December 18, 2014

Elyria
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High school softball: Home runs, fun make all-star game special

Carlee Grunda of the Pink team scores before the ball reaches the White team’s Brooklynn Gonzales in the first inning Tuesday night at Wellington Community Park. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Carlee Grunda of the Pink team scores before the ball reaches the White team’s Brooklynn Gonzales in the first inning Tuesday night at Wellington Community Park. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

WELLINGTON — One of the 28th Annual Lorain County All-Star Softball Games turned into home run derby Tuesday at Wellington Community Park.

Midview’s Amanda Beursken and Amherst’s Brooklynn Gonzalez each homered as the Pink team picked up a 7-5 win over White.

Beursken, who set the Lorain County career home run record with 27, belted a solo homer to left field to lead off the seventh inning and extend the Pink lead.

“Everybody on the bench was messing with me saying how many home runs I hit all season and telling me they wanted to see it,” Beursken said. “So I just went up there relaxed and hit the ball.”

Beursken finished the night 3-for-4 with a single and double to go along with her home run. She also scored a run in a five-run first inning.

The Pink all-stars scored all five of their first-inning runs before making an out. Midview’s Carlee Grunda led off the game with a single off Clearview’s All-Ohio pitcher Sarah Kaya, who picked up the coaches Player of the Year award before the game.

Kaya pitched a complete game, striking out nine in a losing effort.

On the opposite side, Keystone’s Emily Cornish pitched three innings, allowing two runs, to earn the win for the Pink.

“I was just here to have fun and play one last game with my senior teammates tonight,” said Cornish, who was one of five Keystone players in the game. “It was also fun to play with some of the girls from other teams I played against over the years. It was so relaxing to play a game where you really didn’t have to worry about the end result.”

The White team pulled within 6-5 in the sixth inning when Gonzalez hit a two-run home run to drive in her Comets teammate Lauren Farley. Farley reached base and scored all three times she was up, going 2-for-2 with a walk.

“You always want to go out with a bang,” Gonzalez said. “It was something that I hoped for and the pitch was where I wanted it and I took it. It was bittersweet knowing it was my final game because I’m not playing on the collegiate level, but it was still very exciting to be out here.”

In the evening’s other game, the Black scored in each of the first four innings on its way a 10-2 win over the Purple all-stars.

Firelands’ Emma Ranney was the star for the Black, pitching 6⅔ innings with five strikeouts to get the win. She also turned in an all-star performance in the batter’s box with a pair of doubles and three RBIs.

“I was real excited for tonight,” Ranney said. “It was just about going out and having fun and meeting the girls from the other teams. I had a great year with my teammates. This was a great way to end it. I will always remember junior year making it to regionals, but this year was special too.”

Brookside’s Montana Banner drove in a pair of runs for the Purple all-stars with a single, her second hit of the night, in their four-run sixth inning.

Clearview’s Katelyn Jones also had two hits for the Purple. The Clippers were well-represented with seven all-stars divided between the White and Black teams.

Elyria Catholic’s Tricia Gauntner and Kenzie Rozanc scored the two Purple runs.

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

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