Saint Francis Softball falls in elimination game to Depaul to end season

Sports
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Saint Francis saw its season end Saturday, losing to Depaul 3-1 in the Ann Arbor Regional. Here is a recap courtesy of sfuathletic.com

Saint Francis started the game with all the hitters making contact but every hit ball found a glove as the Red Flash were retired in order.

Christina Clark (Avon, Ohio/Avon High School) started in the circle for the Red Flash and walked the first hitter on four straight pitches. Another walk places runners at first and second and opportunity for DePaul. After a mound visit and comforting words from her teammates, Clark rallied to induce a pop-up and a grounder to end the damage.

The Red Flash entered the second inning seeking to score but the bats remained silent as a grounder by Norton was slowed by the pitcher, Kassidy Troxell’s (Navarre, Ohio/Perry) grounder was collected by the shortstop, and Mikayla Bower (Williamsport, Pa./Williamsport) struck out looking.

DePaul had the game’s first hit when Scalzitti smacked a single to center field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Clark left her stranded at second by obtaining a swinging strikeout and a weak pop-up to first.

In the top of the third inning, two quick outs were made after Jordan Frank (DuBois, Pa./DuBois Central Catholic) grounded out and Tavyon Rousseau’s line drive was snared. Halle Marion (Middletown, Pa./Middletown) drew a four pitch walk and Saban singled to right field. Marion moved to third and Saban went to second on the throw. Cheyenne McKee (DuBois, Pa./DuBois) came to the plate with the chance to draw first blood but a sharp grounder went right to the shortstop and the frame concluded with two stranded Red Flash runners. 

The Blue Demons ventured no threat to the Red Flash in the bottom of the third inning as Clark continued her dominance in the circle adding her second strikeout of the game.

Krista Dalgran kept pace with Clark as she shut down Saint Francis by retiring Sierra McKee (DuBois, Pa./DuBois), Hayley Norton (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove), and Kassidy Troxell (Navarre, Ohio/Perry) in order to keep the shutout going.

DePaul broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning with the game’s first run. Polucha laced a double into the left-center gap and a follow up single just avoided Saban’s lunging reach to drive in the runner. An unfortunate quirk occurred when DePaul’s Viles hit a two-run homer for her first career bomb. A throwing error by Saban gave DPU a runner on first and a single chased Clark from the game. Bower departed from first base to enter the circle and Allyn Bezjak (Uniontown, Pa./Albert Gallatin High School) arrogated duties at first.  Bower’s appearance paid immediate dividends as she induced an infield fly and a strikeout to halt the DePaul advance.

The Red Flash picked up its first run of the regional courtesy of Saban’s sizzling single into center field. The opportunity was set up by Rousseau reaching on a fielder’s choice and Marion drawing her second walk of the game. Cheyenne McKee (DuBois, Pa./DuBois) followed up the hit by working a walk to load the bases for twin sister Sierra McKee (DuBois, Pa./DuBois). Sierra’s resulting fly ball had hope but it hung far enough for the DePaul right fielder to run over and make a catch.

Bower returned to the circle and kept the deficit at two runs despite taking a laser off the leg. The senior shook off the pain to induce the third out.

Saint Francis made solid contact in the top of the sixth inning but DePaul leather proves too alluring for the flying spheres and SFU is retired in order.

Bower kept the Blue Demons down by retiring them without yielding a run to keep the score at 3-1 entering the seventh inning.

Frank popped up to the shortstop and Rousseau hit a screamer to the wall that the DePaul center fielder tracked down for the second out. The Red Flash received additional life after the shortstop mishandled Marion’s grounder. However, Saban grounded out to end the game, regional, and season.

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