After trailing for most of the first five-plus innings, the third-seeded Marysville softball team took its first lead in the sixth and retired 16th-seeded Olentangy in order in the seventh to notch a hard-fought 8-6 win in Friday’s Division I district championship in Pickerington.
The Braves were great at getting some separation, but never quite got far enough ahead to take control.
The Monarchs, meanwhile, who beat Olentangy for the third time this season, got quite comfortable playing from behind by the time all was said and done.
Olentangy didn’t waste any time jumping in front, claiming a 1-0 lead when Caleigh Peterson scored on a Emma Willers sacrifice fly in the first.
It took until the third, but Marysville got even when Avery Henry connected on an RBI single off Braves’ starter Jaelyn Peterson, who allowed six runs on eight hits while striking out two and walking eight in 5.1 innings of work.
The Braves reclaimed the lead with a three-run fourth, getting a sac fly from Kai Cornelius before Jaelyn Peterson sent a two-run homer over the centerfield fence.
The Monarchs, though, scored three of their own in the bottom half, tying things up when Avery Prohaska scored on a wild pitch.
The back-and-fourth battle continued, with the upset-minded Braves grabbing a bit of breathing room when Cornelius hammered a liner to right with the bases loaded. Two scored on the play, giving Olentangy a brief 6-4 lead, but, as was the case all game long, the Monarchs had an answer.
Abby Gindlesberger came up with a clutch two-run double to knot things at six and, after Olentangy went down in order in the sixth, Haley Winans came up with an even more clutch two-out, two-run double to all but seal the deal.
Abby Christian made it official with a one-two-three seventh, striking out the first two before coaxing a ground out to end things.
The Braves finished with just four hits, but certainly made them count. Cornelius led the charge, finishing 1-for-2 with a game-best three RBI. Jaelyn Peterson was 1-for-2 with the two-run homer, Evelyn Dipiero finished with a hit and scored twice and Willers was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI.
Winans and Gindlesberger drove in two apiece to power the Monarchs while Camryn Harold and Henry had two hits each.
Gavin Angell scored five goals and assisted on two others to lead Olentangy Berlin to a 14-3 win over seventh-seeded Dayton Oakwood in a Division II, Region 7 tournament game Friday night in Delaware.
Jonathan Garn, Connor Gavin and Zack Zielinski backed Angell with two goals apiece.
New Albany 21, Olentangy 4.