In late innings, Yarab goes yard for Irish
Waterloo was the victim after leading, 1-0.
By TOM WILLIAMS
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
BEAVER TOWNSHIP — One powerful stroke of the bat by Ursuline junior Jessica Yarab has the Irish softball team playing in its fourth regional tournament in six seasons.
With Ursuline trailing 1-0 to Waterloo and down to its final four outs, Yarab slammed an 0-1 pitch from Vikings pitcher Alyssa Lane over the center-field fence.
Dominique Bonamase came in from second base, then Yarab scored the game-winning run in Ursuline’s 2-1 victory in Thursday’s Division III district final at South Range Complex.
“Someone needed to get us going,” said Yarab, Ursuline’s designated player. “My first strike went by so I knew I just needed to jump on the next one.”
No one was certain how the ball was going to go because Waterloo center fielder Mallory Derbfoss made a great fake, leaping at the fence in a futile effort to keep the ball inside the fence. But the ball was several feet over her outstretched glove.
Yarab said she was not certain she had her first homer of the season when it left her bat.
“I just started running and I saw the center fielder jump,” Yarab said. “I thought if she catches this I’m not sure what I’m going to do. So I really didn’t think it was going that far.”
Ursuline’s rally began with one out when Bonamase hit a ground ball sharply past first baseman Chelsea Von Steenburg. Casey Lower sacrificed her to second base.
“I don’t think I’ve ever felt so good playing,” said Bonamase, who sat out the 2006 season after she transferred from Canfield High. “I stood out there going, ‘Please, let this hit come at the right time.’
“All I could see was my coach’s face telling me to round the base so I looked back and saw the ball drop behind the fence,” the Ursuline junior said.
“I’m so proud of her — it came at the perfect moment.”
Praise both ways
Ursuline coach Mike Kernan praised Waterloo (16-6) for a gutsy effort and Yarab for the timely hit.
“She’s capable of having power like that but I didn’t expect it,” Kernan said. “We had to play our top game and it went down to the wire.”
Thursday at 5 p.m. at Massillon’s Genshaft Park, Ursuline (20-6) will play Burton Berkshire (19-5), which advanced by defeating Garfield Heights Trinity, 4-1.
The Vikings took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Missy Zehnder hit a two-out single and scored on Sara Shields double to right-center field.
That was the only run allowed by Irish freshman Lower (18-4), who tossed a three-hitter and struck out eight batters.
Lane tossed a four-hitter for the Vikings, striking out 11 batters.
“It was a great game,” Waterloo coach Brenda Flarida said. “One pitch was the difference. Yarab hit a great pitch.”