Tallmadge softball team reaches district final

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The top-seeded Tallmadge softball team is heading to the Akron Division II district title game.

The Lady Blue Devils improved to 21-3 on the season after posting a 1-0 victory over second-seeded Revere (18-8) in a district semifinal game May 23 at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

With the win, Tallmadge earned a date with fifth-seeded Cleveland Heights Beaumont in a district title game, which is scheduled for May 24 at the Barberton Sports Complex. First pitch is set for 11 a.m.

The Lady Blue Devils beat the Lady Minutemen three times during the season. The two teams are Suburban League rivals.

Senior right-hander Kirsten Lightel pitched a complete-game three hitter to get the victory. She improved to 19-2 on the season.

Lightel finished with nine strikeouts and issued just one walk.

She also made the difference at the plate.

After Lexi Philen reached second base on a throwing error, Lightel drove in the only run when her hard-hit shot went just over the glove of Revere left fielder Nicole Heckman near the fence.

Philen scored and Lightel went to second for a stand-up double.

Tallmadge finished 1 for 8 with runners on base and did not score despite back-to-back walks to lead off the sixth inning.

The Lady Blue Devils had a runner, who was moving from second to third, tagged out, another runner thrown out at third after a bloop fell to the grass in left field and another runner picked off at first base.

Fortunately, none of that mattered for Tallmadge.

Despite back-to-back one-out singles to right by Marissa Stats and Demi Boyazi and a successful sacrifice by Nicole Heckman to move both runners into scoring position, Lightel got a strikeout on a riseball to end the game.

For more, see the June 1 edition of the Tallmadge Express.

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