Tallmadge softball team advances to Division II state semifinals

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The Tallmadge softball team is heading to the Division II state semifinals for the first time since 2009.

The Lady Blue Devils earned another game after posting a 2-0 victory over Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in a regional title game May 31 at Firestone Stadium.

Tallmadge (24-3) is scheduled to play Lima Bath, a 12-3 winner over Maumee, in a Division II state semifinal game June 5 at Firestone Stadium. First pitch is set for 10 a.m.

Right-hander Kirsten Lightel, who has allowed one run in 35 innings since the postseason began, pitched a complete-game four hitter.

She struck out eight batters to improve to 23-2 on the season.

The Lady Blue Devils got on the board in the bottom of the first.

Taylor Phillips led off the game with a walk and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kirsten Lightel.

The play didn't end there.

As Lightel hustled toward first, Irish left-handed pitcher Lexie Handley threw the ball away.

Lightel ended up being safe at first and Phillips went to third.

After Handley got a strikeout for the second out, Joanna Catalano hit a chopper toward the hole.

SVSM shortstop Courtney Johnson made a play on the ball but her throw was just a hair late as Catalano reached on an infield single. Phillips scored on Catalano's hit to make it 1-0.

Tallmadge got its other run on one powerful swing.

Kali Stroud sent a high pitch over the fence in center field for her second home run in regional play. It was Stroud's third homer of the season.

The Irish (18-5) had runners on first and second in the fourth and first and third in the sixth and did not score.

SVSM finished with two errors. Tallmadge had four hits and zero errors.

For more, see the June 8 edition of the Tallmadge Express.

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