Hannah Lewis broke down the game to its basics to send the Hilliard Bradley High School softball team to its first Division I regional final.
The junior slapped a two-run single between first and second base in the bottom of the seventh inning to help the Jaguars rally to beat Mount Vernon 10-9 in a back-and-forth regional semifinal May 24 at Ohio State.
“I just wanted to watch the ball and hit the ball,” Lewis said. “We had to get those runs in.”
Bradley improved to 24-4 and advanced to play Gahanna in the regional final at 2 p.m. May 27 at Ohio State.
Mount Vernon finished 23-3.
With the Jaguars trailing 9-8, Jordan Pallay, who went 4-for-4, led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and her courtesy runner, Maci LoParo, never broke stride on a bunt single by Aimee Duckworth to reach third base. Duckworth then stole second to set up Lewis’ game-winning hit.
Bradley led 8-4 through six innings, only to see Mount Vernon score five runs in the top of the seventh.
“It was definitely frustrating (falling behind in the top of the seventh),” Pallay said. “We just had to relax and continue to do what we had been doing all game.”
The Yellow Jackets used trickery to tie the game with two outs in the top of the seventh.
With Annie Neipling on first and Bryn Elliott on second, Neipling took off toward second, forcing a throw from Pallay, the Jaguars’ catcher. Neipling ended up safe at second after a failed rundown, during which Elliott scored from second.
Torrey Totman then singled up the middle to give Mount Vernon a 9-8 advantage.
“We probably have run ‘the pickle’ 12 times and in the first 11, we got outs,” Jaguars coach Kevin Moody said of the rundown. “The 12th time, we got caught up in the moment, but we still came back and won.”
Lexie Hilling picked up the win, allowing 12 hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Pallay had a solo home run and three singles, and Jaiden Bryant hit her 11th home run of the season — a two-run shot — and singled.
Duckworth added two singles for the Jaguars, and Annika Murray had a two-run single.
Gahanna 11, Lancaster 7
Gahanna put together a pair of four-run innings to beat Lancaster in a Division I regional semifinal May 24 at Ohio State.
The Lions, who also defeated Lancaster 14-5 on April 19 and 7-6 on May 2 in OCC-Ohio Division games, improved to 24-5.
Lancaster finished 25-5.
“Our mentality is that it’s hard to beat a team three times and hopefully we’d be able to get some runs at the beginning of the game,” Lions first baseman Aly Harrell said. “We just had to keep the momentum going.”
With the bases loaded and none out in the third inning, Harrell singled to right-center field and the center fielder bobbled the ball, allowing Kristen Zink, Lauren Woodward and Alaina Marcum to score.
Harrell made it 4-0 when she scored on an error.
Lancaster’s Katie Heimberger had a two-run double in the bottom of the third, but Gahanna answered with four runs in the top of the fourth.
In that inning, Harrell hit a two-run double and Lauren Ringhiser followed with a two-run home run over the center-field wall.
The Lions added two runs in the fifth with an RBI single by Lauren Woodward and an RBI bunt single by Marcum.
Woodward also had an RBI triple in the seventh.
Lancaster scored two runs in the sixth and three in the seventh.
—Jarrod UlreyDivision II
Lakewood 10, Vincent Warren 1
The defending state champion Lancers scored three runs in the first inning and cruised to victory over Warren in a Division II regional semifinal at Pickerington Central.
Lakewood is 27-1 and will play Zanesville Maysville at noon May 27 in a regional final at Central.
Courtney Vierstra tossed a four-hitter against Warren. Brenna Brownfield hit a two-run home run in the first and a solo homer in the sixth, Megan Davis hit solo homers in the second and fifth and Courtney Knepper hit a three-run homer in the sixth.
—Jarrod UlreyDivision III
Ready 4, West Liberty-Salem 2
Nikki Hawkins and Skylar Lafferty led the way for Ready in its win over West Liberty-Salem in a Division III regional semifinal May 24 at Wright State.
Hawkins went 3-for-4 and made a diving catch in the outfield to support Lafferty, who gave up just four hits and one walk.
“It was another one-through-nine effort (offensively),” Silver Knights coach Jen Goff said.
Ready improved to 13-10 and advanced to play Springfield Northwestern in the regional final at noon May 27 at Wright State.
West Liberty-Salem finished 21-6.
“(Northwestern has) got a good pitcher and they hit the ball well,” Goff said. “It’ll be a good game.”