NAVARRE: Springfield seniors Lydia Sanner and Sarah Stubbs say the Spartans need three more wins to achieve their goal.
“We’re definitely on a mission,” said Sanner, the team’s third baseman and cleanup hitter. “Our slogan is FSOB – Firestone Or Bust.”
The Spartans (25-4) did break out the bats Wednesday, pounding 17 hits en route to a 12-2, six-inning victory over Northwest in a Navarre Division II district semifinal. Springfield will meet Fairless for the district title at 5 p.m. today at Fairless High School.
“We were really ready to play today,” seventh-year Springfield coach Roger Errington said. “We wanted to hit the ball and come out and show that we’re a good hitting team.”
Errington said his team came out flat Monday in a 2-1 loss to Field, which captured the Portage Trail Metro title by one game over Springfield.
There was no such repeat as the Spartans’ first four batters hit safely and scored, and after three innings it was 8-0.
“We can’t get comfortable,” said Stubbs, a Findlay recruit and the team’s first baseman. “We can’t get satisfied.”
Springfield ended the game in the bottom half of the sixth with five consecutive hits scoring four runs.
Sanner enjoyed a 4-for-4 day at the plate, with a double, two runs and two RBI. She has studied the state-championship path of Springfield’s 2005 team.
“We want the state tournament,” she said.
Senior Quartni Whited (21-3) earned the win for the Spartans.
In the second inning, Spartans catcher Kassy Flores smashed a one-hopper off the right leg of Northwest sophomore starting pitcher Erika Juersivich (10-5), who left with an injury. Junior Hannah Gordon came on in relief and also batted 2-for-3.
Junior second baseman Caitlyn Hamrick doubled to right-center and scored for the Indians (20-8).
“We showed a lot of heart,” first-year Northwest coach Stephanie Pound said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game going into it.”
Fairless 3, Manchester 2
Risky base running finally paid off for Fairless, and the Falcons defeated Manchester in the other Navarre Division II District softball semifinal.
With one out in the top of the seventh, and the score tied 2-2, Fairless sophomore Kelly Hysong lined a single to center and promptly stole second base.
When the ball skipped away from Manchester’s middle infielders, she popped up and started for third. An errant throw enabled her to score the decisive run.
“I just took off and ran, and was hoping I would make it,” said Hysong, who also limited the Panthers to four hits and picked up the win in the circle.
Fairless base runners had been cut down at home and at third earlier in the game, but Hysong’s gamble was rewarded and the Falcons will meet Springfield for the district title.
“Some of the aggressiveness was miscommunication, but fortunately the last one worked for us,” first-year Fairless coach Carrie Reynell said.
After each team had scored an unearned run, Fairless (23-4) took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on an RBI double by sophomore right fielder Olivia Loretto.
Manchester (21-7) equalized in the bottom of the sixth on junior pitcher Brooke Horning’s RBI single.
Hysong (18-4) struck out five and worked a 1-2-3 last of the seventh. She also belted a ball off the top of the center-field fence and it stayed in play for a double.