The Delaware Hayes softball team has had itself a fine season.
Better than fine, really. Most teams would love to win 17 games on the way to a league title, then take care of business in back-to-back tournament games via walk-off homers, which is exactly what the Pacers did.
Wednesday’s Division I district championship wasn’t one of their finer moments, though, as host Mount Vernon hit five home runs — including a three-run bomb off the bat of Rae Straight to end things in the bottom of the sixth inning — on the way to a 14-2 win.
Hayes (19-3) looked poised to go swing for swing with the Jackets after Addy Tope reached on an error then scored on another to give the Pacers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
The Jackets got two in the bottom half, though, taking the lead for good when Carlena Fiorilli scored on a throwing error and Makaylia Schlosser chased Mollie Pentz home with an RBI single.
Mount Vernon (24-3) plated another pair in the second inning and, while Hayes sliced into the deficit with a run in the third courtesy of an RBI single off the bat of Judaea Wilson, things never got any closer.
Simply put: the Jackets kept scoring and the Pacers didn’t.
Mount Vernon answered the Hayes run with one of its own in the bottom of the third before scoring two in the fourth, two more in the fifth and five in the sixth — a stretch punctuated by Straight’s second homer of the game to end things early.
Straight finished 3-for-4 with three runs and five RBI for the Jackets. Other standouts included Brooke Radermacher, who had two homers, two runs and three RBI; and the quartet of Fiorilli, Pentz, Schlosser and Addison Christopher, who had two hits apiece.
Addy Tope and Brianna Richey scored the Pacers’ runs while Tope, Wilson, Myaih Cloud and Rylea Gist accounted for their four hits.
Emma Jones picked up the win in the circle, allowing two unearned runs on four hits while striking out nine. Maddie Kiss, meanwhile, suffered the setback for Hayes. The freshman, who threw 112 pitches in 5.2 innings of work, allowed 14 runs on 14 hits while striking out one and walking two.
Mitch Herbst and Daniel Gladden combined to toss a two-hit shutout as 11th-seeded Olentangy Berlin hung on for a 1-0 win in Wednesday’s Division I sectional final against visiting and 24th-seeded Worthington Kilbourne.
The lone run came in the second when Ryan Horstman led off with a single, went to third on a single by Parker McDaniels and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Gladden.
From there, the teams, which combined for just seven hits, traded zeros the rest of the way.
Herbst tossed the first four innings to collect the win, allowing just one hit while striking out eight and walking four. Gladden took it from there, allowing one hit while striking out four and walking one in three scoreless innings of relief.
Next up, the Bears will host 17th-seeded Pickerington North in Tuesday’s district semifinal. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.
Olentangy 7, Teays Valley 0
Austin Sizemore tossed a gem, allowing just three hits while striking out seven over seven scoreless innings to lead the 15th-seeded Braves to a convincing Division I sectional final win over the host and 12th-seeded Vikings Wednesday in Teays Valley.
The 15th-seeded Braves did their damage in the middle innings, taking a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the third before all but sealing the deal with a five-run fourth.
Seven different players had at least one hit for Olentangy, while Sizemore, Tommy Chilicki and Eric Efland knocked in two runs apiece.
With the win, Olentangy advances to take on seventh-seeded Hilliard Darby in Monday’s Division I district semifinal in Hilliard. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.
Olentangy Liberty 10, Westland 0, 5 inn.
The fifth-seeded Patriots took care of business early, using a four-run first to set the tone on the way to a lopsided Division I sectional final win over the visiting and 37th-seeded Cougars Wednesday night in Powell.
Landon Smith had a big day, finishing 2-for-3 with three RBI. Michael Tuttle also had a pair of hits, including a triple, in the win.
Nick Falter earned the win on the mound, allowing four hits while striking out nine and walking just two in 4.1 scoreless innings of work.
Liberty returns to action Monday, set to host 10th-seeded Westerville Central in a district semifinal. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.
Olentangy Berlin 16, Dayton Carroll 8 (Division II, Region 7 first-round game).