Ohio continued its dominance in the 31st annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference girls' All-Star Softball Game in dominating fashion.
Wednesday night at the I-470 J.B. Chambers Complex in Elm Grove, the Buckeye State used rock-solid pitching, heavy hitting and solid defense to pound West Virginia, 10-1, under ideal conditions on Lisa's Field.
With the lop-sided victory, Ohio triumphed for the fifth consecutive time over their West Virginia counterparts and took a 20-11 lead in the all-time series.
OHIO shortstop Jesse Macovina of St. Clairsville throws to first after fielding a grounder during Wednesday’s OVAC?All-Star Softball Game held in Elm Grove. Ohio prevailed, 10-1. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"Everything was great today," said Beaver Local coach Matt Cashdollar, who led the Ohio squad, along with Buckeye Local's Joe Soos and St. John Central's Jerry Magistro. "It's great to have speed, power and pitching. We had a really good team."
Things didn't start off very good, however, for the designated hosts as Magnolia's Marissa Bosley smashed a home run to deep center with one out in the first. One-out later, Parkersburg South's Genna Tripplet doubled off the fence in dead center and Brooke's Shannon Reardon singled up the middle.
St. John Central's Gina Beekman got a popout to end the inning without further damage. She would strike out the side after issuing a leadoff walk in the second of her two-inning stint inside the circle.
Ohio scored all the runs it would need in the bottom of the first when Edison's Kristin Prokopakis bunted for a single leading off. Steubenville Central's Allie Vandeborne followed suit and, after a double steal, Prokopakis raced home on a throwing error . Vandeborne would cross the plate on a sacrifice fly to left by St. Clairsville's Jesse Machovina for a 2-1 lead.
Leading 4-1 in the fifth, Machovina did something she rarely did in her stellar high school career - strikeout. However, strike three was in the dirt and the ball got away from the catcher as Machovina headed for first. The catcher's throw nailed her in the middle of the back, but the play ignited a three-run outburst and blew the game wide-open.
"She screwed me up with a changeup," The Ohio State University recruit recalled with a chuckle. "It came in and I was like 'yes,' but then it dropped and hit the ground. I was like 'oops.'"
Indian Creek's Ashley Starr singled to the gap in left-center as Machovina never hesitated rounding second. The throw to third got away and kicked out of play, allowing both runners to touch the plate.
"As long as I get on base and score runs, it doesn't matter to me how I get on," Machovina added. "It worked today. That ball hit me in the spine and I'll bet there's seam marks and everything. It hurt pretty bad."
One out later, Edison's Kayla Prokopakis laced a single to right and came all the way around on a double to the fence in left-center by Beaver Local's Kim Rotellini for a 7-1 advantage.
A three-run eighth sealed the deal as Starr rapped an RBI single, as did St. Clairsville's Taylor Clark, who finished with a pair of base raps. The third run scored on an error.
"When you pitch like we did, hit like we did and field like we did, it's pretty hard to beat a team like that," Cashdollar noted.
Ohio banged out 17 hits, with Kr. Prokopakis recording three, two singles and a triple. Starr also added three, two singles and a double. Clark had two singles. St. John Central's Rosa Young clubbed a double.
A quartet of Ohio pitchers held the Mountaineers to four hits, and none after the fourth inning. They combined to fan 16 and walk a pair. Meadowbrook's Erin Endly, who was the lone Buckeye hurler to go three innings, led the way with half-a-dozen punchouts. Steubenville Central's Paige Creamer whiffed four, while Beekman, the starter and winner, and Starr had three each.
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Ohio 200 230 03x 10 17 1
Batteries: Tharp, Paczewski (3), Bailey (5), Garcia (8) and Bosley, Reardon (3), Tripplet (5). Beekman, Creamer (3), Starr (5), Endly (7) and Young, Nest (3), Miller (5), Dudley (7).
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