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The St. Marys Little League Softball Senior League all-stars were handed their first loss of the season in the District 10 senior league championship game against Bradford on Saturday afternoon at Benzinger Park. After an hour and a half rain delay, Bradford put in a strong performance, shutting out St. Marys 10-0 in six innings, to force a second game today to decide the District championship.
Kelsey Fritz went the distance on the mound for St. Marys, giving up six hits, walking three, and striking out seven.
Kera Bradt worked the mound for Bradford, giving up three hits, no walks, and striking out seven.
St. Marys' hits were all singles and were recorded by Kelsey Fritz, Megan McKenna, and Mackenzie Gahr.
Bradford had six hits, led by Kera Bradt and Chelsea Schelander, who each had a pair of singles. Sam Smith and Anna Colebert each also singled.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first three innings.
St. Marys were the visitors in the contest and were up to bat first, leaving two runners stranded in the top of the opening inning. Cassie Daniels led off by reaching base on a dropped third strike and stole second and third. Daniels was joined on base by Fritz, who singled and stole second. The next three batters went down in order, leaving the pair stranded. Bradford's batters went down in order in the bottom of the inning.
After two outs in the top of the second, Gahr singled to left, but was stuck at first as Megan Henderson grounded out to the third baseman. Bradford got their first base runner in the home half of the inning as Sadie Bell led off with a walk. She was replaced on base with special pinch runner Emily Dietze, who was thrown out trying to steal second. The next two batters went down in order, leaving the score at 0-0.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Fritz reached base on an error, ending up at second. After Jackie Lenze flied out to the second baseman, Taylor Bellina hit a fielder's choice that saw Fritz thrown out at home, preventing St. Marys from scoring. Hannah Milliron led off the bottom of the inning for Bradford by reaching base on an error. After Woods struck out and Anna Colebert was up to bat, Milliron tried to steal second and was thrown out by the St. Marys catcher. Colebert also ended up striking out, keeping the game scoreless.
St. Marys again left a runner on base in the top of the fourth. McKenna reached base on an error and, after Brooke VanAlstine went down swinging, stole second while Tiffany Wickett was at bat. A fielder's choice saw McKenna advance to third while Wickett was out at first. Gahr grounded out to the third baseman to send Bradford up to bat. The Bradford squad finally got their momentum going in a big way, pushing through six runs on four hits. Smith led off with a single and scored on a single by Shelander, who made it all the way to third on an error on the play. Tori Houber reached base on an error, scoring Shelander. Sadie Bell also reached base on an error, scoring Houber. A single by Bradt scored Bell. Bradt was replaced by special pinch runner Elizabeth Platko, who advanced to second as Mariah Hartzell reached base on a fielder's choice. Milliron grounded to third for the first out, but the play allowed Platko and Hartzell to each pick up a base. Woods struck out for the second out, and then Colebert hit singled and then picked up an extra base on the play, which also scored both Platko and Hartzell to give Bradford a 6-0 lead.
St. Marys' batters went down in order in the top of the fifth, while Bradford left a pair of runners stranded in the bottom of the inning.
Bellina led off the top of the sixth with a single for St. Marys, but was thrown out at second on a fielder's choice that saw McKenna reach base. The next two batters went down in order though, preventing St. Marys from cutting into Bradford's lead. The Bradford squad scored four more runs in the bottom of the inning to claim the victory. Milliron started things off by making it all the way to second on an error, and she advanced to third as Woods also reached base on an error. Milliron scored on a fielder's choice that sent Woods to third and saw Colebert safe at first. Smith was then intentionally walked by St. Marys to load the bases, a move that backfired as Shelander singled, scoring both Woods and Colebert. With Smith at third and Shelander on second, Houber came up to bat with no outs. On a passed ball, Smith stole home and was safe on the play, giving Bradford their tenth run and the shutout victory.
St. Marys and Bradford each have one loss and will face each other again tonight at 6 p.m. at Benzinger Park to decide the District 10 senior division championship.
St. Marys 0
Cassie Daniels 3-0-0, Kelsey Fritz 3-0-1, Jackie Lenze 3-0-0, Taylor Bellina 3-0-1, Megan McKenna 3-0-0, Becki Avery 1-0-0, Brooke VanAlstine 2-0-0, Tiffany Wickett 3-0-0, Mackenzie Gahr 2-0-1, Megan Henderson 2-0-0. Totals 25-0-3.
Sam Smith 3-2-1, Chelsea Shelander 4-1-2, Tori Houber 3-1-0, Sadie Bell 1-1-0, Kera Bradt 3-0-2, Mariah Hartzell 3-1-0, Hannah Milliron 3-1-0, Chyanna Woods 3-1-0, Anna Colebert 3-1-1. Emily Dietze 0-0-0, Elizabeth Platko 0-1-0. Totals 26-10-6.
Score by innings R
St. Marys 000 000 0
Bradford 000 604 10