Homestanding Conneaut roared to a big lead, then held the fort and it resulted in a 13-8 triumph over United in the championship game of the District 1 Major Softball Tournament on Sunday.
As a result, Conneaut rolls into the state tournament, which will be played right here in Ashtabula County.
According to District 1 Administrator Tony Tulino, the District 1 champions will host the District 3 champions Friday at Cederquist Park in Ashtabula. District 1 is playing host to Ohio’s major-division state tournament, Tulino said.
On Sunday, Michaella Notte and Syndey Carpenter led the hit parade for Conneaut, which accounted for a dozen knocks in the contest, with three hits each. Notte and Carpenter also scored a pair of runs in the victory.
That dynamic duo had plenty of help, though.
Lillian Spees socked a triple and a double and scored twice for the winners, while Jayden Drew tripled and singled and crossed the plate twice and Tara Myers ripped a double and a single and scored a pair of runs.
On the bump, Hannah Clark hurled Conneaut to the district championship, allowing seven hits, while striking out six and walking two. She received help out of the bullpen from Samantha Maenpaa.
Not that United didn’t put up a fight, though.
Despite trailing, 10-0 going into the bottom of the fifth, United put a seven-spot on the board in that frame and added a single run in the sixth before coming up five runs short.
Abby Carter was the ringleader, smacking a pair of knocks and driving home a pair.
Teammates Savannah Hurst and Jordan Vencill each doubled and had two RBI.
There were three games contested Sunday, with Jefferson and Geneva prevailing in the winners’ bracket and Conneaut surviving to plan another day in the losers’ bracket.
Jefferson knocked off visiting Grand Valley, 5-2, while in the best game of the day — and one of the most exciting contests in the tournament — Geneva edged past Ashtabula, 15-4.
Conneaut eliminated Pymatuning Valley, 10-0.
All of which means Geneva will host Jefferson in the winners’ bracket championship game Saturday, while Conneaut will journey to Painesville for a losers’ bracket elimination game Tuesday.
Major baseball will be in the spotlight today, with a pair of elimination games on the menu.
Pymatuning Valley will invade Madison, while Conneaut will host Grand Valley.