Rams get hits, but are ousted
Mineral Ridge failed to capitalize on scoring chances, and dropped a 4-0 decision.
By KELLY WILLIAMS
KENT -- The Mineral Ridge High softball team came through with plenty of hits in Wednesday's Division IV regional softball semifinal game against North Robinson Colonel Crawford.
But the Rams, who collected six hits over seven innings, could not capitalize on their scoring opportunities and were defeated 4-0.
Overall, the Rams stranded nine base-runners.
"Defensively we were strong," said Mineral Ridge coach Gene Cheredar, whose Rams finished 19-7. "We just couldn't get that hit when we really needed it."
Saturday at 1 p.m., Crawford will take on the winner of today's regional semifinal between Bristol and Cuyahoga Heights. That winner will advance to next week's state tournament at Ashland.
Singles by Kaili Gehring and Renee Loomis, and an error by Crawford loaded the bases for Mineral Ridge in the second inning of a scoreless game.
But the frame ended up like the rest of the Mineral Ridge innings -- scoreless.
The Eagles remained silent until the fourth inning when it appeared that they had scored the go-ahead run.
After Lindsay Hoeft singled, Liz Holt belted what appeared to be an RBI triple.
But Mineral Ridge appealed that Hoept had missed third base, and the umpire upheld the appeal, keeping the game within reach of both teams.
"I was disappointed because in my heart, I knew we got the corner of the bag," Crawford coach Chuck Huggins said of the appeal.
"I just told my girls we had to put that behind us and focus on what lie ahead."
Rallied in fifth
Crawford responded with a fifth-inning rally led by pitcher Kelli Sheibley.
The Eagles tallied five hits and produced three runs in the fifth-inning rumble.
"This team has a nasty taste in their mouth from a one-run loss last year at tournament time," Huggins said.
"[Today] I saw a very determined and focused team."
In the sixth inning, Sarah Streeter opened with a lead-off triple and scored on Sheibley's RBI single for the game's final run.
"We gave it our best shot," said Cheredar of the Mineral Ridge season. "We went further then a lot of people thought."