Gibsonburg powers past Hopewell-Loudon
OAK HARBOR — Gibsonburg’s big bats and the pitching of Jasmine McNett proved a tough combination for Hopewell-Loudon in Friday’s Division IV district final in Oak Harbor.
The Golden Bears’ Camren Krotzer and Coral Kocsis homered in consecutive innings off Chieftains’ starter Macey Malagon, and Gibsonburg erupted for six runs in the third, chasing Malagon from the circle.
The Golden Bears had six extra-base hits off H-L pitching, and advanced to Tuesday’s regional semifinal in Findlay with an 11-2 win.
“Here in the district, when you’re able to make good contact with the ball and get in the alley, and get a couple doubles and maybe a home run or two, it’s very fortunate, and that’s a big part of softball,” said Gibsonburg coach Marty Brown.
Hopewell-Loudon started the scoring in the second, when Zoe Kent led off the inning by crushing a ball over the left field fence.
But McNett only allowed one more run, coming on a Hannah Brickner RBI single in the fourth. She threw all seven innings and allowed five hits, striking out five.
“She mixed pitches very well,” said Hopewell-Loudon coach Tony Malagon. “We had baserunners, and we just couldn’t have that big hit that drove in some runs like we had in the past.”
McNett looked a little sharper Friday than she did Tuesday in the semis against Old Fort, when the Stockaders had 13 hits.
“She worked out of a couple of binds,” Brown said. “She threw hard, and by giving her yesterday as a day of rest I think it showed she’s capable of throwing against a good team like we had today.”
Hopewell-Loudon (17-7) got two hits from leadoff hitter Chelsey Depinet, and Chloe Malagon scored a run.
Macey Malagon went 2 2/3 innings before being replaced by Brickner, who finished out the game.
“Pitching wasn’t quite on tonight, and they took advantage of some missed spots,” coach Malagon said.
Despite the loss, the Chieftains could be back over the next few years. They have only two seniors — Depinet and Brickner — on this year’s roster.
“We are gonna miss our seniors for sure,” coach Malagon said. “They’ve been a big part of the program the last few years. But some good talent coming up and some more coming back. I told them our mindset is to win our league every year and go deep in the tournament. That’s hopefully the mindset, and how we’re working this program going forward.”
The Golden Bears will play Convoy Crestview in the regional semifinals at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Findlay.