Angela Gillis hurled South Bend (Ind.) East Side to a 2-0 win.
By CODY THORN
JOPLIN, Mo. -- Just one look at the tear-filled eyes of the Canfield players made it easy to see how tough it was to handle a loss.
The Canfield 11-12-year-old softball all-stars were the victims of a perfect game by South Bend (Ind.) East Side's Angela Gillis, losing 2-0 in the championship of the Central Regional tournament Sunday at Blinzler Sports Complex.
For Canfield, every ball it hit seemed the find the glove of an East Side player. The team grounded out nine times and flied out five times.
"A loss will hurt no matter what," said coach Chris Cole. "I was disappointed that we couldn't get the running game going. We have run teams into the ground in this tournament. We had no runners and that stopped us.
"What can we do? Their girl threw a perfect game. We sure didn't see that coming."
In the fourth inning, the second time around in the order, Canfield looked like it would get to Gillis.
Jill Halfhill ripped a shot to left field, but it was caught. Bryanne Halfhill followed with another hit ball in the air, but it was also caught.
In the fifth inning, South Bend put the game away by capitalizing on two critical errors. Canfield starter Lauren Sulick walked Erin Jankowski to open the inning and a wild pitch put her in scoring position.
After Sulick struck out Alexis Jack, pinch runner Ashley Zappia came in to run for Jankowski.
Soft liner drops
Gillis then hit a soft liner over the shortstop's head and it dropped. Zappia came dashing around third and scored on a close play at the plate.
A throwing error on Jamie Works' grounder put two runners on with only one out. Then Nikki Gropp lofted a fly ball to left field, but the outfielder fell after catching the ball and the ball fell safely. Gillis walked home from third base to make it 2-0.
"Defensively, we had a defensive breakdown," Cole said. "I told the kids before the game, the game will come down to whoever makes the least amount of mistakes. Hats off to them, they played flawless."
In the top of the sixth inning, Canfield couldn't keep the game going. Kristen Stahl and Brittany Danilov each flew out, while Courtney Rothbauer hit a grounder back to Gillis to end the game.
"It has been a pretty rewarding summer," Cole said.
"We have been living out on the road for two weeks, in and out of hotels and playing in 95-degree temperature, but it has been fun."
Babe Ruth (age 13)
MENOMINEE, Wisc. -- The Youngstown Babe Ruth all-stars will play for the regional championship today after defeating Owensboro, Ky., 5-3 Sunday.
Frank LaRubbio, Corey Collins and Frank Rosile had two hits each for Youngstown, while Matt Weir, Dan Ronci and Collins did the job on the mound.
The winner of today's game will advance to the World Series in Louisiana.
Little League softball (9-10)
KENTON -- The Poland 9-10-year-old all-star softball team won 3-2 against Proctorville Fairview in the state tournament Sunday.
Jordan Palumbo pitched a one-hitter, striking out 12 batters. Gracie Hamer from Proctorville had its only hit. Jenna Kazmierczak hit the game-winning double in the sixth inning.
Palumbo had two hits for Poland, as did Margo Ucchino.
The team will play Tallmadge on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Little League baseball (9-10)
CINCINNATI -- Poland's 9-10-year-old baseball team defeated Tallmadge 16-7 in the second round of tournament play.
Poland had 18 hits, with Matt Mrozek going 4-for-4 and scoring five runs. Jimmy Dobran and Dominic DeFelice had three hits each. Getting two hits were Luke Wollet, Jamie Serich and EJ Kosec, who hit two doubles and had five RBIs. Brett Modic had the win on the mound, going all six innings and holding Tallmadge in check and picking up his sixth consecutive tournament victory. Poland will now face Huber Heights (Dayton) on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The winner will advance to the winners bracket final on Thursday.