By Bryant Billing
Sidney Daily News
and Staff Reports
DeGRAFF — Riverside had to deal with a problem that has plagued many good softball teams, especially come tournament time: facing a fast pitcher with good movement on her throws only a few days after facing a slow pitcher.
It took No. 4 seed Riverside a long time to get accustomed to the heat Lehman freshman pitcher Annie Stiver brought in a second-round matchup in the Division IV sectional tournament on Thursday — nearly all game.
But the normally hot-hitting Pirates got reacquainted with their power in time to avoid an upset.
Senior first baseman Kalin Kreglow crushed a pitch down the middle to right field in the eighth inning that allowed Jalynn Stanley to score from second base and lift Riverside to a 3-2 victory.
“She’s been solid all year hitting for us and she struggled today and kind of got down on herself,” Riverside coach Andy Phelps said of Kreglow. “She just needed a little confidence. She finally put the bat on the ball.”
Riverside (17-7) advances to face Covington in a district semifinal on Tuesday at a site to be determined. The Buccaneers beat Cross County Conference rival Newton 4-3 in a sectional final in eight innings on Thursday to advance.
Stiver pitched a complete game and struck out 11 batters while walking four and allowing five hits.
Riverside didn’t get a hit until the third inning, but Stanley, a sophomore pitcher, held the Cavaliers in check as well — until the fourth.
Hope Anthony led off the inning with a double to left field, then Grace Brandt reached on error after a throw flew by Kreglow at first and went into foul territory in left field. Anthony was able to score and put the Cavaliers ahead 1-0.
Riverside got going in the fifth. Shelby Giles earned a walk in an eight pitch at-bat, then Courtnie Smith hit the first pitch she saw over the left-field fence for a two-run home run.
Lehman quickly tied it 2-2 in the bottom half of the fifth, though. Anthony hit another leadoff double to the outfield, then Brandt hit a fielder’s choice that allowed Anthony to move to third. Edwards then hit a sacrifice groundout to score Anthony and tie it up.
Grace Monnin hit a two-out double in the seventh, but Abby Schutt grounded out to end the inning. The Pirates went down in order in the bottom half to send it to extra innings.
Brandt drew a walk with one out in the top half of the eighth but was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice by Edwards. Heidi Toner then struck out to end in the inning.
Smith hit into a groundout to start the eighth for Riverside but Stanley hit a single on a hard ground ball that rolled into center field. Kreglow followed with the line-drive single to right to end it.
Stanley pitched a complete game and allowed seven hits and one walk. She had four strikeouts.
Stanley was 2 for 2 at the plate with two walks while Smith was 2 for 3 with one walk.
Monnin was 3 for 4 for Lehman while Anthony was 2 for 3.
It was the second loss of the year to Riverside for the Cavaliers, who finish 7-11 overall. Lehman, which was the Sidney D-IV sectional’s No. 10 seed, lost 9-5 in an NWCC game on April 8.
Lehman will lose several key players to graduation, including Monnin, who had a .614 batting average and led the squad with 38 RBIs and nine home runs.
Most of the Cavaliers’ roster was made of underclassmen, including nine freshman. They’ll look to be in the top half of the NWCC next season with Stiver slated to return.
After struggling early, Stiver came on late in the year. She finishes with a 3.11 ERA and had 102 strikeouts in 89 innings.
Fort Loramie 6
BRADFORD — The second-seeded Bradford softball team advanced in Division IV sectional action with a 13-6 win over No. 8 Fort Loramie Thursday.
Emma Canan was 2 for 3 with a triple and four RBIs, while Rylee Canan was 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
Austy Miller was 3 for 3 with two doubles and one RBI, while Abby Fike was 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
Bianca Keener and Elisa Martinez each had one RBI.
Maggie Manuel pitched an eight-hitter, striking out three and walking three.
Bradford will play on Tuesday at a site to be determined against the winner between No. 5 Triad and No. 6 Russia.
Franklin Monroe 14,
Troy Christian 1
PITSBURG — The eighth-seeded Troy Christian Eagles were eliminated from Division IV sectional tournament play Thursday, falling 14-1 at No. 3 Franklin Monroe.
The Jets will next play Tuesday at Brookville against either No. 1 Southeastern or No. 11 Twin Valley South.
The season isn’t over yet for Troy Christian (7-7), though — the Eagles can claim a share of the Metro Buckeye Conference championship with a win at Middletown Christian on Saturday.
Troy Christian 5
PLEASANT HILL — The Newton baseball team defeated Troy Christian 15-5 Friday in non-conference action.
Ryan Mollette was 3 for 5 for Newton (18-3), while Alex Koon had a double and four RBIs.
Charlie Walker was 2 for 2 with two RBIs, while Nate Zelinski was 2 for 3 with one RBI.
Cameron Calldwell and Ross Ferrell both had three RBIs.
Ferrell and Caldwell combined on a five-hitter, striking out six and walking four.
Lucas Day was 2 for 4 for Troy Chrisitian (12-6) and Gavin Blore and Caleb Twiss each had one RBI.