December 21, 2014

Elyria
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High school softball: Clearview finds some positives in losses to tough teams

LORAIN — With the postseason right around the corner, Denny Myers wanted to challenge his Clearview Clippers, so he brought in two highly competitive teams for a tri-tournament Saturday.

And even though his team lost both games, the Clippers coach was far from unhappy with the experience.

“We battled them,” Myers said after the Clippers lost 8-5 to Berlin Western Reserve, which is 19-2 and ranked second in the state in Division IV, in the day’s final game. “Like I told our girls, we can compete with any team out there. Sometimes we beat ourselves, but if we don’t make those mistakes, we can compete with anybody out there.

“We brought two good teams in here for a reason, to get ready for the tournament coming up next week and I think mission accomplished.”

Clearview lost 4-2 to Hathaway Brown (17-9) to start the day, while Western Reserve blanked Hathaway Brown 8-0.

“They’re rated that high for a reason,” Myers said of Western Reserve. “They’re a good-hitting team. They hit the ball hard.”

Triples by the Stubbs sisters — Gabby and Jenny — in the first inning led to two runs and the Blue Devils were off and running. They took advantage of any little hesitation by the Clippers to build a 5-1 lead after three and still led 5-3 entering the final inning.

Western Reserve scored all but one of its runs with two outs.

The three unearned runs Western Reserve scored in the seventh appeared to just pad the lead, but when Clearview catcher Angelica Flecha sent a long drive over the fence in center field, they ended up being the final margin.

Flecha’s blast scored Tianna Mitchell, who led off the inning with a single.

“That was her first home run,” Myers said. “We had our Senior Night and she hits her first home run ever.”

“I was just hoping it was over her head at least,” Flecha said of the Blue Devils’ center fielder. “When I saw it go over the fence, it was pretty exciting. I’ve never hit one over the fence. I’ve had some inside-the-park but never over the fence.”

“We’ve talked all year about the insurance runs and the extra runs,” Western Reserve coach Laura Amero said. “Sometimes our pitchers get comfortable and our defense gets comfortable.

Even with that last home run, with a little ‘oops’ on our pitch, we were still OK. We didn’t get nervous.”

Clearview pitcher Sarah Kaya struck out 12 and didn’t walk anyone.

“We hung with them and battled,” Kaya said. “You always want to win, but to lose to a team like that going into the tournament feels definitely good.”