Six errors and only four hits last Thursday cost the fifth-seeded Phoenix girls the opportunity to defeat the second-seeded Elyria Catholic Panthers in the sectional championship game of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III district softball tournament.
The Panthers got on the board early, bringing home a run in the first inning and adding four more by the end of the fourth.
Oberlin pitcher Bryanna Rivas was able to strike out seven batters despite 7-0 loss.
Olivia Pfeifer, Rhiannon McKee, Makenzie Tallman, and Rivas were the only Phoenix batters to get a hit off Elyria Catholic’s Ashley Cascio.
The girls knocked past the Lutheran West Longhorns last Wednesday for a 7-0 victory in the first round of the tournament, outhitting the Longhorns 11-2 with Pfeifer and Tallman combining for six RBIs and five hits.
Fifth-year head coach Josie Martin said she switched the team’s play to a small ball approach, allowing more Oberlin batters to get on base before the team’s big hitters came to the plate to drive them home.
Despite the second round ouster, Martin was proud of what her team was able to accomplish this year and of the players who stepped up to the lead.
Oberlin finished the season 16-11 and were led by veterans Arianna Ambrosio, Jayna Miceli, and McKee, but also freshman starters Rivas and Selena Santiago.
Pitchers Ambrosio and Rivas led the team in the circle this season. Rivas finished her first year pitching in high school 10-5 and Ambrosio was outstanding, striking out 14 Lutheran West batters earlier this month and 13 Firelands Falcons batters in April.
Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune Makenzie Tallman smacks the ball to shallow center field to get safely on first base in the fifth inning against Lutheran West.