ELIDA — The final score isn’t always indicative of how close a game can be.
Such was the case when Columbus Grove bested Lincolnview in Division IV district softball action Wednesday at Dorothy Edwards Field.
The game was tied 1-1 through four and a half innings before the Bulldogs exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fifth for an 8-1 win against the Lancers.
Lincolnview had grabbed an early 1-0 lead as they plated a run in the top of the first thanks to a walk to Lana Carey who came around to score on a double off the bat of catcher Alena Looser.
Grove tied the score with a run in the bottom of the third thanks to a lead-off single by second baseman Madison Nusbaum who came around to score on a double by catcher Danielle Bame.
With both starting pitchers, Amy Beair for Lincolnview and Teyah Sautter for Columbus Grove, sailing along the game stayed tied at one going to the bottom of the fifth inning.
With one out Bame singled and went to third on a single by shortstop Lauren Birkemeier. When Birkemeier broke for second base, the Lancers catcher tried to catch Bame off third and the ball sailed down the left field line with Bame easily scoring and Birkemeier going to third base. Sautter then hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Birkemeier and the Bulldogs led 3-1.
But Columbus Grove (18-4) wasn’t finished.
With two outs and nobody on base the Bulldogs got a walk and then four straight hits to plate four more runs and take a 7-1 lead. The hits were recorded by Emily Watt, Angel Schneider, Jenna Hardeman and Nusbaum.
“We always seem to have trouble getting the third out,” Lincolnview (9-12) coach Brad Doidge said. “They made good adjustments against Amy (Beair) so credit to them; the top of their line-up put a hurting on us.”
Sutter allowed four hits during the first three innings but only two base-runners, on a tough error in the fifth and a walk in the sixth, over the final four innings.
Bame, Nusbaum, Schneider, Hardeman and Tori Warnecke all had two hits to pace the Columbus Grove 15-hit attack.
“Sometimes it takes us a while to get our engines running,” Bame said. “It feels good to get a couple of hits.”
“Sautter pitched a heck of game,” Columbus Grove coach Travis Gallmeier said. “We scored big in an inning which is always nice to see. We were fundamentally sound in the field and good pitching and defense leads to good results.”
The Bulldogs will return to Dorothy Edwards Field Friday at 5 p. m. and will meet the winner of the Ada and Wayne Trace game for the district championship.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.