BRADFORD – Bradford used a 14-hit offensive attack combined with the pitching of Tori Smith to defeat an inexperienced Mississinawa Valley team 10-0 in five innings in the first round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional softball tournament.
Three Lady Roaders led the scoring assault. Leadoff batter Olivia Hart, who is a three-year varsity starter, did the most damage. Hart was 2-for-4, scored three runs and drove in four others. Smith, the No. 3 batter, went 3-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt, and Hannah Fout had her best game of the season by going 3-for-3 with two runs scored, a RBI and a stolen base.
“I would have liked to have hit the ball better today,” Bradford coach Shon Shaffer said, “but their pitcher kept our hitters off-balance.”
Bradford’s Smith would silence the Lady Blackhawk bats on this afternoon. She struck out four, walked none and allowed no runs in five innings of work. She had outstanding command of all of her pitches.
“She (Smith) threw strikes,” Coach Shaffer said. “She was on today. She was hitting spots and moving the ball around.”
The Lady Roaders scored a single run in the first and added four runs in the second when seven of the first eight hitters reached via a hit. After adding another single run in the fourth Bradford would finish the game by plating four runs in the fifth, the last on a double steal that included a steal of home.
MV played this season with an extremely young roster of players. The only two upperclassmen were seniors Leslie Dirksen and Grace Livingston. The rest of the team consisted of freshmen and sophomores.
“Hats off to Bradford,” Lady Blackhawks coach Jeff Adams said. “They are a good hitting and sound fundamental team. We had to play close to perfect to get the win today. We made some mistakes today. With a team like Bradford, or any team in our conference, if you make mistakes they will make you pay. We’re a young team. Overall for their season I thought the girls did a wonderful job.”
Bradford moves on in the sectional tournament Thursday when the Lady Railroaders visit Houston.