WARSAW – Timely hitting propelled top seed John Glenn throughout the season.
Unfortunately, the Muskies couldn’t deliver on Thursday in a 4-1 loss to Dover in the Division II district championship game at River View.
Trailing 1-0 entering the sixth inning, John Glenn (25-3) mustered just one run despite loading the bases with one out. Lexi Baker laid down a bunt with the bases loaded to bring home Taylor Hill, who beat the throw home.
However, Dover pitcher Maggie Cathey escaped the jam. She overcame a 3-0 count to strikeout Jordan Pethtel, then Kate Bass followed with a fly out to deep center field to end the threat.
John Glenn also had two runners on with one out in the first, but Dover shortstop Kelsey Brass made a diving catch on a line drive, turning it into a double play to end the inning.
The Muskies then stranded runners at the corners in the second.
“We just never got our offense going up here,” John Glenn coach Randy Larrick said. “We didn’t get it done offensively. We had opportunities with runners on in nearly every inning, but we didn’t get it done.”
The Tornadoes (22-7), who stranded runners at second and third with one out in the second, broke through in the fourth. Brass hit a one-out double to the gap in right field then came home on a two-double from Olivia Belknap.
After John Glenn tied the game at 1, the Tornadoes answered with a three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Megan May and Brass hit one-out singles, and Belknap drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Audrea Beamer, the No. 8 hitter, then walked to bring home May, and Cathey blooped a single off the shortstop’s glove, scoring two for a 4-1 advantage.
Cathey retired the Muskies in order in the seventh to seal the victory. She allowed five hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Bass took the loss, scattering six hits with four strikeouts and three walks, while Bre Tetirick and Alli Hylton each had two singles for the Muskies.
John Glenn loses five seniors — Bass, Kerrie Dolick, Natalie Wahl, Taylor Hill and MacKenzie Prater — and all of them were at least three-year starters.
“The seniors played well and accomplished a lot,” Larrick said. “This loss is tough for the seniors, and it’s a hard one to swallow. They will be tough to replace.”
Dover advances to face Lancaster Fairfield Union in the regional semifinal at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Pickerington Central.