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Bulldog softball goes out swinging vs. Revere

By ROGER GORDON Correspondent Published: May 28, 2017 12:00 AM
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The Woodridge softball team refused to give up. It kept fighting.

Unfortunately, too many errors -- on defense and on the base paths -- overshadowed the fourth-seeded Bulldogs' resiliency in a 12-7 loss to No.1 seed Revere May 19 in an Akron Division II district semifinal at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

Woodridge finished the season with a 10-16 overall record and a 5-9 mark in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division.

Ten wins may not seem all that impressive but, according to Bulldogs head coach Dan Schneider, they are reason to celebrate.

"We'd been working toward double-digit wins," he said. "We barely got it, but in this case, I think it's a big morale boost for the kids. We lost some close games that could've gone either way. We all think we were pretty successful this season."

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Revere broke a scoreless tie with seven runs in the bottom of the second inning off sophomore Caitlin Raid.

"They got some hits and drew a couple walks, but we didn't help matters with two crucial errors," Schneider said. "I told my kids, though, 'Hey, we didn't come here to quit.'"

Senior shortstop Mackenzie Mercer certainly heard what her coach said as she blasted a two-out, three-run homer in the top of the third.

The Minutemen scored twice in the fourth to make it 9-3, but Woodridge answered with three runs in the fifth to pull within 9-6.

"To close the gap like we did, we didn't think we were out of it until we were out of it," said the coach. "That was a big hole to come out of. The kids had a great attitude."

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Unfortunately, Revere scored three runs of their own on the bottom of the fifth to increase its lead to 12-7. That was just too much for the Bulldogs to overcome.

"At that point, we knew our chances of pulling it off were not great, but I give my kids a ton of credit for fighting back," said Schneider.

Raid went the distance and wound up yielding 11 hits, striking out six and walking three.

"Caitlin managed to find a way out of trouble many times this season," Schneider said, "but Revere has some really good hitters. They were the top-seeded team for a reason."

Junior catcher Sage Jenkins led Woodridge's 11-hit attack with a double, two singles, two runs and a walk.

Besides her three-run double, Mercer singled and scored a run.

Junior second baseman Cassie Riebau and sophomore Megan Stanfield each had 2 singles. Riebau also scored a run and Stanfield drew a walk.

With a single apiece were senior outfielder Mary Bates and junior third baseman Emily Mally. Bates also scored a run.

Junior first baseman Sydney Shaheen and senior Ally Rohrer both knocked home a run. Shaheen also drew a walk.

Raid scored a run and drew a walk.

Jenkins led Woodridge this season with a .389 batting average. She was voted All-PTC Metro first-team and All-Northeast District second-team.

Mercer batted .370 with both a team-leading 30 hits and 10 doubles. She was honored as All-PTC Metro at-large first team and All-Northeast District honorable mention.

Raid hit .363 with both a team-high 20 RBIs and 21 runs. On the mound, she finished 8-13 with 139 strikeouts and just 31 walks. She was named All-PTC Metro second-team as a pitcher.

Riebau batted .348 with a team-best 2 triples. She earned All-PTC Metro second-team acclaim as a middle infielder.

Shaheen and Bates were each voted All-PTC Metro honorable mention.

Brayden Wigal batted .326 and had Woodridge's only two home runs.

Schneider believes his team is headed in the right direction.

"We have a pretty young team as a core, especially with Caitlin on the mound and Sage behind the plate. And, other than shortstop, our infield is set," he said. "We have a bright future."

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

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