CLAYTON — Northmont hosted Centerville on Monday in a showdown for first place bragging rights in the Central Division of the Greater Western Ohio Conference. Both teams entered the game with perfect 6-0 division records.
Northmont took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when Cassy Lewis singled and Anna Mangen hit a sacrifice to advance Lewis to second. Courtney Jasinski followed with a double to score Lewis.
That lead held up until the top of the seventh inning when Centerville rallied for two runs to post a 2-1 victory over the Lady Bolts. With the win Centerville improved to 7-0 in division play and 11-1 overall while Northmont fell to 6-1 in the division and 15-3 overall.
Olivia Ferrazza singled up the middle in the top of the seventh to lead off the inning. The next batter grounded out allowing Ferrazza to reach second. Raquel Emery also singled up the middle and center fielder Erin Mangen threw the ball to plate but over threw catcher Taylor Hoover allowing Ferrazza to score. In the process Emery was able to advance to third on the throwing error. Lizzy Leach lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to bring Emery home with the go-ahead run.
Centerville, which is ranked No. 7 in the state among Division I schools, proved it deserved to be ranked in the top 10 with the comeback win.
Lady Elks’ starting pitcher Mollie Paulick pitched all 7 innings, scattered four hits and struck out seven. She now has 110 strikeouts for the season and eight victories with an earned run average (ERA) of 0.85.
The loss was particularly frustrating for Northmont as Centerville stranded runners on base six out of seven innings. Northmont gave the Lady Elks five walks and hit one batter to contribute to the loss.
“We also made some errors in the field to help them out runners across the plate,” said Northmont Coach Kris Mangen. “They had a lot of chances, especially in the first five innings when they had plenty of runners on base and we came through with no runs allowed. In the sixth inning we finally had three up and three down and needing only three more outs to win the game they were able to get two singles along with an error by us and they put two runs across the plate. With a team that strength and with a pitcher that is All-State and All-GWOC that last two years you can’t give them that many chances.”
Northmont only struck out seven times against Paulick who is averaging 10 strikeouts per game.
For the Lady Bolts, starting pitcher Mallory Woods work all 7 innings scattering five hits (two doubles) with five walks, a hit batter and three strikeouts.
The loss makes today’s game at Centerville a must win game for Northmont in order to finish as co-champs of the Central Division. Centerville still has two division games left with Wayne that the Lady Elks are expected to win while Northmont has two division games remaining against Springfield, which has yet to win a single division game.
“We had our chance, so now we have to win Tuesday,” Mangen added. “I know we can win, we just have to get some of our hits timed up together and not commit errors.”
CEN 000 000 2 – 2 5 0
NMT 001 000 0 – 1 4 2
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind