Ottawa-Glandorf's seniors display the Division III district softball trophy they won Friday evening in the district finals at Lima Bath against Fairview. (Putnam Sentinel/Charlie Warnimont)
Ottawa-Glandorf's seniors display the Division III district softball trophy they won Friday evening in the district finals at Lima Bath against Fairview. (Putnam Sentinel/Charlie Warnimont)
BATH TWP. — First it was Michelle Sdao. Then it was Tasha Cass.
Sdao and Cass both came through with clutch two out hits that helped Ottawa-Glandorf claim its first ever district softball championship with a 6-4, nine inning, win over Fairview in the Division III district finals Friday evening.
The win sends the Titans (20-4) to the Division III regional semi-finals Thursday, May 29, at Bellefontaine against the Pickerington district winner at 5 p.m. Fairview saw its season end at 21-3.
The Apaches, who defeated O-G in the sectional finals in 2013, had a 3-2 lead on O-G going to the seventh inning. The Titans were down to their final out before getting a key hit from Sdao to tie the game at 3-3.
Kristen Miller leadoff the Titan seventh with a triple to right field. Stephanie Hempfling followed with a sharp grounder to shortstop and Fairview threw home to get Miller sliding in. After a flyball to center, Megan Kitchen walked and Sdao delivered a single to center that tied the game at 3-3. A groundball back to the pitcher ended the inning.
The game continued into the ninth inning before the Titans put together a three run rally.
With one out in the ninth inning, Lindsey Prichard walked, but was forced at second base as Kitchen reached. Sdao and Emily Annesser followed with singles to load the bases before Tasha Cass stepped in and lined a single to center that scored Kitchen and Sdao. A wild pitch moved Annesser and Cass up a base before Katelyn Kaufman walked to load the bases. A wild pitch allowed Annesser to score before the final out of the inning was recorded and the Titans had a 6-3 lead.
“No, I've never had a bigger hit than that,” Cass said. “We had some runners on base and I felt I had to hit them in.”
Down three runs, the Apaches didn't go quietly in the bottom of the ninth.
Kitchen entered the ninth inning having retired 11 straight batters. She retired the first batter in the inning before Haley Robbins and Kolleen Boland flowed with singles. Kelsey Beck slammed a shot up the middle that O-G shortstop Hempfling speared and touched second base for a force out. Meagan Johns kept Fairview's hopes alive with an infield single that scored a run before Kitchen stopped the Apache rally there as she struck out the next batter for the final out of the game.
Kitchen picked up the win as she allowed four runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts.
Miller had a double and triple for O-G, while Sdao had three singles and an RBI.  Annesser also had three singles for the Titans and Cass had two hits and two RBIs.
Boland took the loss for Fairview as she returned to the circle to work the ninth inning. Boland went the first 3 1/3 innings before Robbins came in to work the next 4 2/3 innings.
Johns, Blakelyn Sheets and Boland all had two hits for the Apaches.
“Hats off to our girls, they didn't give up,” O-G coach Troy Yant said. “The inning they scored two runs we had some errors, physical and mental, but the girls tied it up in the seventh and the energy picked up in the dugout after that and they just kept playing and playing. Finally things started to go our way. Our seniors did a real god job of keeping the younger girls focused and I thought they responded well.”