Dragons Defeat ‘Cats And ‘Jills For Sectional Title
The Paden City Softball Team moved into the Region I Section I championship after defeating Valley 10-0 May 6 at Paden City Park.
Valley loaded the bases in the first, but Amber Palmer struck our two Valley batters. In the bottom half, Palmer would open the home half of the first inning on a three-base Valley error and tallied the game’s first run on a ground out by Courtney Conaway.
Stephanie West opened the second frame with a single. After back-to-back-to-back doubles by Amanda Tallman, Katie Kline, and Ashley Efaw the Wildcats would hold a 4-0 lead. After two straight walks, Conaway singled to score a pair Wildcat players, extending the ‘Cats lead to 6-0.
Both Valley and Paden City were held in check by outstanding defense and excellent pitching, but the ‘Cats punched out two runs in the fourth without getting a hit.
The Wildcats scored two runs in the fourth without a hit and ended the game in the bottom of the fifth on a mercy-rule walk-off single by Conaway.
Palmer got the win from the hill. She struck out three, walked six, and only gave up a single in the fourth to Holli Schell.
Schell took the loss from the rubber. She struck out three and walked six.
In the Region One Sectional Championship, Paden City hung in there for three innings against the defending state Class A runner-up Lady Dragons of Cameron High School before dropping a 9-1 verdict in game one of the double-elimination tournament.
Cameron scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth and tacked on four more for good measure in the fifth to grab a 8-1 lead. They tallied one more in the sixth for the win.
Dominique Craft had the only hit for the Lady Wildcats, on a double, while Kelsey Loy took the loss from the mound, striking out five and walking four.
In the second game, the Dragons, led by Tara Paczewski, shutout Paden City with an 11-0 mercy-rule shortened no-hitter. She sat down 10 Lady ‘Cat batters, while walking four. She struck out a combined-game 22 and held the Wildcats to only the Craft double.
The Wildcats will lose starting pitcher Amber Palmer, first baseman Courtney Conaway, and right fielder Stephanie West, as well as third baseman Amanda Tallman to graduation. However, they will return pitcher Loy and catcher Craft, along with shortstop Kelsey Loub, second baseman Ashley Efaw, right fielder/third baseman Bethany Arnett, and centerfielder Katie Kline.
In the nightcap, the Lumberjills went against the defending Class A runners-up, Cameron, who had just won the OVAC Crown May 1.
The Dragons’ hurler, Tara Paczewski, would limit the ‘Jills to an Ashley Staley single in the first frame, while striking out 10 and walking one in a 10-0 mercy-rule shortened game.
The ‘Jills’ Kayla Cecil pitched well enough to get the win, but three Valley errors and 10 key Lady Dragon hits kept the ‘Jills from making any type of noise.
Cecil and Crystal Cook are the lone seniors on the Lady ‘Cat team that will have the bulk of the lineup back next season.