RUSSIA – Bradford played well in Thursday’s Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional tournament softball game but fell a little short, losing 4-2 to Russia.
Bradford out-hit Russia nine to four in Thursday’s game, but the Raiders were able to take advantage of their opportunities.
“It was a good game,” Bradford coach Shon Shaffer said. “Two good teams. I kind of figured whoever would win this one was probably going to win a couple of them so real disappointing. Really disappointing. I told the girls we hit the ball just as much as they did, but they made the plays. We came up a couple plays short. But I was proud of the way we played. Real proud of the way we played.”
Bradford showed it was ready to play from the beginning when Amanda Brewer tripled in the first inning and scored on a bunt single by Bailey Wysong, giving the Railroaders a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning Russia took a lead with three runs.
After a leadoff single by Grace Saunders and a walk to Claudia Counts, Shea Borchers bunted to put both runners in scoring position. Saunders then scored on a Bradford error to knot the score at 1-1.
After Bradford got the second out of the inning, Katie Swartz walked to load the bases. Lexi Monnin then drove a two-run single into left field to put the Raiders up 3-1.
Bradford pulled within one run in the third inning. Olivia Hart led off with a single, stole second and then scored on a single by Wysong to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
In the bottom of the third Russia scored the game’s final run. Maria Herron singled, advanced to second on a walk to Counts and scored on a RBI single by Jenna Cordonnier to make it 4-2.
Over the next three innings Bradford’s Tatyana Cotrell shut down Russia and only allowed one base runner.
“Tater pitched a really nice game,” Shaffer said. “These guys haven’t been held under five runs very much this year, and we held them twice under five runs. That’s a really good performance by a senior pitcher. She did an excellent job.”
Bradford had four base runners in the final four innings. The Railroaders had opportunities including in the sixth inning when they had two runners in scoring position, but they couldn’t get any more runs across the plate.
Wysong had two hits and drove in both of Bradford’s runs. Brewer had a triple and scored a run, and Hart had a single and scored a run. Ally Booker had a double.
Thursday’s loss marked the end of the high school softball careers of Bradford’s seniors: Amanda Brewer, Ally Booker, Tatyana Cotrell, Olivia Hart and Haley Rosengarten.
Shaffer, who became Bradford’s head coach when the current seniors were freshman, said it was a very special class for him.
“This is my first graduating class that I’ve had since they were freshmen, and I told the girls who special they were,” he said. “I’ll miss them. It was pretty emotional out there.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.