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by Frank Aceto | Associate Sports Editor
Nick Dadich will be the first person to tell you that he doesn’t handle things well if they don’t go his way.
“I’ve always been a horrible loser,” the Tallmadge Softball All Stars manager said. “Any kid who grew up would tell you that. If I lost, I would say my ball, my game, I’m going home.”
It would be easy to think Dadich wouldn’t have been too pleased Aug. 12.
That’s because Tallmadge, representing the Central region, lost a lopsided 11-1 decision to East champion Robbinsville, N.J., in the semifinals of the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Ore.
Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case at all.
“I have absolutely no regrets,” Dadich said. “The kids can’t be perfect and the coaches can’t be perfect. I never look back. I have never been more at peace after a loss.”
Robbinsville, N.J., which dominated its first three games, cruised to the championship game after posting a lopsided 11-1 victory over Tallmadge Aug. 12 at Alpenrose Stadium in Portland, Ore. The game was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
“We’re just going to enjoy our last game here,” Dadich said. “I want to give the girls who were sitting a little more action. We just want to enjoy the experience. I’m happy with whatever happens.”
Tallmadge, representing the Central Region, still has a chance to capture the bronze medal. Tallmadge is scheduled to play Columbus, Ga., in the third-place game Aug. 13 at 5 p.m. Eastern time.
Robbinsville, the East Region champion, took control, thanks to its aggressive baserunning. Robbinsville stole five bases in five attempts in the first two innings and built a 7-0 lead.
Left-hander Hallie Mullett lasted just two innings and took the loss for Tallmadge. Emily Pratt entered the game in the third and finished the game.
Left-hander Mackenzie Medders got the win in the pitcher’s circle. She also had a triple, drove in a run and scored twice.
Robbinsville took advantage of four walks and two hit batters in the first two innings. It added two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
Tallmadge (14-3) scored its only run on two hits in the bottom of fifth. Gia Spitali led off the inning with a single and eventually scored on a double by Autumn Malicoat.
But Meders struck out the last two batters to end the game.
Tallmadge finished with just three hits.