MG topped in district semis
By ROB HAMILTON
An excellent season by the Mount Gilead softball team ended Tuesday at Pickerington North as Northridge topped the Indians 6–1 in a district semifinal game.
The Vikings did most of their damage in the second inning, when they tallied four runs. Faith Hizer opened the inning with a triple off Indian pitcher Baylee Smith and was driven in by the next batter.
A walk then put runners on first and second for Northridge pitcher Kassi Davison, who smacked a double to give her team a 3–0 lead. The Vikings would add one more run on a two-out hit to go up by four.
The Indians weren’t able to string together enough hits to make up that ground. In the first inning, they had two runners on base with only one out, but came away empty-handed.
“We had a couple of chances,” said head coach Joe Ruhl of his team’s offense. “In the first inning, we had a couple on and one out and didn’t get anything.”
They also put a runner on second with one out in the second inning, but were once again held scoreless.
In the third inning, Caylor Arnold opened with a double. With one out, Smith beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners. Macayla McAvoy then smacked a double to bring in Arnold.
However, with the score at 4–1 with runners on second and third and one out, the Indians would not be able to keep it up offensively. While a walk loaded the bases with two out, Northridge was able to escape the inning with no further damage done.
The Vikings would get back to a four-run lead in the top of the fourth, as a grounder by Kayla Davison drove in a run. They would then add another in the sixth as Kayla Davison smacked a run-scoring double. After that run scored, it seemed the Vikings had the momentum, as Mount Gilead struggled to get in scoring position the rest of the way.
After the Vikings added one more run in the top of the sixth, the Indians got a runner on third with two outs in their half of the sixth. However, the team would be unable to score in either that frame or the seventh as their year ended with a 22–4 record.
While he would have liked the season to last a bit longer, Ruhl noted that his team had no reason to be ashamed.
“We’re not walking out of here with our heads bowed,” he said. “We won 22 games and were Blue Division champs, so we’ll go out of here with our heads held high.”
The coach noted that he would miss his senior players next year, especially considering the accolades two in particular have received during their careers.
“Baylee Smith is the all-time winningest pitcher in school history,” he said. “And Caylor Arnold is one of the best position players I’ve ever seen.”