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Hoban rolls past softball in title game

By FRANK ACETO Associate Sports Editor Published: May 28, 2017 12:00 AM
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As the season progressed, it was pretty safe to say there was no deficit the Tallmadge softball team could not overcome.

Unfortunately for the Lady Blue Devils, they finally found themselves in a hole they couldn't escape.

Second-seeded Tallmadge's stellar season came to a close after losing to top-seeded Akron Archbishop Hoban 11-1 in 4-1/2 innings.

The Canton Division II district title game took place May 18 at Willig Park in Canton.

The Lady Knights scored seven runs in the bottom of the fourth to put it away. The game was called after 4-1/2 innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

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Tallmadge, which rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat Akron Springfield and a five-run deficit to stun Canal Fulton Northwest in its two previous postseason games, couldn't find its magic that has been so critical to the team's success.

"It was close for three innings," Lady Blue Devils head coach Ed Seeker said. "We had a problem in the fourth inning. They [the Lady Knights] started hitting the ball. We had no answers for their bats."

Starting right-hander Emily Pratt took the loss in the circle. She finished 12-3 in 2017. Left-hander Hallie Mullett also pitched for the Lady Blue Devils (20-6).

"Our pitchers were not on [May 18]," Seeker said. "We made three critical errors in the fourth inning. That's not going to help our cause.

Tallmadge had six hits and three errors. Hoban had 14 hits and no errors.

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"We left some runners on base in the first and second innings," Seeker said. "When you have opportunities like that and you don't get runs across, it hurts you."

Seniors Madison Rearick and Alyssa Garbinsky each had two singles for Tallmadge. Gabbi Gray drove in the Lady Blue Devils' only run with a ground ball.

Pratt and Jordyn Severns had one hit apiece for Tallmadge, which said goodbye to Rearick, Garbinsky and seniors Olivia Ayres and Olivia Carey, who graduated a few hours after the game.

"I think that might have taken away from our play [May 18]," Seeker said. "It takes away from our season.

"It's tough with spring sports. You have so many things going on at the end of the year. They had graduation and their spring trip.

"I would have liked to have the seniors stay around, but they were in a hurry to get home to get ready for graduation. Sometimes, life isn't the way I like it, but that's life."

The Lady Blue Devils had a knack for rallying from deficits late in the game throughout the season. Thanks to its clutch play, Tallmadge shared the Suburban League American Conference title with Highland.

"I think a lot of teams would give their left arm to have the season we had," Seeker said. "We won the league and were runners-up in the district. There are no regrets."

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