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St. Clairsville turns back Harrison, 9-5

T-L Photo/KIM NORTH HARRISON CENTRAL’S Danyel Beadling reached over the fence and robs St. Clairsville’s Rachel Finnical of a three-run homer Thursday night on the North Market Street diamond. However, Finnical hit a solo shot in the sixth as the Red Devils prevailed, 9-5.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The old adage ‘it’s hard to beat a team three times in the same season’ came into play once again.

Harrison Central had handed St. Clairsville a pair of decisive setbacks earlier this season by scores of 11-1 and 22-5. The Red Devils (6-12) turned the tables with a 9-5 victory Thursday night on the cloud-covered North Market Street diamond.

“Back in 2019 we beat them twice and then they beat us the third time,” St. Clairsville head coach John Jaskowiak recalled. “It’s kind of deja vu.”

What pleased the Red Devils’ skipper was the fact that his team only committed two errors.

“That’s pretty good for us. We usually end of making a bunch and finding a way to lose games,” he added. “But today we played well. We had 10 hits and Jenna (Jaskowiak) pitched a really good game. She kept them off-balance. We probably threw more off-speed pitches today, and Jenna did a good job with them.”

With the hosts clinging to a 2-1 entering the bottom of the fourth, Abby Salisbury singled in two runs and Dekotah Namack capped a 5-run uprising with a two-run homer to deep left as St. Clairsville took a 7-1 lead. It was Namack’s sixth homer of the campaign.

The Huskies (16-6) closed to 7-4 with three tallies in the top of the fifth, but the Red Devils got one of those back in the bottom of the inning on a Salisbury RBI single.

Each team added a run in the sixth via home runs from Harrison Central’s Maddy Butler (2nd of season) and St. Clairsville’s Rachel Finnical. It was Finnical’s third roundtripper of the season. She nearly had another in her first at-bat, but the Huskies’ Danyel Beadling reached over the fence to snag the ball and rob the Red Devils’ freshman.

“It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season, but we’ve got no excuses,” Harrison Central head coach Darrin Young said. “We didn’t hit the ball when we needed to. We had runners on base and couldn’t get that clutch hit. Our pitching wasn’t the best, but tip your hat to St. Clairsville. Jenna pitched a good game. She kept us off-balance.”

Jaskowiak, a West Liberty University recruit, struck out four and issued a half-a-dozen walks. She finished with 131 pitches, of which 77 were strikes. Tristan Kovarik took the loss with two strikeouts and three walks.

Salisbury led the Red Devils offense with two singles and a double that drove in a pair of runs. Namack added a single to her roundtripper, as did Finnical who finished with two ribbies. Emily Dubinsky chipped in a run-producing base hit.

Butler had a pair of one-base raps in addition to her home run, while Lexie Ferguson hit her fourth homer of the season and singled in another run. Britton Positano had two singles.

“We will re-group and try again tomorrow (Friday),” Young said as the Huskies welcome Garaway to the Cravat Coal Cadiz Girls Softball Complex high atop Sally Buffalo Park. Meanwhile, St. Clairsville hosts Brooke today and Indian Creek on Saturday. Harrison Central (D-III) and St. Clairsville (D-II) begin sectional action next week.

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