MORRISTOWN - Bridgeport and Union Local were hooked up in a classic scoreless pitcher's duel Tuesday afternoon until a trio of fielding errors by the Bulldogs allowed the Jets to post a 3-1 softball victory in windy and cold conditions.
"Give both pitchers credit," said Union Local (3-1) head coach Roger Herbert. "Both pitched great games. The (Ashley) Hadzima girl really kept us off balance, but Ali (Bethel) pitched well, also."
The Jets' Ali Bethel allowed a leadoff bunt single to Dustyne Cargnell to start the game, but the only other two baserunners to reach through five innings got on via errors.
UNION LOCAL’S Ali Bethel works to the plate Tuesday afternoon against Bridgeport. She struck out nine in a 3-1 victory.
Bridgeport's Hadzima, meanwhile, had permitted just a second-inning double off the bat of Megan Stull and walked a pair of Jets through four innings.
A pair of routine groundouts to second base got the bottom of the fifth inning under way. However, Union Local's Maddie Schafer rifled a single back through the box that narrowly missed hitting Hadzima, and Bethel, the Jets' No. 9 hitter, walked on a 3-1 pitch to keep the hosts rally alive. Olivia Minamyer sent what appeared to be a harmless fly ball to right-center, but the ball was misplayed into a two-base, two-run error. Minamyer alertly took third when the relay throw got away for a second error.
With the count 1-0 on Cori Medley, her bunt attempt was popped up in front of the plate. Bridgeport catcher Keri Renzler hustled out to make the play, but, unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the ball popped out of her glove as Minamyer raced home to make it 3-0.
"They had those big errors at the end of the game that hurt them," added Herbert. "Other than that, they played a good game, as did my girls."
Bridgeport threatened in its final at-bat as Hadzima lined a leadoff triple to the fence in left-center. She would score on Peyton Stewart's ensuing groundout. One out later, Kallie Meyers singled to center, but Bethel finished in style with her ninth strikeout.
"That's what I just told the girls," said Bridgeport head coach Tom Joseph. "We can be in every game this year. They're young and talented, but we're going to make some mistakes along the way. That's kind of what happened to us today."
Herbert thought the turning point in the game came when Renzler reached third with no outs in the fourth via two errors, but couldn't get any further.
"They had a chance there," he recalled. "But Ali really came through and struck out the side. She did a really good job today."
Bethel allowed only three hits, two in the seventh inning, while striking out nine. She didn't walk a batter and only went to 3-balls on two hitters. She tossed 83 pitches, with 60 being for strikes.
Hadzima also allowed only three hits. She struck out seven and issued the aforementioned two free passes.
Megan Stull had a double for Union Local.
Bridgeport hosts Barnesville today at Irene Ehni Memorial Field. Union Local entertains Bellaire today in a key Buckeye 8 matchup.
Bridgeport 000 000 1 - 1 3 3
Union Local 000 030 x - 3 3 3
Batteries: Hadzima and Renzler. Bethel and Cole
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