New Bremen High School sophomore Debbie Paul slides back into second as Fort Recovery High School freshman second baseman Devin Post receives the ball from catcher Jackie Fullenkamp in the sixth inning Monday in the Division IV sectional semifinal at NBHS. Paul hit a double to knock in three of her five RBIs as the Cardinals knocked off the Indians, 10-2. (The Commercial Review/Chris Schanz)
New Bremen High School sophomore Debbie Paul slides back into second as Fort Recovery High School freshman second baseman Devin Post receives the ball from catcher Jackie Fullenkamp in the sixth inning Monday in the Division IV sectional semifinal at NBHS. Paul hit a double to knock in three of her five RBIs as the Cardinals knocked off the Indians, 10-2. (The Commercial Review/Chris Schanz)
NEW BREMEN, Ohio — The Indians have struggled throughout the season on offense and defense.
It was more of the same Monday in the Division IV sectional semifinal.
The No. 10 seed Fort Recovery High School softball team couldn’t string together hits or slow down the eighth-seeded New Bremen offense in a 10-2 loss to the host Cardinals.
New Bremen advances to the sectional final Thursday against second-seeded Crestview.
Fort Recovery (0-19) had runners on first and second with two outs in the game’s first inning as Jackie Fullenkamp, who led the Indians with two hits, ripped a two-out single up the middle, and Ashley Homan reached on a throwing error by the Cardinals’ pitcher Sophie Fox. Kasey Vogel bounced out to Fox to end the inning as the Indians couldn’t break through for an early lead.
The Indians had runners on base in the second inning too, but failed to plate any runs.
Kelsee Ontrop opened the inning with a single and was forced out at second after a strikeout. Audra Metzger grounded out to the pitcher to again end the Tribe’s hopes of scoring.
They wouldn’t have another runner get into scoring position until the sixth when Chelsea Timmerman hit a seeing-eye single in front of left fielder Janelle Elking to open the inning and made it to second on a passed ball. She reached third on a groundout by Fullenkamp and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ashley Homan.
By then, the Indians were already down 6-1.
“We did get some good hits,” said FRHS coach Marie Osterholt, whose team had six hits and nine runners reach base. “We left kids stranded, but we have to get more hits.
“They didn’t give up, they battled to the end.”
Meanwhile, the Cardinals (11-13) opened a 5-0 lead after three innings.
Rachel Parker, who led all hitters with four hits and added two stolen bases, bunted for a single in the home half of the first. She advanced on a passed ball and scored on a single by Alyse Clune. Three batters and two outs later, Melissa Thieman drove in the first of her two RBIs on a double to the fence in left field.
In the third inning, Parker led off by laying down another bunt, and swiped second to get into scoring position. After FRHS pitcher Homan struck out Clune, Julie Brown reached on an error and Debbie Paul notched two of her five RBIs. She later scored to put the Cardinals up 5-0.
Brown pushed the lead to 6-0 in the fifth when she hit the left field foul pole for a home run.
“We hit the ball pretty well early,” said NBHS coach Craig Griesdorn, whose team had 13 hits, including four for extra bases. “We left runners on base but the kids kept going at it. We’ve been getting better every game.”
The Cardinals scored four more runs in the sixth inning to take a 10-1 lead. Parker, who added a base hit up the middle in the fourth, ripped a single off FRHS reliever Whitney Will. Clune and Brown both reached on walks, and Paul hit a bases-clearing double down the left field line to chase Will and force Osterholt to put Homan back in.
“I thought she did a nice job,” Osterholt said of Homan, who gave up six runs — four earned — on 11 hits while striking out four. “They were hitting the ball hard. I thought I would see if I could change it up, but they hit Whitney hard too.
“It didn’t work but they didn’t give up.”
Fort Recovery scored its final run in the seventh when Will hit a one-out single into left field. Devin Post hit into a fielder’s choice, but New Bremen second baseman Parker had the ball pop out of her glove allowing Post and Will to reach safely.
A wild pitch and a passed ball later, Will scored, making the score 10-2 and Post reached third. Megan Hipple drew a pinch-hit walk to put runners at the corners with one out, but two straight pop out ended the game.