CENTERBURG — Pitcher Kassi Davidson fired a two-hit shutout to lift the Northridge Vikings to a 1-0 victory over the host Centerburg Trojans in a Division III sectional semifinal clash between the two Mid-Buckeye Conference rivals on Wednesday.
Centerburg pitcher Lindsey Mapes was touched up for only five hits in another classic pitchers’ duel between these two teams.
“Anytime Centerburg and Northridge have gotten together the past two years, with the excetion of one game, we’ve really had a pitchers’ duel between both teams,” said Centerburg coach Gary Lambert. “It’s like a mini-rivalry. We know that Northridge and Johnstown are big rivals, but we seem to fire up for them and they get fired up for us and it’s good for the conference. The MBC could stand for Most Balanced Competition because this league fights. When we get done, we all shake hands. There’s a lot of sportsmanship among the kids.”
Shortstop Kara Barclay led off the Northridge fourth with a single. She moved up on a sacrifice by first baseman Kim Hazlett. Third baseman Megan Hatfield singled with two out to score Barclay with the only run of the game. Mapes, who struck out eight batters, shut down the Vikings the rest of the way.
“Lindsey has been lights out all year,” said Lambert. “I can’t complain about anything she has done. When you give up one run to an offensive lineup like Northridge puts together in a playoff game, that’s special. When a pitcher knows the pressure is on them, that can really get to them in the circle but (Mapes) just takes it like water off a duck’s back.”
With two out in the sixth, Centerburg second baseman Logan Eppich broke up Davidson’s no-hit bid with a single. First baseman Lexy Helfant beat out a dribbler in front of home plate, with one out in the final inning, for the Trojans’ only other hit.