LAGRANGE — Sinister forces in the cosmos were notably unkind to Elyria on Saturday.
The Pioneers (13-4) lost twice to top-ranked teams as the eighth annual Prebis Memorial Classic wound down at LaGrange Community Park.
They surrendered five unearned runs in the eighth inning of a 7-2 morning loss to North Canton Hoover (19-0), the top-ranked team in Division I.
In addition, pitcher Caitlyn Minney suffered a severe finger injury on her right (throwing) hand when she was hit by a pitch in the second inning.
First baseman Patty Davis was bruised when she was also hit by a pitch an inning later and catcher Haley Looney was unable to work behind the plate in the second game because of a sore hand.
With Minney out of action and Looney playing in the outfield, the Pioneers were mercy-ruled 10-0 by Bloom-Carroll, the No. 1 team in Division III, in an afternoon game. Davis returned to her spot at first base.
Including a 4-1 win over seventh-ranked Walsh Jesuit on Friday, the Pioneers scored six runs on 12 hits, while making five errors for the three-game tournament.
Even so, coach Ken Fenik was not pessimistic, especially after Elyria stayed with Hoover, an old nemesis and six-time state champion, for seven innings.
In fact, Minney, perhaps pitching with a broken finger, returned to the circle and pitched another six innings. The injury is to be evaluated.
“We played very well against Walsh, and Hoover — that was a great game,” Fenik said. “We can play with anybody. We got three hits off one of the best pitchers around (Bloom-Carroll’s Taran Alvelo) and put the ball in play against Hoover. But sometimes our defense is kind of frustrating.
“You know, we’re so close to being a very good team, but until we start playing defense, we’re not going to get there.”
Hoover took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Elyria got one back in the home half of the inning when Davis scored on Marie Masters’ double with one out. The Pioneers tied it in the third when Looney, who walked, scored on Alexis Roseboro’s RBI single.
But they had only one more hit the rest of the way.
In the eighth, two Vikings ran home on a play later scored an error by shortstop Masters. But many observers — including Fenik — thought it should have drawn an interference call on the Hoover runner leaving second base. The play left runners at first and third and set the table for a three-run homer by shortstop Jenna Lilley.
The Pioneers had just three hits against Alvelo, Bloom-Carroll’s star sophomore pitcher, who has orally committed to the University of Washington. The Bulldogs (18-2) scored three runs each in the first and third innings and added four in the fourth.
Piazza wins 300th
It was a milestone day for Keystone coach Jim Piazza on Saturday.
The Wildcats’ 9-0 win over Twinsburg was the 300th of Piazza’s 11-year career. The two-time state champion coach and 2012 national coach of the year improved to 300-38.
“To me it means I’ve had 300 games of winning with some great kids,” Piazza said. “I’ve always told my players since my first day, ‘When we win you win, when we lose I lose.’ I’m blessed to have very dedicated kids and outstanding support from the school and the community.”
It’s been a season of milestones for the Wildcats, who earned the 800th win in school history during an early season trip to Kentucky.
In a cruel twist, Minney was not originally scheduled to pitch against North Canton Hoover on Saturday morning.
Freshman Elizabeth Ellis was supposed to start, but Fenik changed his mind shortly before game time.
Minney was hit on the right hand with a pitch in the second inning. Even pitching in pain with a bruised and swollen finger, Minney went six full innings against Hoover.
“It hurts,” she said later.
Two Lorain County teams had perfect days in the games played at Wellington Recreation Park.
Columbia defeated Highland 8-7 and Sylvania Southview 3-1, while Avon downed Nordonia 7-2 and Wellington 5-2.
at LaGrange Community Park
Keystone 5, Bishop Hartley 4
North Canton Hoover 7, Elyria 2 (8 innings)
Strasburg 3, Twinsburg 2
Holland Springfield 11, Brecksville 2
North Royalton 2, Canfield 1
Bloom-Carroll 5, Poland Seminary 4
Walsh Jesuit 12, Mathews 2
North Royalton 4, Conneaut 0
Mercy (Mich.) 5, Columbus DeSales 2
Notre Dame (Toledo) 4, Central Crossing 0
Bloom-Carroll 10, Elyria 0 (5 innings)
Keystone 9, Twinsburg 0
Conneaut 3, Mathews 2
Columbus DeSales 8, Brecksville 7
North Canton Hoover 10, Central Crossing 0
Bishop Hartley 8, Poland Seminary 4
Walsh Jesuit 4, Strausburg-Franklin 1,
Mercy (MI) 7, Holland Springfield 3
Notre Dame (Toledo) 4, Canfield 3
at Wellington Recreation Park
Strongsville 10, Vermilion 0
Brunswick 12, Wellington 1
Highland 10, North Ridgeville 7
Columbia 3, Sylvania Southview 1
Avon 8, Nordonia 7
Brunswick 10, Vermilion 0
Columbia 12, Highland 7
Avon 5, Wellington 2
North Ridgeville 4, Strongsville 3 (9 innings)
Sylvania Southview 3, Nordonia 1