WELLINGTON - Lorain County came away with a split in the OSGO district championship games Saturday afternoon at Community Park.
Columbia downed Valley City 3-0 in one Class D (ages 18 and under) final, while Medina defeated Lorain 10-7 while in the other. Both winners advance to the state semifinals July 24-25 in Champion.
Columbia (14-1) earned its finals berth with an 8-1 semifinal win over Amherst. Valley City (7-4) downed Oberlin 10-1.
However, Columbia pitcher Kalyn Thompson proved to be the difference in the championship game, firing a no-hitter.
Columbia got all the offense Thompson needed in two innings. Crystal Fletchet and Emily Viccarone both came home on passed balls in the fourth, and Heather Walazenski's RBI single in the fifth brought home Columbia's final run.
"I felt great out there today," Thompson said. "My pitches felt really well when I threw them and when they did connect with them my defense stepped up. I have some awesome players out there watching my back and that allows me not to concentrate on throwing the pitch."
That left Valley City with few answers.
"We just couldn't hit today," Valley City coach Rich Sims said. "We hadn't seen this pitcher before and she made us pay for it. When we did make contact with the ball their defense was exceptional. Columbia is a very good team fundamentally and it showed out there today."
Medina's win surprised even its coach, Ron Randall, who thought his team had no chance after it warmed up for a morning semifinal against Midview North.
"I thought we were done before we even started," Randall said. "We got here first thing and looked flat. I didn't think we would even win our first game and then we win it in five innings because of the 10-run rule.
"After that we seemed to get a little boost and I felt a little better. But we fell behind 2-0 in the first inning of the championship and I felt we were in trouble. But the girls were resilient and fought back to grab the lead and hang on for the win."
Lorain (9-5), which defeated South Amherst 11-4 in its semifinal, jumped to the early lead against Medina in the first inning when Lauren Kokinda's RBI single brought home Jennee Perry. Kokinda scored on an error, stolen base and passed ball to give Lorain a 2-0 lead.
Medina (10-5) answered in the top of second inning when Paige Kovalcik's single brought in Kelly Isabella. Medina grabbed the lead in the top of the third as Nikki Casper opened the inning with a walk and successive singles by Caitlin Soltis, Jazmyne Howard and Haley Jividen brought in a pair of runs. A sacrifice fly by Isabella brought in Jividen for a 4-2 lead.
In the fourth inning, the rising temperature and lack of bench players started to take its toll on Lorain. After Kovalcik led off with a single to left-center, a bunt by Sam Sorrell was misplayed, allowing Kovalcik to score easily. Sorrell ran to third and scored on another bad throw, making the score 6-2.
"We started feeling it midway through the game," Lorain coach Denny Myers said of the heat. "We only had nine players, including only one pitcher (Lauren Kokinda) who had to pitch both games. I don't think our girls ever quit but it was too much to overcome."
Not that Lorain didn't try to rally. Trailing 10-4 in the bottom of the seventh, Lorain scored three runs to cut the deficit in half with two outs. However, Nikki Kent was thrown out at home on a single to left field by Angelica Fletcha to end Lorain's hopes and the game.
"I was a little nervous in the seventh inning," said Medina pitcher Emily Boggs, who pitched both games. "They got a few hits off me there but our defense held strong. On a day like today a pitcher is only as good as their defense and today my defense helped me out."
Contact Hans Schneider at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.