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Dukes rally past Girard

HUBBARD — The Girard softball team put itself in position to extend its postseason run into Thursday’s Division II district final.

But the Indians then took themselves out of that position, as top-seeded Marlington used a huge inning to down Girard 13-6 in a semifinal Tuesday at Hubbard.

“We preach every day, to not let one or two errors turn into something like that,” Girard coach Charlie Mazzella said. “In fact, we talked out it yesterday. I know we’re young, but we can’t keep using that. We have got to step up and make plays and not allow innings like that one.”

The Dukes (21-6) were hitless through three innings as Girard led 4-0.

Marlington used five hits, five Girard errors, one walk, one hit-batsman and one wild pitch to score 12 runs in the fourth inning. In addition, twice outfield throws sailed past cutoffs, allowing runners to move up extra bases.

“We had two fielding errors in the infield, two throwing errors, a fly ball lost in the sun and another pop-up that dropped because of miscommunication,” said Mazzella, whose team finished 16-11. “We’ve been prone to making two or three errors in an inning at times this season, but nothing like that. We needed someone to step up and make the plays and it didn’t happen for us.

“If it’s 6-4 or 7-4, it’s still a ballgame, but at 12-4, that’s just too much to overcome.”

Girard scored twice in the first and tacked on runs in each of the next two at-bats.

In the first inning, Sophie Griffith doubled and Kaitlyn Culver ripped the first of her three singles. Emily Rosace bunted for an RBI and a throwing error to first base by pitcher Sofia Nase allowed Culver to make it 2-0. McKayla Durr singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the second. Culver walked and scored in the third when Nase couldn’t field Abbie Rafferty’s grounder up the middle.

The Indians got their final runs in the sixth as Durr walked and Allison Durkin doubled to set things up. Culver had a RBI single and an error by Marlington’s third baseman made it 13-6.

“We’ve got three seniors in Griffith at shortstop, first baseman Jocelin Teter and right fielder Tori Owens,” Mazzella said. “We’ll have seven batters back because Jocelin was our flex player. I’m excited to see how we grow.”

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