Story by Jim Horvath
Photos and video by Larry Bennet
After a rainy start to the week, the 2012 OHSAA Fastpitch Tournament should get back on track on Wednesday. Most Westshore teams will be in action, including Bay and Westlake.
The Rockets are coming off a doubleheader loss to Westlake on Saturday. The Demons blanked Bay, 5-0, in the first game on Jesse Moracz’s shutout, then came back with a 9-1 win in the second game. Westlake, now 14-8, scored eight runs in the second inning on three hits, four walks and three Bay errors.
“It was a good day to get refocused,” said Westlake head coach Tom Shiban, whose team had lost three games during the week and fell out of the Southwestern Conference race. “We had some better at-bats today, but we’re still too inconsistent. We pitched better and played some solid defense for the most part, but we have to get better.
“Still, it was a good day for us. We have another big week ahead with the tournament, our last conference game and a small tournament on the weekend,” he added.
Bay fell to 11-14 on the season, but has shown steady improvement this season after last year’s six-win campaign, according to first-year head coach Katie McCarthy.
“I think we’ve improved a lot from the first day of practice until now,” McCarthy said. “We’re playing a lot more aggressively on the bases and we’re making plays now that we wouldn’t have made earlier.
“We’re getting our bats going again as well. We had a five-game winning streak this year where we hit the ball really well, then we went into a little slump. Today, we didn’t get a lot of hits, but we hit the ball hard. We just happened to hot the ball right at people,” she added.
In the Division II tournament, sixth seed Bay will host the winner of the Holy Name-Padua contest Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in a sectional final. Rocky River is at Brookside on Wednesday and would play at top seed Keystone Thursday with a win.
Westlake, the third seed in Division I, hosts Midview on Wednesday in a sectional final, The Middies, champions of the West Shore Conference, defeated North Ridgeville Monday in their opener.
Also on Wednesday, Magnificat is at second seed Amherst and Olmsted Falls is at top seed Elyria. Fourth seed Avon Lake will host Avon, an 11-0 winner over North Olmsted in a Monday semifinal. Wednesday’s winner will advance to district play at North Ridgeville on Monday, May 14.