BOWLING GREEN — Eastwood may have been nosed out of the Northern Buckeye Conference softball title by Elmwood, but the Eagles took the season rubber match on Saturday, and with it a Division III district championship.
Eastwood (27-3) rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth inning and went on to a 5-2 victory over the NBC champion Royals (22-7) at Bowling Green High School.
This is the second district title for the Eagles, who advanced to the Division II regional semifinals in 2008 before losing to Bellevue.
Eastwood will face Fairview in a regional semifinal at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Brookside Park in Ashland.
“It’s great for the program,” Eastwood coach Joe Wyant said. “I’m happy. Our girls never gave up. We could have packed it up after the first inning. Our kids didn’t.
"They hung tough and put the ball in play. [Elmwood] had to make a couple of mistakes, and we got a couple of hits.”
Trailing 2-0 after one inning, the Eagles’ Cassidy Rolf touched Elmwood pitcher Miranda Benschoter for a solo home run to left-center field in the fourth inning to cut the lead in half.
In the decisive sixth, Ally Gabel and Eastwood pitcher Whitney Foster ignited the rally with singles, and two Royals errors aided their own downfall.
Anna Rahrig brought home the first run on fielder’s choice grounder, and Jessica Young’s subsequent bases-loaded ground ball later in the inning led to the game-winning runs.
Elmwood shortstop Brittany George fielded the ball, but her throw to first was wild and three runners came around to score for the 5-2 lead.
The Royals’ bid for a comeback in the bottom of the seventh ended on a line-out double play started by Eastwood shortstop Mckenzie Albright.
Elmwood got its first-inning runs after singles by George and Olivia Myers. The first run scored on a groundout, the second on an Eagles error.