CINCINNATI — Small ball ruled the day and ended the season for Beavercreek softball.
Mason put together four infield hits in the seventh inning to break open a tie game and win the Division I District Title over Beavercreek 5-1 on Thursday at Princeton High School.
Using the strategy throughout the game, Mason began the final inning with the game tied at one by getting an infield single, followed by two bunts which went for hits to load the bases. Following a groundout to third to prevent a run, another grounder couldn’t be handled by the Beavercreek infield playing closer to the plate and two runs scored.
“It’s tough, we beat ourselves today and it just goes to show you have show up every inning, every out and we didn’t do that today,” Beavercreek head coach Megan Barrett said. “Didn’t show up and especially in our infield didn’t make those plays that need to be made to be successful.”
Mason added another run on its second sacrifice fly of the game and later on a double drove in the final run to complete a four-run frame.
Beavercreek got a single to begin its comeback attempt, but a popped up bunt and a line drive turned into a double play to end the game.
It was the second consecutive season Beavercreek advanced to the district final round, having made the regional finals last season. After not reaching that round of the postseason in over a decade, Barrett said it speaks to the upward direction the program is heading.
“It’s just disappointing when you feel like we were better than how we performed today,” Barrett said. “And I think that’s the most disappointing part is you know, a loss is tough but to lose knowing you didn’t fully execute and make adjustments, that’s the hard part right now.”
Consecutive doubles by Viera Barrett and Caitlynn Newlen scored the only run of the game for Beavercreek to start the fourth inning. Beavercreek only got one runner to second the remainder of the game off of a sacrifice bunt in the fifth, but Ashlynn Stamper was stranded after two fly ball outs.
Beavercreek ends the year with a 19-6 overall record after a second-place finish in the GWOC, defeating first-place Centerville in the sectional finals.
Haley Ferguson is the GWOC’s pitching triple crown leader, having a 1.04 ERA to go with 192 strikeouts and a 17-4 record in 141 innings.
Molly Koesters leads a group of five seniors which will graduate. She was top-five in the league in three categories with a .536 average, seven home runs and 31 runs batted in.
“It’ll be their potential,” Barrett said of how she’ll look back at her team. “And you know, that group of five is a really special group of seniors and not only obviously they made some great plays today on the field and up to bat, but just like their them following through and coming through every time is probably the most memorable part of this year because of those five seniors.”
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.