BARBERTON — Two home runs, two doubles, six singles and an efficient pitching performance propelled Walsh Jesuit to another victory in softball on Monday.
Junior Julia Bentley and senior Marisa Cartellone hit the homers, and junior Riley Zana pitched a shutout as Walsh defeated Wadsworth 10-0 in a Division I district semifinal game at Barberton that was shortened to six innings because of the 10-run rule.
Walsh (13-2) will meet Brunswick (13-12) in a Division I district final at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Brunswick earned a 5-1 win over top-seeded Medina (21-5) on Monday.
Zana struck out six and limited Wadsworth (19-7) to five hits in a chilly rain.
“Depending on the hitters and where they were standing, I would throw my changeup, screwball and drop,” Zana said. “Everything was working really well today.”
Walsh took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. Sophomore Madeleine Schmeiser walked to lead off the inning and Bentley followed with a two-run home run over the fence in center field. Two batters later, Cartellone smacked a solo home run beyond the fence in right-center field.
“When that ball cleared the fence, it just brought a whole bunch of energy to the team, and it allowed a little more comfort to go out and play how we play,” Bentley said.
Said Cartellone: “I have been out for most of the season with a broken thumb. I was out for about 13 weeks. This is my third game this season. ... When I felt the ball come off my bat I was like, ‘Oh, I think I will jog.’ ”
Walsh extended its lead to 7-0 in the third inning as sophomore Emma Barnes scored on a sacrifice fly by Schmeiser, senior Kristen Kuhrt scored on a double by Bentley, and freshman Mya Fulton and Bentley scored on a single by junior Angela Vitantonio.
Warriors junior Abbey Rzeszutko, sophomore Miranda Herbele and Kuhrt each hit a single, and then Schmeiser followed with a three-run double in the sixth.
“Everybody contributed,” Walsh coach Tony Scibelli said. “... Anytime where we get a chance to get an early lead, everybody gets very comfortable. Riley was great and we had some other key contributions. Obviously, the two home runs were great.”
Wadsworth coach Mike Schmelzter Sr. will bid farewell to seniors Rynn Rench, Jess Ryan, Emily Cingle, Maddi Long, Shelby Mayes, Jenna Skinner and Cassidy McDougal.
“This has been a good ride with these seven kids,” Schmelzter said. “I have been with these kids all four years, and they have been extremely successful. They have been league champions, sectional champions a couple of times and a district runner-up. ... I will miss them, I really will, because they are good kids and they are good ballplayers.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.