SIDNEY – Mechanicsburg defeated Russia, 5-0, to win a Division IV sectional softball championship on Tuesday at Fairlawn High School.
The Indians struck first, scoring three runs in the top of the third inning when Kasey Schipfer doubled in a run down the left field line with one out. Schipfer finished 3-for-4 with a trio of doubles. Francys King and Ceci Link drove in the other runs during the inning.
Russia left runners on second and third base in the bottom half of the frame, but that was the most threatening the Raiders got.
“Anytime we’re visitors, our mentality is that we’ve got to score first,” MHS Coach Abbey DeLong said. “It was just a great team effort.”
King finished the game 2-for-4 with a double and Elysha Stapleton had an RBI.
Stapleton also got the win, striking out nine batters and scattering four hits.
“Too many times, we’ve gotten up and then we let down. We talked all week about not letting down and just going and putting someone away. And they did that for me,” DeLong said.
The Indians scored again in the fifth and another run came in the seventh. They looked like they might put pile even more on, but their seventh inning ended with the bases loaded and one out when runners at third and second inexplicably froze and tried to retreat on a ground ball, easily getting picked off for a pair of force outs.
Despite that mental lapse, Mechanicsburg will advance to the district final against Franklin Monroe on Friday at 5 p.m. at Piqua High School.
“They’re a great group of girls. I know that they’ve got it in them,” DeLong said. “We have some unfinished business. Losing to Houston in the district finals last year really left a sour taste in our mouth. We truly felt like we were the better team.”
M’burg hosts mini-Relay
On Thursday, May 18, Mechanicsburg Schools will hold its annual Mini Relay for Life. This is the 10th year for this event. Opening ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the main gymnasium with activities running throughout the day on the track.
All survivors are welcome to attend opening ceremonies and should sign in by the high school office.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.