BATH TOWNSHIP — It’s been a great run by the Allen East softball team this spring.
The Mustangs won the Northwest Conference title and was on a roll, heading into Tuesday’s Division III district semifinal game against Patrick Henry.
All season long, opposing teams have struggled to keep Allen East off the base paths.
However, Patrick Henry sophomore pitcher Becca Jones seemed to have the solution to slowing down Allen East’s hitting attack Tuesday night.
Jones scattered six base hits, while striking out eight batters and walking just one, en route to an 8-0 victory over the Mustangs at Bath. Jones threw just 89 pitches in her winning effort.
With the win, Patrick Henry (19-7) will face the winner of tonight’s other semifinal between Tinora and Coldwater, in a district title game at 5 p.m. Friday at Bath.
Allen East (19-4), the No. 1 seed of the district tournament, didn’t help itself on the field either, as it committed five errors.
“We didn’t help out on defense,” Allen East coach Bill Mattevi said. “I will tell you this. … That pitcher there shut us down. We haven’t been shut out all year. She pitched a really nice game.
“We looked at some of the teams they’ve played, and she didn’t have that many strikeouts. She struck out a bunch tonight. It wasn’t that we didn’t come ready to play. She just shut us down.”
Allen East pitcher Ariana Schmiedebusch (16-4) pitched all seven innings. Schmiedebusch scattered just four base hits and struck out nine batters. However, the senior right-hander walked six and hit three batters. She threw a total of 126 pitches.
“When you’re a pitcher and you don’t have the defense, it’s hard,” Mattevi said. “And Arianna is the kind of girl that will take it upon herself and try to win it herself.”
Patrick Henry scored two runs in the top of the first on two hits. An infield error helped pave the way for one of those runs.
In the fifth, Patrick Henry tallied four runs on no hits. The Mustangs committed four errors in the inning.
Patrick Henry added two more runs in the sixth on just one hit. Leah Johns’ two-out single plated both of those runs.
“We were (down) 2-0 going to the fifth inning, and we probably gave them six or seven outs that (fifth) inning,” Mattevi said. “We just haven’t played this bad all year. It just happened to be today.”
Alishia Miller and Summer McCloskey both had doubles for the Mustangs.
Patrick Henry coach Mike Meyer was impressed of the performance of his young pitcher.
“She started the year as our No. 2 pitcher, and has worked her way into our No. 1 pitcher,” Meyer said. “She’s found her change-up, and she’s been able to move the ball in and out, and change her speeds a little bit. I think that really threw them off a little bit. She’s only a sophomore. So, we have two more years with her.”
Added Mattevi, “It’s been a great ride. The girls pulled together all season and played well all season. I’m really proud of them and I wouldn’t take anything back. It’s been a great season.”
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0468.