GIBSONBURG – Lincolnview’s dream of a return trip to Akron to play in the state softball tournament for a second year in a row ran into an undefeated obstacle on Wednesday.
Hopewell-Loudon, winner of 29 straight games this season, handed the Lancers a 9-1 loss in a Division IV regional semifinal at Gibsonburg High School.
After four innings Lincolnview trailed only 1-0, but Hopewell-Loudon took control of the game with a 3-run fifth inning followed by a 5-run sixth inning. The Chieftains sent eight batters to the plate in the fifth and 10 in the sixth.
A three-run double by Kylee Malagon in the sixth and a two-run double by Taryn Hampton in the fifth were possibly the biggest of the 10 hits Hopewell-Loudon got.
Lincolnview had just two hits in the game and was held hitless until the sixth inning by Hopewell-Loudon pitcher Isabelle Beidelschies (13 strikeouts, 1 walk). The Lancers’ run came in the sixth inning when Allie Miller reached base on a fielder’s choice and scored on Makayla Jackman’s double. Addyson Stevens’ single to lead off the seventh inning was Lincolnview’s other hit.
In addition to struggling to put the bat on the ball, Lincolnview had four errors – two in the fifth inning and the other two in the sixth inning.
Lincolnview made its third consecutive trip to a softball regional. It was a regional semifinalist in 2021 and state runner-up last year.
“Not one of those girls should hang their heads. They’ve been to the regionals three straight years. There are teams and girls who would love to be here. We made a deep tournament run and that’s what we will keep working toward,” Lincolnview coach Eric Schwab said.
“What was it, 1-0? We were right in there for a while,” he said.
Hopewell-Loudon is no stranger to regional tournaments, either. It lost 6-5 to Hillsdale Jerome in a regional championship game last season and had getting back to the regional as one of its goals this season.
Hopewell-Loudon coach Tony Malagon said, “We talked to the girls about how we always seem to find a way to have a big inning and to just try to be patient, make some adjustments and try to get a couple runs.
“We felt with Izz on the mound that might be all it takes. She’s lights out most times. You can always bet on her,” he said. “One through nine were tough outs. You can’t fall asleep in the middle or bottom of our lineup. They’re all capable,” he said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.