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June 16, 2019

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Bluffton earns first-ever Northwest Conference softball title

Pirates beats Allen East for 18th straight win

By Cort Reynolds
BLUFFTON - Host Bluffton whipped Allen East 14-5 in the Northwest Conference softball season finale to win an outright league championship Wednesday evening.

The Lady Pirates won for the 18th consecutive game to improve to 19-1 overall. Bluffton finished 8-0 in the NWC and won the crown by a game over Crestview (7-1). AE fell to 15-5 and 5-3 in the NWC with the loss.

Pirate junior pitcher Libby Schaadt improved to 17-1 with her 16th win in a row. She scattered nine hits and allowed two earned runs, but her scoreless inning streak was snapped at 41 in the second frame. Schaadt also struck out eight and walked none.

Bluffton jumped on top 3-0 in the first inning as Schaadt belted a three-run homer, her seventh round-tripper of the season.

AE scored once in the top of the second frame to make it 3-1, but the Pirates broke it open with six runs in the home half of the second.

Two more Pirate runs in the bottom of the third inning extended the lead to 11-1. AE avoided a run-rule shortened loss by plating two runs in the fourth, then tallied two more in the sixth to inch within 11-5.

But Bluffton pushed three runs across the plate in the home half of the sixth to build the lead back to nine. Schaadt then shut out the Mustangs in the seventh to clinch the title.

The Pirates out-hit AE, 14-9. Schaadt aided her own cause by slugging a homer and driving in four runs.

Katie Prater smacked a double, hit two singles and had two runs batted in.

Averey Rumer collected three hits and scored three runs. Brinkley Garmatter contributed two hits, two runs and three RBI.

Bluffton made five errors while AE played error-less defense.

Mustang hurler Olivia Lawrence gave up 15 hits and 14 earned runs. She walked three and struck out four in a losing effort. Lawrence knocked out two singles.

Abigail Whitley hit two singles and drove in two runs for the Mustangs. Alivia Craig doubled and scored twice, while Summer McCloskey singled in two runs and scored two runs.

    123    456    7    R    H    E
AE     010    202    0     5    9    0
Blf     362    003    x    14    15    5
WP-Schaadt (17-1)    LP-O. Lawrence
2B-Prater (B), Craig (AE)
HR-Schaadt (B)

Top-seeded Bluffton hosts ninth seed Leipsic in the Div. IV Findlay sectional finals Thursday, May 9 at 5 p.m. The Viking girls defeated Cory-Rawson 14-4 in the first round Monday, while the Pirates had a bye.

The winner advances to the Findlay district semis Wednesday, May 15 at Marathon Diamonds vs. the Carey/Riverdale winner.

Third seed Carey was the only team to beat Bluffton in the regular season back on March 26 by an 8-2 score.

The Findlay district finals are set for Friday, May 17, at 6 p.m.

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