YOUTH ROUNDUP Canfield girls win in pool play game
Canfield's 13-14-year-old boys team advanced by beating Kansas in a regional in Fort Wayne, Ind.
By RYAN JONES
AKRON -- One thing the Canfield 13-14 year old softball team can count on is their pitching.
The Ohio champions shut out Georgetown, Mich., 4-0, in the final day of pool play at Firestone Stadium on Monday
Canfield will square off against Iowa in a semifinal game today at 8 p.m.
Melissa West and Lauren Sulick combined to pitch the shutout. West went three innings to earn the victory, allowing only two hits and striking out four.
Sulick baffled Michigan in four innings of relief, as she struck out seven and allowed no hits.
Manager Chris Cole said of his two pitchers, "They're awesome, they are definitely big-game pitchers. I think they have given up about two runs in past the past 10 games."
Michigan threatened to break the scoreless tie in the top of the third when leadoff batter Grayce Scott reached on an error, then advanced to third on a wild pitch by West.
Sulick erased Scott two batters later when she fielded a grounder near the third base line, faked the throw to first and instead threw behind Scott at third, forcing her out in a rundown.
"We work on that play all the time," Cole said. "Our main focus is on defense, base running and pitching; we really let the offense take care of itself."
Canfield broke the scoreless contest in the bottom of the third inning.
Courtney Rothbauer reached on a fielder's choice. Katie Griswold was brought in as a pinch runner and advanced to third on Bryanne Halfhill's groundout. West then hit an RBI double to left center.
Cole felt pretty confident with his one-run lead at that point. "Of course you always want more runs, but with the way our pitchers were throwing I felt that one run was going to be enough," he said.
Canfield dashed any last Michigan hopes, coming up with three runs in the sixth.
West reached on an error, and Sulick followed with a walk. Both scored when Nikka Bonamase's bunt attempt led to a throwing error at first base. Bonamase scored on Bianca Biondillo's single to left.
Christie Cole, Kelcie Herberger and Rothbauer each added hits for Canfield.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Canfield's Junior League (13-14-year-old) team advanced to the single-elimination finals with a 7-5 victory over Kansas Monday in the regional tournament.
Dominic Rich hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to put Canfield on the board, and Andrew Zunic added an RBI single in the third.
In the fourth inning, Canfield took the lead on hits by Jake Kucek, Bobby Herberger and Nate Wilson. Brian Fox added an run-scoring single.
David Brown was the winning pitcher and Herberger struck out four batters in 12/3 innings of relief.