- 1 of 2 Photos | View More Photos
East Canton met up with a familiar foe in the Division IV District softball final at Western Reserve.
The Lady Hornets took on St. Thomas Aquinas with a trip to regionals on the line.
The two teams met up in the regular season, with East Canton sweeping the double header.
This time around, The Lady Knights scored in every inning but one to beat the Lady Hornets 18-6.
St. Thomas set the tone in the first inning, sending 11 batters to the plate and taking a 6-0 advantage.
East Canton responded in their half with two runs thanks to several miscues by the Lady Knights infielders.
Zoe Salyers reached on an error, Kayla Eichelberger followed with a base hit, and Lexi Betz drew a walk to load the bases.
Salyers and Eichelberger both scored on a throwing error.
St. Thomas added to its lead with four runs in the second inning and two more in the third for a 12-4 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Salyers got on once again by error, and scored on a single by Betz.
Betz scored on a throwing error, making it 12-4.
The Lady Hornets were able to get to within six with two more runs in the fourth. Alexis Fogle came through in the clutch with a two-out, two-run double, plating both Cassy Wolfe and Madison Harris.
St. Thomas put the game out of reach with a run in the fifth and five more in the sixth inning.
"I think nerves got the best of us today," stated Head Coach Karre Butler. "We haven't been here in a while, and the girls were nervous. We couldn't get that clutch hit, and we couldn't make the big play on defense. St. Thomas put the ball in play and hit it hard.
"Despite our record, we got the second seed because the teams in our bracket respect how tough our league is. This is one of the best teams I have ever coached, player wise and personality wise. They come and they work hard. Our practices are very hard. They don't have days off."
Fogle tripled, singled and drove in two; Betz singled, scored a run and had an RBI; Eichelberger and Wolfe both had a base hit and run scored; and Salyers scored two runs.
Harris pitched the first one and 1/3 innings, giving up 10 runs, two earned, on three hits and four walks.
Salyers went the next four innings, allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits and three walks.
Julia Dimmerling went the final two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits.
East Canton - 15
Western Reserve - 14
Two days and an extra inning were needed to decide the district semifinal between the Lady Hornets and Western Reserve.
The up-and-down affair started on Monday and was suspended due to darkness after five innings of play with the score tied at 9-9.
When play resumed a day later, East Canton tallied three runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 12-9 advantage.
Western Reserve rallied in the top of the seventh, thanks to a grand slam from Layla Wolfe and a solo homer from Makenzie Cleeland.
Trailing by two and down to their final out, back-to-back home runs from Eichelberger and Betz tied the game at 14-14.
Western Reserve failed to score in the top of the eighth.
Singles by Wolfe and Leslie Wellendorf, and an intentional walk to Harris loaded the bases for East Canton in its half of the inning.
Fogle came through in the clutch, lining a base hit past a drawn-in infield.
"The girls never gave up when they got down," stated Head Coach Karre Butler. "Maddy Harris pitched great to get the win and all nine batters put the ball in play, which is huge for our team and in this game.
"Games like this, the girls will remember forever."
Kendra Gulling provided the biggest highlight on Monday with a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth, giving the Lady Hornets a 9-8 advantage.
She finished with three hits, four RBIs and two runs scored.
Eichelberger collected four hits, drove in two, and scored four runs; Wolfe was 3-fof-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored; Wellendorf had three hits; Fogle had two hits and two RBIs; and Salyers singled twice and scored three runs.
Harris came on in the fifth and pitched the final four and 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs, five earned, on seven hits. She struck out two and walked three.
Salyers pitched the first three and 1/3 innings, giving up six earned runs on 10 hits.
East Canton - 11
Malvern - 1
The girls closed out the season with a six-inning win over Malvern.
Eichelberger went 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored; Betz tripled, doubled, scored twice and drove in a run; Gulling singled three times, drove in two, and scored a run; Dimmerling had a double and two RBIs; Harris had three hits, including a double, and two runs scored; and Fogle collected two hits.
Harris earned the win as she allowed just one unearned run on four hits.
East Canton closes out 2017 with a 13-14 record, 6-10 in league play.