September 23, 2014

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OGSO: North Ridgeville’s Katie Barnhart overcomes illness, strikes out 15 in victory

Grafton's Emilee Cruze smiles after sliding safely into third past Olmsted Falls' third baseman Alanna Peitz. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Grafton’s Emilee Cruze smiles after sliding safely into third past Olmsted Falls’ third baseman Alanna Peitz. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

WELLINGTON — Before Friday’s Class A Ohio Girls Softball Organization district final, North Ridgeville Ganley Lincoln pitcher Katie Barnhart was suffering from an upset stomach and was unsure if she’d be able to pitch.

After drinking a Gatorade, Barnhart felt well enough to step inside the pitcher’s circle. Then it was the Spencer C & W Paving hitters’ turn to feel ill.

Barnhart did all the work for her defense, striking out 15 hitters and the North Ridgeville offense scored at least two runs in every inning in an 11-1 win.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be able to pitch, but once the game started I never even thought about not feeling good,” Barnhart said. “It was an awesome game. I have had some good strikeout games before, but tonight I really worked on moving my arm fast and snapping the ball through on my pitches.”

The North Ridgeville Ganley Lincoln offense scored two runs in each inning. Ryann Clapham led the North Ridgeville offense with two hits and a pair of runs scored.

“We all played well and did a good job,” Clapham said. “It feels awesome to have everyone hitting and know we’re going to the tournament.”

North Ridgeville improved to 13-1.

“I am ecstatic right now,” North Ridgeville manager Scott Barnhart said. “We press the green button at the start of game and go hard right until the end.”

Wellington perfect
Wellington Lightning continued its winning ways with an 11-0 Class A district championship win over Buckeye.

Wellington enters next week’s state tournament with a 15-0 record.

“Tonight’s game was awesome. As coaches we couldn’t ask for anything more,” Wellington Lightning manager Angie Lance said. “They played defense, they hit the ball. We played like a true team tonight.”

Wellington catcher Teddi Hardoby had two doubles and scored two runs in the win.

“We beat them the first time and I knew that we would work together so I was confident we would win, but it’s still really exciting to know we won the whole tournament,” Hardoby said.

Amy Green also had two hits and scored two runs for Wellington.

Pitcher Payton Regal had another big game for Wellington, striking out 13. She also helped her cause in the batter’s box with three hits.

“We’ve worked hard, done a lot of good things in the field and hit the ball hard,” Regal said. “It feels good to know, after the practicing we’ve done, we’re going to the state tournament.”

Nancy’s rallies
Grafton Nancy’s Main Street Diner found itself in an unusual position midway through its Class B championship game — trailing for the first time all season.

Then Grafton found its offense to the tune of 14 runs over the final three innings for a 17-7 win over Olmsted Falls.

Emilee Cruz had four hits for Grafton, including the bases-clearing triple that put her team ahead 7-6 in the fourth inning.

“We were getting frustrated early in the game but once we realized we really wanted it, we really stepped up our game in the final few innings,” Cruz said. “I was seeing the ball well tonight and waiting for my pitches.”

Grafton ended the game in dramatic fashion in the sixth inning when Marcella McMahon came off the bench to hit a two-run, pinch-hit inside-the-park home run over the head of the Olmsted Falls right fielder to invoke the 10-run mercy rule.

“When we got behind I had a talk with the girls in the dugout and told them they had to leave the mistakes behind and move forward,” Nancy’s Main Street Diner manager Chris West said. “We’ve had a couple of tough games under the lights, first South Amherst and now tonight. I have to let them know when we get to the next level next week every game will be like this.”

Friday’s Class B games were delayed because a number of girls were also playing a travel ball tournament in Columbus and got stuck on I-71 because of an accident in the northbound lanes. The coaches agreed to push back the start times instead of forcing teams with missing players to forfeit.

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

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