Crusaders bounce Tigers

SHADYSIDE – Even though Tuesday’s 9-2 Division IV co-sectional tournament loss to Steubenville Catholic ended Shadyside’s softball season, the future is very bright for the youthful Lady Tigers.

The Crusaders (16-4) received a combined nine hits and half-a-dozen runs batted in from Maddie Gulan, Ashlynn Daly and winning pitcher Alex McComb in rolling to the victory at the sun-drenched Mead Township Park diamond in Tiger Town.

“They crushed the ball,” Shadyside head coach Jillian Ongley said of Steubenville Catholic. “They hit the gaps.”

Gulan smacked a trio of singles that produced four runs, while Daly added two singles and a double that chased home two more. McComb slugged three doubles.

Gulan and Daly staked McComb to a 2-0 lead after one inning, and the sophomore hurler scattered three singles in going the distance. She struck out two and walked three.

Trailing 6-0, the Lady Tigers (10-11) mounted a threat with the bottom of the order.

Sarah Dierkes, the No. 7 hitter, drew a leadoff walk and went to second on Bethanie Ramsey’s bunt single. Samantha Rosser then walked to load the bases, but McComb got an infield popup for the first out.

Karly Klug followed with a grounder past third that Crusader shortstop Micca Mirabella fielded in the hole, but had no play as Dierkes raced home to make it 6-1.

Katie Heath’s fielder’s choice got the second run home.

“We had a little momentum there,” Ongley recalled.

“I thought we could’ve maybe gotten a couple more runs there, but we couldn’t get the big hit.

“Obviously, it wasn’t our best game today,” she added. “But we only lose one senior. We’ve got everyone else back and they are a great group of girls. We’ve also got a great freshmen class coming in, so we should be able to compete and, hopefully, take next season a couple of steps further.”

Heagney fanned four, but walked five and surrendered 10 hits.

The Crusaders, who were the second seed, will now advance to district tournament action in New Philadelphia Monday against the winner of Thursday’s Hiland-Tuscarawas Central Catholic at TCC’s Art Teynor Athletic Complex. Start time is 5 p.m.

Ohio Division IV

co-Sectional Final

(at Mead Township Park, Shadyside)

Steubenville Catholic 9, Shadyside 2

Shady 000 020 0 – 2 3 4

SC 212 103 x – 9 10 2

S-Heagney lp (4K, 5W) and Dunn; Klug S, rbi

SC-McComb wp (2K, 3W) and Daly; Gulan 3S, 4rbi; Daly 2S, D, 2rbi; McComb 3D; G. Capaldi S, 2rbi; S. Mirabella rbi

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