Jaelyn Peterson was the hero Tuesday night in Lewis Center, connecting on a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift 16th-seeded Olentangy to a thrilling 13-10 walk-off win over 28th-seeded Newark in a Division I sectional semifinal.
Not a bad way to get the tournament started. At least for the Braves, who looked to be in big trouble early before rallying late.
Olentangy took an early 1-0 edge thanks to an RBI single from Kai Cornelius in the bottom of the first. The lead didn’t last long, though, as Newark erupted for seven runs in the second. Brooke Nelson had the big hit, connecting on a grand slam to make it a 5-1 game.
Meah Morris and Chelsea Swonger both had RBI singles later in the inning to balloon the lead to 7-1, but the Braves didn’t flinch.
Olentangy got three back in the second thanks to run-scoring hits off the bats of Caleigh Peterson, Evelyn Dipiero and Emma Willers.
Another Nelson homer helped the Wildcats regain some semblance of control in the third, making it an 8-4 game, and Swonger doubled to drive in another in the fourth.
The Braves, though, just like earlier in the game, had an answer. Dipiero doubled home Caleigh Peterson and Cornelius doubled to score Dipiero and cut the deficit to 9-6 with one out in the fourth.
An out later, MacKenzie Condon singled to score Cornelius and make it a 9-7 contest.
Olentangy inched closer with another run in the fifth and, after Newark made it 10-8 in the seventh, finished off the rally in the bottom half.
Jaycee Feeney singled to start the inning and, after a fly out, Caleigh Peterson singled and Dipiero walked to load the bases. A pop out in foul territory gave the Wildcats a key second out, but Cornelius worked a two-out walk to force in a run before Jaelyn Peterson’s grand slam sent the Olentangy fans home happy.
Jaelyn Peterson had a team-best four RBI while Caleigh Peterson had four hits and scored three times. Dipiero was also steady, finishing 3-for-4 with three runs and three knocked in while Feeney had three hits and scored twice.
Nelson led the Wildcats, finishing 3-for-4 with the two homers and six RBI.
Next up, Olentangy will take on seventh-seeded Hilliard Bradley in Thursday’s sectional final in Hilliard. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.
Big Walnut 14, Worthington Kilbourne 10
The 37th-seeded Golden Eagles trailed 6-1 after an inning and a half, but got going in a major way after that, using a pair of big innings to rally for a Division I sectional semifinal win over the 38th-seeded Wolves Tuesday night in Sunbury.
Big Walnut plated four runs in the second to get back into things and, after scoring another two to take the lead in the third, erupted for seven more in the fifth to all but seal the deal.
Jordan Walters led the charge with four hits and five RBI. Janel Hayes also had four hits in the win while Quinn Kuhlman finished 3-for-4 with four runs and an RBI.
The win sets up a showdown with top-seeded Lancaster in Thursday’s sectional final. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. in Lancaster.
Delaware Hayes 8, Olentangy Berlin 5
The Pacers picked up a solid non-league win in their tournament tune-up, outlasting the host Bears Tuesday night.
Lauren Tompkins gave Hayes a 4-0 lead with one swing of the bat, connecting on a grand slam to help her team take control in the top of the third.
Berlin got a run back in the bottom half — Jaelyn Bleeks scored on a Syd Davis sac fly — but the Pacers made it 6-1 when Myaih Cloud hit a two-run homer in the fourth.
The Bears rallied, getting within a run when Izzie Wilson tripled home Bleeks in the bottom of the fifth, but that’s as close as they’d get.
Hayes added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh thanks to RBI hits from Tompkins and Olivia Nelson to smooth out the scoring summary.
Tompkins closed 2-for-4 with five RBI while Cloud was 3-for-4 with a run and two knocked in.
Bleeks led the Bears with four hits while Wilson was 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Bronwynn Leighty was the winner in the circle, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out seven in four innings of work.
Olentangy 10, Hilliard Darby 4; Westerville South 3, Delaware Hayes 1; Olentangy Berlin 2, Dublin Jerome 1, 12 inn.; Upper Arlington 5, Olentangy Orange 3.