MASON – The Region 8 semifinal game between Clinton-Massie and Greenville Wednesday at Mason High School was, as things turned out, over before it officially started.
Claire Carruthers capped a five-run first inning with a two-run home run and Clinton-Massie exacted a measure of revenge on Greenville with an 11-4 win to move into the Division II Elite Eight.
Because the game started approximately 12 minutes early, the Lady Falcons big first inning ended at 1:57 p.m. For all intents and purposes, the game was over.
“I woke up and was like ‘Today is going to be a good day’,” Massie senior first baseman Claire Carruthers said.
She was right.
Clinton-Massie is 25-4 on the year and will meet Jonathan Alder in the Region 8 championship game at Noon Saturday at Mason. The winner goes to the state Division II Final Four.
Carruthers and Victoria Sivert both homered and finished with three runs batted in. Kendall Anderson had three of Massie’s 13 hits. In all, the Lady Falcons had the two HRs and four doubles off Greenville pitching.
As for the Massie pitching, Taylor Florea was in fine form, striking out 10 and walking only one. She did give up nine hits but the Wave was a more than capable hitting team.
“They got in my head last year,” Florea admitted. “This was important to me. I wanted to show them I was a better pitcher than (last year).”
Said Lauer, “As well as she pitched against Eaton (2-hitter), she pitched equally as well today. All of her pitches were working.”
In the first inning, the first three CM batters reached with freshman Natalie Lay doubling home Kelsey Carter with the first run. Two outs later, Anderson drove in a run to make it 3-0. Then Carruthers offered up the early punctuation mark.
“If you were watching that game, that (home run) was a de-flater right there,” Lauer said. “Three runs would have been big but when she hit that home run you could tell … it took the wind out of their sails.”
Sivert ripped her two-run shot in the second as Clinton-Massie extended its lead to 8-1.
In the fourth, Carruthers came back with a run-scoring double for a 9-2 lead.
It was still 9-2 in the sixth. The Greenville crowd was still into the game and the Wave had to be thinking they could get to Florea eventually.
After the first two were retired in the CM sixth, Hailey Clayborn worked a walk and Anderson singled to bring slugger Carruthers to the plate. She didn’t get the chance to add to her RBI total as she was intentionally walked.
Next up Ashlie Miller, the verbal spark to the Lady Falcons squad.
“When they intentionally walked Claire, I told Ashlie that right there should be your motivation,” Lauer said. “They would rather pitch to you than pitch to Claire. She worked a good at-bat and ripped one down the line.”
Miller’s hit scored two teammates and really put the game out of reach with Florea in the circle. Greenville scored two runs in the seventh and strung together four hits but Florea struck out the final batter to set off a wild celebration.
May 23 2018
Div II Region 8 semifinal
@Mason High School
Clinton-Massie 11 Greenville 4
(11) CLINTON-MASSIE (ab-r-h-rbi) K. Carter 4-2-1-0 L. Carter 5-1-1-0 Lay 5-2-2-1 Sivert 4-1-2-3 Clayborn 3-2-1-0 Anderson 4-2-3-1 Carruthers 2-1-2-3 Miller 3-0-1-2 Florea 4-0-0-0 Amberger 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 34-11-13-10
(4) GREENVILLE (ab-r-h-rbi)Gilbert 3-1-2-1 Johnston 0-0-0-0 Petry 4-0-1-0 Cromwell 4-1-2-0 Grote 3-0-1-1 Mayo 3-0-0-0 Wright 3-1-1-0 Shilt 3-1-2-0 Pressnall 1-0-0-0 Shaffer 2-0-0-0 Sowry 1-0-0-0 Davidson 1-0-0-0. TOTALS 29-4-9-2
2B: CM-Lay, Anderson, Carruthers, Miller
HR: G-Gilbert; CM-Sivert, Carruthers
Florea (W) 7-9-4-2-1-10
Shaffer (L) 7-13-11-10-4-1
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports