Senior starting pitcher Kasie Serich turned in a dominating performance in Sunday’s Ohio Invitational at Firestone Stadium, shutting out Manchester in Poland Seminary’s 13-0 victory.
Serich gave up six hits in seven innings of work, striking out six and walking three. She improved her record to 4-2 with the win.
“Kasie and [Aleah] Hughes have been our two main pitchers this year,” Poland coach Matt Campbell said. “They’ve both kept us in just about every game we’ve played. When we have that kind of pitching performance, with help from our defense to get out of jams and such, that’s a great thing.”
The Bulldogs (7-2) were coming off a 10-0 loss to North Canton Hoover on Saturday in which they had five errors.
On Sunday, they had none.
“The way we ended the game against Hoover yesterday left a real bad taste in our mouth,” Campbell said. “They came out ready to play today. We really played well in all three facets of the game.”
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs to begin the second inning, but Panthers (6-3) freshman starting pitcher Jenna Williams was able to limit the damage, allowing only one run on a first pitch single by sophomore Ally Deemer.
Deemer, who was battling a stomach flu, struck again in the fourth inning with another first pitch RBI single, later scoring on a single by leadoff hitter and center fielder Marissa Trevis.
“We tell our girls to be aggressive,” Campbell said. “If that first pitch is in there and you like it, then take a rip. We don’t want them to get down, we want it to be a hitter’s count, not a pitcher’s count.”
Deemer drove in a third run with a sac fly in the seventh.
Trailing 4-0 in the fifth inning, the Panthers seemed poised to strike but weren’t able to execute.
Freshman second basemen Tatum Christy led off the inning with her second walk of the game, and singles by top-of-the-order hitters Kate Mash and Rachel Fincham loaded the bases with no outs for the heart of the order.
Serich got a called third strike on Courtney Roth for the first out and then cleanup hitter Kaylee Miller lined a ball at Trevis in center field. Trevis made a diving catch and then doubled Mash off second base to end the inning.
“Marissa is a playmaker, both offensively and defensively,” Campbell said. “She’s a captain on the team so we expect that from her and she came through for us in the clutch.”
The double play by Trevis seemed to act as a catalyst for the Poland bats. The following inning the Bulldogs began to blow the game open, scoring three in the sixth inning and six in the seventh.
Amanda Kabetso roped a two-run double in the gap to give the Bulldogs a 9-0 lead in the seventh and then junior first baseman Taylor Miokovic hit an opposite field two-run home run in the following at-bat.
Miokovic finished with a single, double and a home run, driving in four and scoring twice.
“She’s been a player since her freshman year at the varsity level,” Campbell said. “She has a great approach at the plate.”
Rachel Fincham led the Panthers at the plate, reaching base three times on two singles.
Williams’ loss evened her record to 2-2.
Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps.