FINDLAY - Miscues gave North Baltimore momentum and clutch hitting cemented it Wednesday as the Tigers upset New Riegel 5-1 in a Division IV district semifinal at Findlay High.
The loss dropped the Blue Jackets to 21-5 and bounced them out of the tournament.
"It hurts. We had a good group of seniors and had high expectations for these guys. Top to bottom this is one of the most talented teams I've been around," New Riegel coach Jamie Lininger said. "Had that one bad inning and couldn't get anything going after that. North Baltimore made the plays and we didn't."
The inning in question was the third, when the Tigers (17-11) snapped a scoreless tie with three runs without getting a hit.
No. 9 hitter Ali Baker led off with a walk and Hanna Brian followed with a bunt that New Riegel catcher Taylor Arbogast fielded and threw into right.
Right fielder Kara Scherger then fired the ball to third, covered by left fielder Morgan Noftz. The Blue Jackets had Baker out a few feet off the bag, but Noftz dropped the ball and was called for obstruction, and Baker was awarded the base.
Kelsey Gazarek was hit by an 0-2 pitch a few moments later to load the bases.
Baker and Brian both scored on passed balls, and Gazarek scored with two outs on a throwing error by third baseman Megan Mathias.
"They scored three runs that inning without a hit, which is not us," Lininger said.
"Three runs, no RBIs and three errors and just never recovered from that," he said.
They had their chances, though.
Taylor Kirian led off the fourth with a single, went to second on Brooke Scherger's bunt and scored on a two-strike single by Paige Noftz.
New Riegel threatened with runners in scoring position each inning from there, but couldn't find a way to score again.
Jessica Frost played a big role in that, fanning six and scattering five hits, a walk and a hit batter to earn the win.
"She had better control than I've seen. She struck us out a couple times the first couple innings. She was doing a better job of controlling the ball and blowing it by us," Lininger said. "After about the third inning we got her out of that, but by then they were up 3-0 and had a lot of confidence."
The Tigers added two runs in the sixth on back-to-back two-out doubles by Nique Buchanan and Baker, and Brian's RBI single.
Brian and Baker both ended with two hits for the Tigers, who play in the finals Friday against today's winner between Mohawk and McComb.
Kirian (20-5) took the loss, striking out five while allowing only two earned runs. She also went 3 for 3 with a double. Arbogast also singled.
"Just wasn't our night," Lininger said.
"We had some weird bounces," he said.