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McCrady shuts down Bees

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NORTON — Before delivering a pitch, Walsh Jesuit star Madi McCrady walked to the edge of the circle, looked beyond the center field fence, exhaled deeply and returned to the rubber.

Some may call that superstition, but the Medina softball team could have called it dominance.

McCready had the maximum amount of strikeouts through five innings before “settling” on 18 in a three-hitter Tuesday as the Warriors rolled 9-0 in a Barberton Division I District semifinal to eliminate the Bees for the third time in four seasons.

Defending state champion and No. 1 seed Walsh Jesuit (16-6) advanced to battle second-seeded Wadsworth (18-3) this afternoon at Barberton Sports Complex. Medina (17-8), which played a clean game despite the lopsided score, wraps up the season this weekend at the Strike Out Cancer Showcase.

“They’re a good program year after year,” Bees shortstop Caiti Rhodes said. “We knew that going in. They have great bats, great defense. You have to go in prepared, and sometimes we weren’t as prepared as we should be.”

McCrady (14-2) allowed two hard-hit singles by Rhodes and a bloop to right by Cassie Ulry. McCrady was perfect otherwise, throwing 75-of-92 pitches for strikes and getting the first 15 outs via strikeout.

The strikeouts had variety, including eight on three pitches and six looking that spotlighted McCrady’s control. The Bees’ strikes were 18 looking, 29 swinging, 22 foul and six in play.

The only legitimate scoring opportunity came in the fourth inning trailing 2-0. Rhodes and Ulry singled, but back-to-back three-pitch strikeouts ended the threat.

McCrady proved why she’s signed to play for Ohio University, especially considering the Bees entered play with a .420 batting average.

“She hits her sports really well,” Rhodes said. “She goes outside and she goes high. She’s had a lot of success against everyone she plays against.”

Medina did some good things, as the lone error didn’t factor into the scoring. Right fielder Ulry made a snowcone sliding catch to help keep the score at 2-0 in the third inning, while shortstop Rhodes made a SportsCenter-quality diving grab while ranging backward in the fourth.

Caitlin Dunlap (8-5, 3.50 ERA) also kept damage minimal despite a bunch of hard contact by the Warriors before running out of steam in the fifth and exiting down 5-0.

Walsh Jesuit was simply too talented to beat. The top of the lineup was especially gaudy, as Emma Lawson, Kristen Kuhrt, McCrady and Angie Bobish were 10-for-14 with seven RBIs and seven runs. Bobish had the finishing touches with a head-snapping grand slam off reliever Catherine Strossel in the sixth.

Even with a healthy Anna Aquino, who injured her knee last week and pinch-hit with two outs in the seventh Tuesday, the Bees would have had to play perfectly to win this one.

“You’ve got to give it to Walsh,” Medina coach Jessica Toocheck said. “They were the better team.”

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Walsh Jesuit 9, Medina 0

Barberton Division I District Semifinal

Medina (17-8) Walsh Jesuit (16-6)

AB R H BI AB R H BI

M. Aquino 3b 3 0 0 0 Lawson 2b 3 2 2 1

Rhodes ss 3 0 2 0 Kuhrt c 3 1 1 1

Bobey 1b 3 0 0 0 McCrady p 4 2 4 0

Ulry rf 3 0 1 0 Bobish lf 4 2 3 5

Holzman lf 3 0 0 0 Drake 3b 3 0 0 0

Rambo c 2 0 0 0 Cartellone dp 4 0 1 1

Boccio dp 2 0 0 0 Mullins cf 4 0 1 1

Solomon 2b 2 0 0 0 Bentley 3 1 2 0

Nau cf 2 0 0 0 Huth 1b 2 0 0 0

Dunlap p 0 0 0 0 Davis rf 0 0 0 0

Strossel p 0 0 0 0 Zack cr 0 0 0 0

A. Aquino ph 1 0 0 0 Vitantonio cr 0 1 0 0

Totals 24 0 3 0 Totals 30 9 14 9

MEDINA 000 000 0 — 0 3 1

WALSH JESUIT 002 124 x — 9 14 0

LOB — Medina 3, Walsh Jesuit 7. 2B — Kuhrt, Bobish, Bentley. HR — Bobish. S — Drake, Bentley, Lawson. E — Solomon.

IP H R ER BB SO

Medina

Dunlap (L, 8-5) 4⅔ 11 5 5 0 2

Strossel 1⅓ 3 4 4 1 1

Walsh Jesuit

McCrady (W, 14-2) 7 3 0 0 0 18

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