LEO-CEDARVILLE – Sierra Fisher formally announced it by smoking a leadoff double almost to the fence in dead center. But the informal announcement came earlier Thursday, with rain threatening the Class 3A Leo softball sectional championship game between Bishop Dwenger and Woodlan.
One of the kids told me today, they said, We got to play today, Coach,’ Dwenger coach Dave Moyer said as his Saints celebrated their 4-2 victory over the Warriors on the damp red dirt of the diamond. They were feeling it. I think we came out with the same adrenaline we had last night.
And so Fisher greeted Woodlan ace Hannah Robbins with her leadoff double, and Kristina Burkhart doubled and Ali Irvine singled and Julie Bazur singled. And the Saints, who scored 15 runs in the semifinals, took up right where they left off, scoring four runs on four hits and sending eight batters to the plate in the first inning.
Robbins settled in after that, striking out 11 and allowing just three hits. But Dwenger already had all the offense it needed in the title game.
We ran out (of steam) after that, Moyer said. But we got the big picture.
Which was just enough defense and just enough pitching. As he did in the semifinals, Moyer used both his aces: Jordan Schneider going four innings and then turning the ball and a 4-2 lead over to Demitra Burns, who walked the first batter she faced but allowed only four base runners after that, getting a handful of stellar defensive plays behind her to kill any budding threats.
(Demitra’s) come in before, but she does start for us, Moyer said. We just felt it would be a good change.
Fine with Burns.
I’ve done it for so long, I can just go in whenever I need to, she said. They probably wanted to put in a different pitcher so they could give them a different feel, a different look, because we have two different spins on the ball.
Woodlan scored a run in its half of the first on a fielding error and Robbins’ RBI single, and the Warriors got another in the third on Logan Smead’s homer. But they got nothing after loading the bases with one out in the fourth, tagging out one runner at the plate and then getting Robbins on a checked-swing liner to second base.
We had to keep our intensity up, and I think we did that, Burns said. We may not have scored after the first inning, but our defense held them the whole time.