CLYDE – After Springfield squandered an 11-run cushion to suffer another stunning and unfathomable loss there is little doubt that the Blue Devils are cursed.
Springfield (23-4) was just two outs away from ending a Division I regional semifinal by the mercy rule as the Blue Devils held an seemingly insurmountable 11-0 lead over Brecksville-Broadview Heights in the fifth inning.
But the No. 2-ranked Bees had different plans and quickly ripped off 13 runs. The Bees battled back to hand the Blue Devils a devastating 13-12 loss at Clyde High School.
Springfield senior pitcher Lauren Yates recorded one out in the fifth as the Blue Devils looked to end it early by the run rule. But Yates hit two batters and allowed a single and double to start the Bees' nine-run uprising in the fifth. Two errors compounded the collapse and Yates, who allowed four runs on six hits in the fateful inning, was replaced by freshman Paige LaPoint.
But the next batter, Brecksville's No. 9 hitter Morgan Fadel, blasted a grand slam to instantly make it 11-9.
Brecksville (29-2) then completed the amazing comeback with four more runs on four hits in the sixth. The Bees scored two more runs off of LaPoint to tie it at 11. Yates then came back in to pitch but Brecksville's Alexis Mack doubled in two more as the Bees somehow took a 13-11 lead.
Springfield managed to score one run in the seventh but could not tie it.
The late collapse overshadowed a 12-hit performance by the Blue Devils. Junior shortstop Hannah Girlie smacked a grand slam that gave the 11-0 cushion. Girlie went 4 for 4 with the home run, a double, and drove in five runs.
Bre Buck, LaPoint, and Lexi Buck each had two hits. Lapoint had a double and drove in two runs. Both Buck sisters also had RBIs.
But Springfield gave up 13 hits, including 10 in the final two innings. The Blue Devils, who finished the season ranked No. 6 in the state poll, had suffered upset losses in the districts the last two seasons.