St. Marys knocks off Bath; reaches district final

LIMA — Winning teams stick to a game plan that works.

For St. Marys softball, that means early firepower at the plate, solid pitching and defense, and getting a close win.

The Lady Roughriders used that formula on Thursday, as they defeated top seed Bath 4-3 in the Division II district semifinals at the University of Northwest Ohio.

It followed a similar effort in the sectional final over Elida, and St. Marys has now gotten wins in two rematches.

A third rematch awaits in the district final today, as they will face Shawnee. The Lady Indians defeated Bryan in the second game Thursday. They won the regular season meeting with the Riders 7-1 about a month ago.

Karsyn McGlothen added to her tally of complete game victories, allowing seven hits and walking two. She struck out five.

At the plate, McGlothen hit a two-run homer and also a double. Her battery mate, catcher Renee Sweigart had two hits, one an RBI double.

For Bath, Dylan Grigsby was the losing pitcher. She allowed five hits, walked two and struck out 11.

Chandler Clark had a triple and single, Grigsby had two hits and Ruby Bolon had a double.

Coach Kendra Solomon said, “We made it happen early. This is what we wanted, the second chance.” She noted she has a lot of respect for the Bath program. “It means a lot to see the girls put their heart into it,” said Solomon. She praised the defense, saying “we didn’t have to do anything fancy.”

Kiley Tennant got a walk to get things started for St. Marys. Emma Birt put down a sacrifice bunt to move Tennant to second. Sweigart then knocked a ball into center, bringing Tennant around with the day’s first run.

McGlothen didn’t wait long, belting the second pitch from Grigsby over the wall in center, and quickly making it 3-0. Grigsby got out of the frame with a couple of groundouts.

Clark singled to lead off for the Wildkittens. She stole second, then scored on a hit by Grigsby. McGlothen would issue a walk to Abby Dackin, but a groundout to short left both runners aboard. (Bath would leave six runners stranded in the game.)

After St. Marys went in order, a walk to Shelby Marsteller and a hit by Elena Oliver (with a strikeout in between) gave Bath two on. A passed ball moved them to second and third. But Clark popped one up over the plate that was caught by Sweigart and a flyout to center ended the inning.

Tennant led off the third. She bunted and reached due to an errant throw, but was then picked off. Birt walked and Sweigart beat out an infield hit. However, Bath would settle down and the Riders came away with no runs.

McGlothen retired Bath in order in the bottom half, getting two Ks and a flyout.

Both sides moved quickly through the fourth, with a hit for each squad, but McGlothen and Grigsby continuing their duel, with St. Marys still up 3-1.

The top of the Riders order was retired in the fifth. The top of Bath’s order came up in the bottom half. Chandler Clark popped up a ball in foul ground on the first-base side, with Elly Wedding running over and making the catch.

Rachel Clark hit a soft liner to McGlothen.

Grigsby hit a bloop single just past second, with Claire Armentrout going in as the courtesy runner. Bolon got the first extra-base hit of the game for Bath, with a double to center. Armentrout came around to make it a one-run game. McGlothen retired the next hitter on a groundout to end the inning and keep the lead.

She then led off the sixth, and doubled to right. Ashlyn Rush went in to run. Zoe Lininger’s grounder to third led to a throw that went past first, and Rush sped around to put the Riders back up two.

Tennant would reach in the seventh. She then took off on a steal attempt, but was ruled out for leaving the baseline during the rundown.

Clark walloped a triple off the fence in center to start Bath’s last chance. Ruby Clark hit a soft popup, that shortstop Birt backed up and snared for the first out. A passed ball allowed Clark to race home and make it 4-3. McGlothen, who had not had a strikeout since the third inning. then rang up Grigsby swinging and Bolon looking for the win.

Game Notes

Good crowd on hand for both sides.

The winner of today’s game will face the Willard district champion. Madison Comprehensive and Clear Fork played on Friday afternoon. The Region 6 semifinals will be next Wednesday at Tiffin University.

Score by innings St.Marys 300 001 0 -- 4 Bath 100 010 1 -- 3 WP -- McGlothen; LP -- Grigsby

HR -- McGlothen (SM) 3B -- C. Clark (Bath)

2B -- R. Bolon (Bath); McGlothen, Sweigart (SM).