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Perrysburg sails to district crown

Strong hitting, tough defense lead Jackets


Perrysburg's Kimmy Granata scores against Ashland in the first inning of their Division I final Saturday. Granata had two hits and an RBI for the Yellow Jackets, who will face Elyria on Thursday.

The Blade/Lori King
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TIFFIN -- Perrysburg used a solid pitching performance from Felicia Eisenbrandt and timely hitting from the top of the batting order to defeat Ashland, 4-0 Saturday to capture a Division I district softball championship.

The Yellow Jackets (19-8) advance to the regional to face Elyria at 5 p.m. Thursday at Clyde.

PHOTOS: Prep softball: Perrysburg vs. Ashland

"It was one of our goals that we set at the beginning of the season," Perrysburg senior Cammy Messenger said about earning the regional berth. "I'm just really proud of everyone, we came out ready to play today and it was a huge team effort."

Eisenbrandt scattered five hits and walked one while striking out six. Only two runners reached third base for the Arrows.

"She's been strong for us all season and today was no exception," Messenger said about Eisenbrandt.

Perrysburg made two errors, but was solid on defense when it was needed.

"I thought we did an outstanding job on defense," Perrysburg head coach Ryan DeMars said. "Even after we had a couple of miscues, we refocused and got the job done.

"We got a tremendous pitching performance from Felicia today and her defense was there. Anytime they made a miscue they came back and made a great play. I was very proud of the defense today."

Eisenbrandt said the defense was a great team effort.

"Without them we couldn't have won," she said.

Ashland's hardest hit ball was Sarah Hayes' one-out double to left-center in the first inning.

Eisenbrandt got out of the inning with a strike out and she induced a fly ball to center field.

For Perrysburg, all nine of its hits came from the top five hitters in the lineup with Messenger hitting two singles and driving in two runs. Kimmy Granata hit a single and a double and had an RBI, Katie Dunphy hit a single and a double, and Ty Wilson hit two singles.

"I was real happy with them," DeMars said. "What was really nice is that they necessarily didn't get it all at once. We were able to build on that lead and get contributions from several different players."

The Yellow Jackets scored in the first inning as Granata reached on a single with two out. Messenger followed with a walk and then Eisenbrandt delivered the run with a single.

Perrysburg loaded the bases with a walk, but Ashland's Rachel Ward got out of trouble with a pop-fly foul ball to first base.

In the third, Wilson led off with a single through the drawn-in infield and stole second. Messenger's single scored Wilson.

The first four hitters each had a hit in the fifth inning as the Yellow Jackets added two more runs.

Ashland threw out a runner at home for the first out, but Granata's double and Messenger's single each scored a run.

The Arrows had two runners reach in the third and sixth innings, but could not score.

Ashland got a single with one out in the seventh and Perrysburg turned a double play on a bunt that was popped up to third baseman Mallory Creps to end the game.

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