Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

Walk-off gives Dogs first victory

By Tom Haines

Celina's Payton Bertke (10) lays down a sacrifice bunt against St Marys Tuesday. . .

CELINA - In the top of the seventh, the Celina softball team saw the go-ahead run score on a two-out play at the plate. In the bottom of the inning, it was the Bulldogs beating a tag at home for the win.
Catcher Lucy Piper hit a soft fly into no-man's land in shallow right field past St. Marys second baseman Ellyette Wedding and Gracie Chilcoat was called safe at home to walk off a 5-4 Western Buckeye League win over St. Marys at Jim Hoess Field Tuesday night.
"(Wedding's) hands kind of crossed, that's what I thought I saw," Celina coach Jason Tribolet said. "The ball popped up, so I said, 'We're going.' Take my chance. I guess it worked out."
With the game tied at two in the sixth, center fielder Karissa Frederick was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a ground ball when flex Harlee Harris came to the plate. Harris hit a sharp grounder and Wedding made a diving stop to keep it in the infield, then threw from the ground to try to nab Frederick at the plate. But Frederick scored despite the dazzling play and Celina (1-4) took a 3-2 lead.
Centerfielder Kelsey Poppe led off for the Roughriders in the seventh and hit a short flare to the edge of the infield, and shortstop Sidney Lehman almost made a diving catch but saw the ball pop out of her glove at the last moment. Kiley Tennant reached on an error on a bunt and Emma Birt moved the runners over to give catcher Renee Sweigart a chance to drive in the go-ahead run.
Sweigart hit a soft line drive in front of the shortstop and was thrown out at first, but Tennant came flying around third and slid in under Piper's tag to make it 4-3 St. Marys.
Needing a run to tie, the Bulldogs got a leadoff single from Madison Whitaker on a bloop to right, then put the winning run on when Chilcoat was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch moved Frederick to third and Chilcoat to second with Piper, who had already hit two doubles, at the plate.
"Walking into it, I told her that she'd been hitting it all day long and to just do her job," Tribolet said. "Move the runners, get them into scoring position if she can, but mostly to look for a pitch that she can drive. If she can drive it, maybe we win the game."
On a 2-1 count, Piper hit a short fly into shallow right field that fell just past Wedding's reach. Whitaker scored and Chilcoat met the throw at home, barreling into Sweigart for the winning run.
"If they'd have made that play at home, good for them," Celina coach Jason Tribolet said. "That's what we want to do, we want to force them to make plays."
It was a tough loss for St. Marys (4-2), which battled back from a 2-0 deficit before taking the lead in the top of the seventh. Pitcher Karsen McGlothen threw her second complete game in two days, giving up six hits and striking out eight.
But for the Bulldogs and Tribolet, coaching his first spring after the 2020 season was canceled, it was a much-needed first win after a tough opening stretch.
"Whew," Tribolet said. "Some weight off my shoulders, but the girls deserved that. We fought, and it's too bad one of the two teams had to lose, but it's nice to get our first win under our belt, and especially our first WBL win."
Celina has a chance to build some momentum on Thursday when it returns to Hoess Field for a game against Russia. St. Marys has a chance to bounce back on Friday in another WBL game as Defiance comes to K.C. Geiger Park.
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CELINA - Mercer County Health District officials on Tuesday announced the district likely will cease its weekly drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinics due to a decline in demand. [More]
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The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to weigh in on whether the Mercer County Sheriff's and Prosecutor's offices must hand over information from interviews of the victim of a 2013 sexual battery case involving a former local teacher and a student as part of public record.
MINSTER - Council members at their Tuesday meeting approved paying $43,575 to the Washington, D.C., law firm of Duncan and Allen for its work in defending the village in an ongoing lawsuit filed by an Alabama energy company seeking $10.5 million in damages in a solar field contract dispute.
Vote '21
CELINA - Early voting for the May 4 primary election began Tuesday in Ohio, allowing local voters to cast their ballots ahead of Election Day to determine the outcome of numerous levies.
ROCKFORD - Council members during their meeting Tuesday decided to hold off on a zoning change that would allow a commercial building on West South Street to be converted into a housing duplex.
Motorists are reminded to be aware of temporary road closures in the county during the construction season and at other times to allow county crews to conduct repair and maintenance work.
CELINA - After both teams struggled in Monday night non-conference tennis matches, St. Marys and Celina opened their Western Buckeye League schedules with their annual rivalry matchup at the Booster Club Tennis Complex.
ST. MARYS - Celina scored seven two-out runs in the third and fourth innings to erase a 5-1 deficit and post an 8-5 victory over St. Marys in the Western Buckeye League opener Tuesday at Memorial Field.
Area Roundup
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
Coldwater hosted Parkway, Elida and Delphos Jefferson in a quadrangular track and field meet on Tuesday at Cavalier Stadium with the host Cavaliers sweeping both the boys and girls team standings. Parkway was third in both divisions.
Divisions I and II Boys Basketball All-Ohio
St. Marys senior LeTrey Williams earned honorable mention All-Ohio honors in Division II as the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association released its Divisions I and I boys basketball honors list on Tuesday.