Catholic Central’s season ends in slugfest

LANCASTER – Neither coach expected this – 28 runs, 30 hits and a ton of other scoring opportunities.

Bloom-Carroll defeated Steubenville Catholic Central, 19-9, Wednesday at Lancaster High School in a Division III regional semifinal game.

Bloom-Carroll scored seven in the top of the first and all were unearned as it pressured the Crusaders’ defense from the start.

“I told the girls there was still a lot of softball yet to be played,” said Bulldogs head coach Aaron Alvelo.

He wasn’t kidding.

The Crusaders came back with four in the bottom of the frame and it went from there.

Senior Sammi Giannamore reached on an error and came home when Taylor Clark ripped a two-run homer.

Madeline Gulan followed with a solo blast and it was 7-3.

Both ricocheted off the foul pole.

“We didn’t know much about them,” Alvelo said of the Crusaders. “The only thing I really knew is I read an article about Taylor Clark, their catcher. She lived up to it. She’s the real deal.

“When you leave the ball over the middle of the plate a good-hitting team is going to do something with it. They did. They came out and hit the ball. That’s a testament to them.”

Alex McComb, who took the loss, singled, moved to second on a passed ball and scored when Ashlynne Daley ripped a double to the fence. She finished with three hits.

“I mean this from the bottom of my heart, we played North Canton Hoover and they had four hits and that’s the best Division I team in Ohio,” said coach Alvelo. “They (the Crusaders) are the best hitting team we’ve faced all year.

“They drove the ball as well as anybody. They had a great game plan. They are very disciplined. My hat’s off to them – a great ball team.

“The history of what we do here is we don’t give up a lot of runs and we don’t give up a lot of hits.”

That didn’t happen Wednesday.

“I was really, really happy with what we did offensively,” said Crusaders coach Jim DiCarlo after his squad finished the season at 25-5. “We really worked hard offensively to prepare for this pitcher.”

University of Washington commit Taran Alvelo is also as good as advertised. She fanned 12, but also had to work hard for those other nine outs.

“I’m not sure she has given up nine runs all year,” said DiCarlo, who also stated that he believed her ERA was under one. “I’m happy with our kids because they always battle. They never quit. Down 7-0 after that inning, they could easily have quit on us and on themselves, but, they did not do that.

“We hit the ball hard and sometimes right at them. Sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don’t. I’m really happy with how we hit the ball.

“Off this pitcher, you give up one run and sometimes that’s the ballgame. But, down 7-0 and now it’s 7-4, we had some chances there. A call here, a break there or a bloop here and you never know. Sometimes, it doesn’t bounce your way.

“The game plan was to put the ball in play and take our stride out of it. We did not want to take real elongated swings. We wanted to be short and compact to the ball and stay inside the ball. I thought it worked well. I thought we hit the ball extremely well.

“I was really happy with that. But, then again, when you lose, you’re never extremely happy.

“You have to give them credit. They hit the ball well (finishing with 19 hits, including two three-run homers) and they had a couple of bloopers that fell it.

“Defensively, we surely could have played better and I could have done a better job in calling pitches.”

Micca Mirabella singled to start the second. Giannamore was hit by a pitch and a double steal later Central had runners on second and third. Mirabella scored on a passed ball off a great read and Giannamore scored on Clark’s groundout.

Bloom-Carroll (27-3) did not score in the third inning. It scored three in the fifth and sixth innings thanks to three-run blasts by Alvelo and Kipley Detwiler.

Down 15-6 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, Central scored three times on singles by Clark, Gulan and Megan Lloyd and two Bloom-Carroll errors.

DiCarlo started with the three seniors – Clark, Giannamore and Tori Knight – four years ago.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said the coach. “Tori played every position on the field. She is a very nice defensive player. She did a good job working her way on base for us when she had the opportunity.

“Sammi has had a phenomenal year for us, batting around .450-.500 all year long. She finds a way to get on base and played a good right field for us.

“Taylor played on a leg-and-a-half and hit close to .500. She hit her sixth home run today and finished around 45 ribbies for the year and missed three games and didn’t play a full game in some of the other ones.

“Those three seniors are going to be missed. They laid the foundation, just like last year’s seniors did, for our players in the future.

“If you would have told me in the beginning of the year that we would have finished 25-5, gotten to the regional semifinal, won the OVAC – those are our goals – but I’m not so sure a lot of people would have believed that.

“But, our seniors did and our team did.

“Our kids believe in what we do and we believe in our kids.

“I am extremely proud of this team.”

Bloom-Carroll 19, Steubenville Central 9

Bloom-Carroll 730 233 1 – 19 19 3

Steubenville Central 420 030 0 – 9 11 6

BLOOM-CARROLL (27-3): Alvelo (WP, 12K, 0BB) and Detwiler; Starr 2D, S, RBI; Sells S; Detwiler HR 3RBI; Alvelo 2S, HR, 3RBI; Ireland S; Grover 2S, D, 2RBI; Springer S, D, 3RBI; Silvia 3S; Coffman 2S, RBI.

STEUBENVILLE CENTRAL (25-5): McComb (LP, 0K, 4BB) and Clark; Mirabella S; Clark HR, S, 2RBI; Gulan HR, S, RBI; McComb S; Daley 2S, D, RBI;