bit too impatient. And we have to remind Gina to stay back a little bit because she wants to lunge."
Career highlight: Rango said she's "never had a bigger hit. I didn't know it was over the fence. I couldn't even feel it. I didn't think I had swung hard."
Rango said she wasn't looking for a particular pitch -- her only goal was to keep her composure.
"I was upset -- I was struggling. I just wanted to swing as hard as I could."
She said she didn't realize that it had cleared the fence until "[First-base] Coach [LeAnne] Antronica said, 'Hey, slow it down.'
"I said, 'What do you mean?' And I looked back and she said, 'It's over.' I was like, 'Wow.' I didn't know."
Down 3-1, the Tigers (22-4), making their first regional appearance, made things interesting in their final two at-bats.
In the sixth, Becky Anderson doubled to left-center field, but was stranded at third.
Randi Geib led off the seventh with a triple to right-center and scored on Holly McBride's groundout.
Bartholomew (19-2) wasn't fazed.
"That run meant nothing," Boardman's lone senior starter said. "When she scored, I knew all we had to do was get two more outs."
Two groundouts ended the game.
"From top to bottom, from one to nine, they are a little more experienced and a little better than we are," said Cuyahoga Falls manager Kim Applegarth.
Early lead: Boardman broke a scoreless tie in the third inning when McCabe doubled with two outs, stole third and scored when center fielder Bridget Cottrell couldn't hang on for a running catch of a ball hit by Laura Amero.
The Tigers broke up Bartholomew's perfect game and tied the score in the fourth when Anderson walked on four pitches and scored on Shannon's two-out double.
The Tigers came close to taking the lead in the fifth, when Cottrell reached second on a throwing error.
With two outs, Cuyahoga Falls' No. 9 batter, Nikki Ramey, hit a sharp line drive, but Boardman right fielder Audrey Martinko caught it with a leaping catch.
"That was a great catch; that was a great feeling," said Bartholomew, who struck out four batters and retired 13 on ground balls.


Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.

News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Services
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2016 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes