The Delta Panthers took an early lead, and followed it up with good pitching and defense as they handled Swanton 3-2 in a Division III softball sectional semifinal win Tuesday.
Delta avenged an early-season loss to the Lady Bulldogs to move on to the sectional final Friday afternoon.
“They gave 100 percent,” Delta coach Pat Bastidas said of the win against Swanton. “I’m very proud, especially when they made mistakes and came back and shook them off. That was fantastic.”
The Panthers took advantage of a hit batter and walk to claim a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. With the two runners on base and two out, Ariel Kohlhofer ripped a double into the leftfield corner. It scored the two baserunners and put Delta in front 2-0.
“It was fantastic to see that hit with runners in scoring position,” the Delta coach said of the hit by Kohlhofer. “That was the difference.”
Erin Mazurowski singled and eventually scored on a groundout in the fourth as the Lady Panthers went ahead 3-0. They had a chance for more, but a runner was tagged out at the plate on a wild pitch to end the threat.
Swanton put runners on base in three of the first four innings and finally broke through for a couple of runs in the fifth. An error and walk put two runners on, and they moved up to second and third on a groundout. They were on base for Olivia Bergman, who singled home both runners. When the relay throw from the outfield rolled back into the infield, Bergman took off and made it to second base.
She was left there as two groundouts ended the inning.
“We didn’t hit it well but we fought back,” stated Swanton coach Joe Nye on the tough loss that ended the Bulldogs’ season. “Give their pitcher and defense credit.
Sadie Burres was in control from that point in the circle for Delta. She held Swanton to just a one-out single in the seventh, but the next batter lined out right to Madi Nadolny in center field, then got a pop-up to end the game.
“If Deanna Herr hits that ball anywhere in the gap, it’s probably going to score the run,” lamented Nye on the final inning.
Burres allowed just five hits, walked one and had one strikeout.
“She was great,” Bastidas mentioned of Burres in the circle. “She threw a lot of inside pitches to great batters.”
Bergman and her defense was just as tough on Delta. Bergman limited the Panthers to three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Kohlhofer led Delta with a single and a double at the plate. Amber Torres had two hits for Swanton.
The Panthers (8-13) have a regular-season game scheduled for today at Tinora. They will play at top-seeded Eastwood Friday in the sectional championship game.
“That’s going to be a tough one, but you never know,” closed the Delta coach about playing the top seed in the Maumee District. “That’s why they play.”
The Bulldogs end the season 9-13.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org