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One lasting memory

Edison closes home field with fourth straight sectional title

Joe Catullo CELEBRATING — The Edison softball team celebrates its 5-1 victory over Garaway on Thursday to claim a Division III sectional title.

RICHMOND — Whoever makes fewer mistakes more often than not will win any game.

Such was the case for Edison during its Division III Eastern sectional championship against Garaway on Thursday.

Katie Fluharty tossed another gem, while the offense did most of its damage during a four-run second inning, and the second-seeded Wildcats closed their field at Jefferson Lake State Park with a 5-1 victory for their fourth consecutive sectional title.

“The whole idea is to win and advance. It doesn’t matter how,” Edison head coach Spencer Bendle said. “Most games, the team that makes the least amount of mistakes will win. That proved to be the case (Thursday).”

With one out in the bottom of the second frame, a costly error by Garaway (10-17) loaded the bases for Edison (17-8). Alayna Meadows then stepped to the plate and hit what should have been a routine ground out to third.

However, the incoming throw sailed over catcher Meghan Petitte, and Kiley Babel was safe. Next batter up, Becka Evans lined a rare opposite-field three-run single for a 4-0 advantage.

“I was a little disappointed in our offense, especially in the top half of the order. Maybe pitch selection wasn’t quite where it needed to be,” Bendle said. “But, the bottom of the order came through for us. Evans had some good at-bats.”

The Wildcats tacked on an insurance run in the fifth. Audrey Scott began with a screaming double to right field. She later reached third with two outs and crossed home plate on Mychi Stewart’s single.

With Edison leading 5-0 heading into the sixth, Fluharty was flirting with a no-hitter.

Then, with a runner on first and two away, Janell Mast lined a shot up the middle for the Pirates’ first base knock. One pitch later, Isabelle Tetreault delivered with an RBI single.

Fluharty limited the damage by striking out the next hitter.

In the top of the seventh, Fluharty allowed a one-out walk but did not allow her to reach second.

“She walked a few more batters than she has the last four or five games,” Bendle said. “She’s been getting by with just one or two at the most. But, I thought Garaway had a lot of good at-bats. It may not show in terms of hits or producing runs. They were very disciplined, especially in the top half of the order.”

Fluharty finished with four walks allowed and 11 strikeouts following 15 punch outs during the sectional semifinal on Monday.

“I thought the girls battled offensively. We just couldn’t square it up,” Garaway coach Rick Johnson said. “(Fluharty) did a good job with her movement. What I saw were a lot of screwballs that had great movement. She also had a decent rise ball that had us looking.”

On the other side, Tetreault was the hard-luck loser. She allowed one earned run on five hits, four walks and struck out a pair in the complete-game effort.

“Overall, I thought our girls fought extremely hard,” Johnson said. “Their effort level was there. We had that one bad inning where we allowed four runs. The other six was a 1-1 ballgame.

“I’m very happy with how far these girls have come along. We started off 0-8 and fought in the sectional championship. I think we have a very bright future.”

All five of Edison’s hits came from five different players. Maddie Brenstuhl doubled, while Savanna Ankrom singled. Stewart drew two free passes to go along with her RBI hit.

CLOSING THE DOORS

The Wildcats took a team photo after the game to commemorate the moment of winning a sectional title in the final game at Jefferson.

“It’s settled in a little bit. I didn’t get here earlier, but I probably got here a little earlier than I had to be. We just have to enjoy it,” Bendle said.

This time next year, Edison will play on a new turf field near the high school. The plan is to still have summer ball and Little Leagues compete at Jefferson rather it shut it down.

SCOUTING REPORT

While Edison won on Monday, No. 9 seed Garaway had to wait until Tuesday to defeat sixth-seeded Ridgewood to advance to Thursday. It was supposed to be held Monday but was postponed due to inclement weather.

Because of the change, the Wildcats were able to attend the game and scout the Pirates.

“We got to see them twice before. I don’t know if it was more of an advantage or not,” Bendle said. “What it comes down to is the players have to play the game. Whoever plays the best that day typically is the winner. That’s why you can’t take any opponent lightly.”

UP NEXT

Garaway: Plans on playing Friday and Saturday to close its season.

Edison: Tentatively challenges fourth-seeded Tuscarawas Valley at 5 p.m. Monday to open districts. The site is TBA. Tusky Valley bested No. 5 seed Cambridge, 13-1, on Thursday.

Edison 5, Garaway 1

Garaway 0-0-0 0-0-1 0 — 1 2 2

Edison 0-4-0 0-1-0 x — 5 5 1

GARAWAY (10-17): Tetreault (LP, CG, 5R (1ER), 5H, 4BB, 2K) and Petitte. Mast S; Tetreault S, RBI.

EDISON (17-8). Fluharty (WP, CG, 1R, 2H, 4BB, 11K) and Evans. Brenstuhl D; Ankrom S; Scott D; Stewart S, RBI; Evans S, 3RBIs.

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