November 20, 2014

Elyria
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Softball: Opening Day no classic for EC

ELYRIA — It wasn’t a great day for all the Lorain County teams at the Elyria Softball Classic on Sunday.

While Elyria won its own tournament for the ninth time and Columbia enjoyed its visit to the old Elyria West facility with two wins in three games, Elyria Catholic came up empty.

In fact, not only did the Panthers lose all three games they played, they also dropped an 8-7 heartbreaker in their finale.

Of course, EC was playing its first games of the year and coach Chris Sito is optimistic about the season despite Sunday’s results, including a 21-4 loss to North Olmsted. The Panthers trailed just 4-3 in the third inning of that game before the Eagles put together a couple of huge rallies.

“First game,” Sito said. “Last year we had 14 players and didn’t schedule anything for spring break. This year, we got a lot more kids and the program has definitely increased. We have five or six freshmen that will be playing a lot of varsity ball. They’re young but they bring a lot of softball knowledge.”

The Raiders, who improved to 3-1 on the year, opened the day with an 11-hit attack in a 12-2 win over EC. Junior Emily Viccarone and seniors Emma Sullivan and Kaley Marshall had two hits apiece for the Raiders, while junior Amanda Sedlock fanned four to pick up the win.

After a 3-0 loss to Sylvania Southview, Columbia finished the day with a 5-2 win over North Olmsted.

“We hadn’t seen pitching like that yet this year — someone who threw that hard,” Columbia coach Ken Lugo said of Sylvania Southview junior Sarah Klepzig. “It caught us off guard. We need to work harder. Once you get outdoors, it’s different. We’re going to be there. It’s just a matter of getting some playing time outdoors.

“The last game, we played better defense. It was a little shaky in that second game. We have to be ready for our game (today) with Oberlin.”

Marshall and Sullivan scratched out hits against Sylvania Southview, while Sullivan had three more hits against North Olmsted.

Marshall made the defensive play of the day with a diving catch in center field against the Eagles. Sophomore Kailey Minarchick picked up the win.

EC had four hits against Columbia — all singles by freshman Kassie Laurent, junior Riley St. Marie, senior April Boehnen and senior Kasey Bilancini, who also had an RBI.

But it was the third game that really hurt. EC led Kenston 7-6 going into the bottom of the seventh only to give up the lead and the game.

“I really felt for Kasey (Balancini),” Sito said. “She pitched four innings in each of the first two games and pitched into the seventh in the last one. It was a long day for her. We battled. She said after the third game that we lost three (Sunday) but the conference starts (today). What a great attitude.”

St. Marie had two hits, including an RBI double. Marissa Bleich had two hits and Katie Guantner had a double.

Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or timothygeb@msn.com.