Callow propels McDonald to district final
By Tom Williams
For six innings, McDonald sophomore pitcher Bri Callow was perfect, retiring 18 straight East Palestine batters.
But as twilight skies took over, the Bulldogs scored twice for a seventh-inning lead.
Callow couldn’t wait to lead off her team’s final at-bat.
“I really wanted to be up to make sure I got a hit,” Callow said.
Her lead-off double to deep center field ignited the Blue Devils’ two-run rally for a 3-2 victory in a Division IV district semifinal Wednesday at Jackson Elementary School.
Today at 5 p.m., McDonald (16-4) will play East Canton (16-5) for the district crown. The Hornets advanced by ousting top-seeded Lisbon, 7-1, in the other semifinal.
“It’s huge, we’re so pumped,” Callow said. “We’ve worked all season for this.”
Until the game ended, Callow said she was unaware that she had a perfect game for six innings.
“Honestly, I was just trying to throw [strikes],” Callow said.
Callow finished with 16 strikeouts.
“We did not put enough pressure on them,” East Palestine coach Dan McKinstry said.
Callow’s throwing error allowed Delany Early to reach base in the seventh inning with the Blue Devils ahead 1-0.
After Joclyn Fristik reached on a bunt, Kenzee Johnston doubled to score Early for a tie game. With two outs, Harlie Detrick’s sacrifice bunt brought in Fristik for a 2-1 lead.
After Callow’s double, Sarah Lorello and Sierra Schrader hit RBI doubles to win the game.
Schrader’s hit landed in shallow left field and split the East Palestine outfielders.
“I tried to look at it, but I was focused on getting to first,” the Blue Devils’ lone senior said. “And then second when my coach told me to [run].
“This is amazing,” Schrader said. “Coming up to bat, I didn’t want my [varsity career] to end yet. I wanted to keep going.”
In the sixth inning, McDonald’s Megan Ward tripled then scored on a wild pitch.
Caitlin Mohney (6-5), East Palestine’s No. 2 pitcher, limited the Blue Devils to one run and four hits before their final at-bat. McKinstry said Jade McBride (11-2) was diagnosed with mononucleosis last weekend.
East Canton stung Lisbon (20-3) with five runs in the first inning. The Hornets packaged five hits with two errors.
The big blow was Alyssa Wahl’s hit down the third-base line that glanced off the glove of Mya Emmerling to drive in two runs.
“Huge turning point — I don’t know if she touched it, I’ve got a feeling she did,” Lisbon head coach Dave Crismon said. “We had quality umpires.
“Let’s face it, we didn’t do enough at the plate. We’ve been an offensive machine all year.”
Crismon said senior outfielder Autumn Oehlstrom has not decided on college, but she has an offer from Eastern Kentucky.