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St. Marys used a dominating pitching performance and powerful hitting in a 7-0 win over Elk County Catholic in the championship game of the Elk County Softball Tournament Friday at Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School in Ridgway.
"The girls came to play," St. Marys coach Manny Gerarge said. "The girls wanted it, they went out and gave 100 percent. We tell them to leave it on the field and they did."
Rachel Ginther had 13 strikeouts and two walks in a 1-hit shutout. She had a no-hit bid going for 5 and 2/3 innings until a double from ECC's Anna Hawkins ended that attempt.
"This is only her second game back," Gerarge said. "She threw well."
ECC had won the tournament 10 years in a row prior to Friday's result.
"Rachel Ginther threw a fabulous game today," Elk County Catholic coach Dr. Joe Coroso said. "It's no shame to ever lose to her. Our girls, to their credit, never gave up and kept battling to the end. It was unfortunate Hannah McGowan and Jenny Cappiello (ECC's leadoff and cleanup hitter) were not playing today, but the way Rachel was throwing, it may not have made a difference."
Coach Gerarge said a defensive play sparked the team as Mandy Gerarge made a good catch in left field on ECC leadoff hitter Jessie Ginther.
"The first inning, Mandy's catch in left field really set the tone for the game early, making a big defensive play on the leadoff hitter," coach Gerarge said.
St. Marys then followed the strong defense with the first runs of the game, opening the scoring up in the second inning with three runs. Savanah Krivonyak reached on a 1-out walk and Cassie Wonderling followed with a single. Taylor Bellina then notched a single with Krivonyak scoring on the play. After a strikeout, Erica Sorg singled home. Wonderling and Bellina would score on a single off the bat of Kali Quagliani to put the Lady Dutch up 3-0.
Mandy Gerarge walked with one out in the third inning for St. Marys and Krivonyak followed with another single. Wonderling then scorched a double into center field to plate Gerarge and put the Lady Dutch up 4-0.
St. Marys added three more in the sixth inning as daylight began to fade. Wonderling advanced to second on a double from the Lady Crusaders, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly from Bellina. Cunningham reached on an infield error from ECC and Sorg then singled. Quagliani singled to score Cunningham and Sorg moved to third, scoring on a sacrifice fly from Rachel Ginther.
ECC had Taylor Schlimm reach on a St. Marys outfield error and Kristy Hanes walked but Rachel Ginther finished the inning with two straight strikeouts in the bottom of the second. Torie Gradizzi walked to lead off the third. Rachel Ginther then retired 10 straight ECC hitters until Hawkins' double in the sixth. Hawkins also had a solid defensive play in the fifth, throwing out a St. Marys runner as she tried to stretch a single into a double.
Sorg and Quagliani had two hits, and the team finished with 10 for the game. Wonderling had two runs scored and was 3-for-4 with two doubles.
"Rachel had 13 strikeouts and it was probably one of our biggest hitting games this year," Coach Gerarge said. "We played them earlier and the girls' confidence was up after a 2-1 victory. They came out and hit the ball well. We had one error, we played solid defense. It was a good team win."
Wonderling and Rachel Ginther were named to the All-Tournament Team from St. Marys. Lyndsey Trumbull was named for Elk County Catholic. Justis Myers was named from Johnsonburg and Ashley Viglione was named from Ridgway.
ECC, 9-2 in games played, next travels to Sheffield Monday to face the Lady Wolverines for a 4:15 p.m. varsity-only game.
St. Marys 7
Erica Sorg 3-1-2, Kali Quagliani 4-0-2, Rachel Ginther 3-0-0, Hayley McGowan 4-0-1, Mandy Gerarge 3-1-0, Sasvanah Krivonyak 3-1-1, Cassie Wonderling 4-2-2, Taylor Bellina 2-1-1, Raelyn Cunningham 3-1-0, Kelsey Fritz 0-0-0. Totals 29-7-10.
Jessie Ginther 3-0-0, Jena Struble 3-0-0, Anna Hawkins 3-0-1, Lyndsey Trumbull 3-0-0, Taylor Schlimm 3-0-0, Kristy Hanes 2-0-0, Lexa Hansen 3-0-0, Michelle Imbrogno 2-0-0, Torie Gradizzi 1-0-0. Totals 23-0-1.
Score by innings R
SMAHS 031 003 0 7
ECCHS 000 000 0 0