NEWARK — After what was sometimes a miserable spring weather-wise, the LaMoille-Ohio Lady Lions and Marquette Academy Lady Crusaders were given a gorgeous day to play their Newark Class 1A Regional softball opener.
The Lady Crusaders, however, used a “Thunder and Lightning” combination to rain down a dozen runs on the Lady Lions and in the other halves of innings a “perfect” storm, as MA advanced to the title game on Saturday after a 12-0, five-inning contest Tuesday here in Newark.
“The girls were ready even before the game started,” said MA coach Dave Tkach. “We had a talk, and we told them not to take anybody lightly. We also told them that if we make contact we would be fine, and that’s what they did.
“They were very patient out there, and they got things going.”
Sectional second seed Marquette (22-5) advances to the Saturday 11 a.m. regional title game and will play the winner of today’s game between Newark and Serena. LaMoille-Ohio ends the season with a 5-16 record.
The “Thunder” part of Marquette Academy’s attack was senior first baseman Allie Snook.
Snook was 2-for-2 at the plate with four RBIs. One of those hits was a massive and booming three-run home run over the fence in right-center field on the first pitch she saw in the bottom of the second inning from L-O pitcher Maddi Deery.
“I got a pitch that was pretty much right down the middle,” Snook said. “I saw it and was able to hit it, and it worked out.”
The dinger scored Emily Owens and Makenna Tkach and gave MA a 7-0 lead to put the game out of reach.
A Snook single through the middle of the Lady Lions defense in the bottom of the first inning plated Owens with the Lady Crusaders’ first run.
Providing the “Lightning” part was junior fireballer Makenna Tkach, who was unhittable in the circle on Tuesday, the only contact allowed two groundouts from Allie Carlson and Brookelyn Matznick.
The Matznick groundout was the last contact in fair territory that LaMoille-Ohio made against the Lady Cru ace, as she set down the next 12 Lady Lions hitters via the strikeout and ended the day with 13 in tossing the perfect game.
“All of my pitches were working today,” the younger Tkach said. “(LaMoille-Ohio) was swinging at high pitches and the umpire was calling them up there, so I tried to stay there and also put pitches down in the zone.”
Tkach needed just 59 pitches to complete the perfect game. Of those 59, only 12 were balls.
The Lady Cru set up the 10-run rule in the bottom of the fifth inning with a three-run effort. Snook led off the inning with a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Ashlyn Thomas, who moved to second on a single up the middle by Ellen Wheatland. Thomas came home on a single to left by Makena McConnaughhay, Wheatland trucked into second base, and Wheatland and McConnaughhay each moved up a base when Ashley Bowden’s groundball was mishandled.
Wheatland came home on an infield single by Mallory Martini to make the score 11-0, and Paige Cottingham drove in the final run with a fielder’s choice that chased home McConnaughhay.
Along with Snook’s two hits, Owens, Wheatland and McConnaughhay all contributed two hits with one of McConnaughhay’s hits being a double.
Marquette 12, LaMoille-Ohio 0 (5 inn.)
LAMOILLE-OHIO (0) — Carlson cf 2-0-0-0, Weeks ss 2-0-0-0, B. Matznick 3b 2-0-0-0, Chasteen 1b 2-0-0-0, Deery p 2-0-0-0, Forbes lf 2-0-0-0, A. Matznick 1-0-0-0, Wittenauer 2b 1-0-0-0, Geiger 1-0-0-0. Totals 15-0-0-0.
MARQUETTE ACADEMY (12) — E. Owens c 3-2-2-0, Tkach p 3-2-2-1, Snook 1b 2-2-2-4, Thomas pr 0-1-0, Wheatland ss 3-2-2-0, McConnaughhay 3b 3-2-2-1, McCallum lf 2-0-1-2, Bowden lf 1-0-0-0, Cowie dp 2-0-1-1, Martini 2b 1-0-1-1, Thomas cf 1-0-0-0, Machetta cf-rf 2-0-0-0, A. Owens rf 1-1-1-0, Cottingham cf 1-0-0-0. Totals 25-12-13-11.
L-O (5-16) 000 00 — 0 0 2
Marquette (22-5) 360 3x — 12 13 0
LOB – LaMoille-Ohio 0, Marquette 5. 2B – McConnaughhay. HR – Snook. SB – E. Owens 2, A. Owens 2.
LaMoille-Ohio ip r er h bb k
Deery (L) 4.0 12 10 13 4 4
Tkach (W) 5.0 0 0 0 0 13