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Sheffield falls to Elk County Catholic

Sheffield third baseman Jerika Dexter (42) throws to first for an out while shortstop Emily Leichtenberger (13) covers third during a game against Elk County Catholic at Sheffield High School, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. The Crusaders defeated the Wolverines, 11-0, in six innings.

Sheffield softball had early opportunities to catch visiting Elk County Catholic, but couldn’t get a hit with runners in scoring position in an 11-0, six inning loss Tuesday.

The Crusaders scored four runs in the first inning, then gradually chipped away until they had a 10-run lead. Pitcher Michelle Gerber limited the Wolverines to just five hits.

“Our bats didn’t show up today,” Sheffield coach Mike Grubbs said. “We’ve been hitting well lately but we couldn’t string anything together.”

ECC got to work early.

The first two batters hit back-to-back singles to start the game and Jenna Weisner’s ground out to third brought in the first run. Another run came in when Ellie Fledderman reached on an error. Gerber singled to put runners on first and second and Rosina Nero singled in Fledderman. Gerber scored on Katharine Kirst’s ground out to put the Crusaders ahead 4-0.

Sheffield’s Mareena Bailey beats a throw to first base for an infield

Sheffield looked poised to answer in the home half.

Tori Childress led off with a single and Marissa Grubbs followed with a single to left. Childress tried to make it to third on the play but couldn’t beat Sady VanAlstine’s throw to the bag. Grubbs advanced to second on the play, but Gerber induced a pair of ground outs to end the inning.

The Crusaders tacked on another run in the third.

Gerber singled with one out and Nero lined a shot up the middle. Grubbs nearly snagged Nero’s liner, but the ball tipped off her glove and into center. Kirst singled in Gerber to put ECC up 5-0.

The Wolverines threatened again in the bottom of the inning.

With one out, Childress reached on an error and moved to second. Grubbs singled her to third and advanced to second on a defensive indifference. Gerber again stranded the runners, this time with a fly out and a strikeout.

“We left opportunities on second and third early,” Grubbs said.

Morgan Wolf singled to start the ECC fourth, stole second and moved to third on a ground out. She scored on Weisner’s pop out to shallow right to give the Crusaders a 6-0 advantage.

Nero hit a one-out single in the fifth and Kirst reached on an error to put runners on second and third. Grunenwald reached on a dropped third strike and Nero was able to score on the play to make it 7-0. Wolf’s two-out single scored Kirst and Grunenwald to put the Crusaders on top 9-0.

Weisner singled to start the sixth and Fledderman doubled her home. Fledderman stole third and came in on Gerber’s sac fly to center to close out the scoring.

“We didn’t have any timely hits today,” Grubbs said.

Gerber scattered five hits over her six shutout innings. She struck out six and walked none. Nero was 4-4 at the plate with a run scored and another driven in. Wolf, Weisner, Fledderman and Kirst all had two RBI.

“We faced a really fast pitcher yesterday and (Gerber) throws a bit slower,” Grubbs said. “Out timing was off. We were way early today. We just didn’t slow up enough.”

Grubbs was solid on the mound for Sheffield. She gave up 11 runs, eight earned, on 14 hits, but only walked one and struck out six.

“We had that rough first inning, but then we calmed down,” Coach Grubbs said. “We played better defensively.”

The Wolverines are scheduled to travel to Clarion-Limestone Thursday for a make-up game. If the game is played, it will be the first time the two teams actually meet on the field in at least four years, despite being on the schedule. The previous season’s games have all been rained out.

“It’s been a few years since we played,” Grubbs said. “We have had them on the schedule, but it always seems to be that one game we can’t get in.”

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Elk County Catholic (11)

Wolf 3b 4-2-4-2, VanAlstine lf 4-1-1-0, Weisner ss 4-1-1-2, Fledderman 1b 4-2-1-2, Gerber p 4-2-2-1, Nero c 4-1-4-1, Kirst 2b 2-0-1-2, Dippold ph 1-1-0-0, Taylor cf 2-0-0-0, Grunenwald cf 2-1-0-0, Anderson rf 2-0-0-0, Pesee rf 2-0-0-0, Totals 35-11-14-10

Sheffield (0)

Childress c 3-0-2-0, Grubbs p 3-0-2-0, Leichtenberger ss 3-0-0-0, Fredericks 1b 3-0-0-0, Schmader cf 2-0-0-0, Patterson cf 0-0-0-0, Dexter 3b 2-0-0-0, Bailey 2b 2-0-1-0, Dunham lf 2-0-0-0, Schall lf 0-0-0-0, McCracken rf 2-0-0-0, Marfink rf 0-0-0-0, Totals 22-0-5-0

Elk County Catholic 401 132 x – 11 14 0

Sheffield 000 000 x – 0 5 4

DP-None. 2b-Fledderman (E).

IP H R ER BB K

Elk County Catholic

Gerber (W) 6 5 0 0 0 6

Sheffield

Grubbs (L) 6 14 11 8 1 6

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