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Falcons come close, but fall in ninth

May 17, 2011
By Nik Zirounis
A funny thing happened on the Fitch softball team’s journey through the Division I state tournament.

Actually, it was not as funny as it was familiar. Fitch’s game against Canfield in the opening round of the playoffs was suspended due to rain. With the score tied at one each after one inning, the storms started and the softball sectional semifinal was suspended. Bad weather has been commonplace to all teams in the area since the start of this season and what happened to the Lady Falcons last week was just another unfunny joke played by Mother Nature. The game was finally finished on Monday, May 16 and the result for the Lady Falcons was as frustrating as having to play in cold, damp conditions. Canfield clipped the Falcons 4-3 in nine innings to knock the Austintown girls out of the tournament.

When the game resumed in the second inning, things looked fabulous for the Falcons. Tori Wise started the top of the second with a solo homerun putting Fitch on top 2-1. That lead would increase to 3-1 when Carly Ortz clubbed a homer of her own one inning later. Uncharacteristically, that lead would not be enough for Fitch starting pitcher Amanda Callahan. The usually calm Callahan perhaps felt the pressure of the sectionals by giving up single runs in the fourth and sixth inning to let Canfield tie the game. In the bottom of the ninth, Callahan walked Laura Beck to lead off the frame. Beck advanced to third base on a passed ball and on a sacrifice bunt then scored the winning run on another passed ball. Overall, Callahan gave up four runs, 11 hits, five walks, one wild pitch and one hit batter. The senior did strike out six in her complete game performance. She was also not helped much by six errors by the Fitch defense. Meanwhile, Fitch’s offense could only muster two other hits besides the pair of round trippers.

The loss to Canfield was Fitch’s ninth this season in 15 games. At least, the Falcons earned their second win of the season inside the Federal League on May 9 as a consolation prize for the week. Fitch kept Canton McKinley winless in the league with an 8-4 victory last Monday at home. With the game tied at three in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Falcons exploded for five runs to put down the Lady Pups. Six different Falcons picked up RBIs with Mackinzee Barnes leading the way with two ribbies on a triple and a single. Amanda Callahan and Alana Callahan had RBI singles as did Megan Carney. Alex Corradi was the sixth Fitch hitter with a run batted in. Ortz may not have knocked in a run, but she did collect two hits. Callahan mastered McKinley with nine strikeouts. The only inning which gave the Fitch pitcher trouble was the top of the fourth when the visitors pushed across three runs.

Fitch’s Federal business is still not complete with games yet to be played against Massillon Perry, Massillon Jackson, Boardman and Canton GlenOak. That does not count any other make up games that need to be rescheduled. Of course, none of those games will be played on time if the jokes keep coming from above.

Article Photos

Photos by Mike Capps, Town Crier correspondent
Austintown’s junior left fielder Brianna Banko runs under a deep hit ball for the catch against Canfield in a Division I playoff at Boardman’s Fields of Dreams on Monday. The Falcons came up short, 4-3.



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