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HERMITAGE — Miscues led to the demise of the Wilmington High softball team Wednesday.

The Lady Greyhounds committed four errors and two wild pitches in dropping a 7-5 District 10, Class 2A semifinal-round decision to Seneca at the Hermitage Complex Field 1.

Wilmington held a 5-2 lead after four innings.

“It was a tough pill to swallow. Especially coming back and going up 5-2,” Wilmington coach John Frank said. “Then you blow that and you can’t get runners into scoring position later. It was heartbreaking.

“After the first inning, we settled down and the girls did well. That was a lot to do with some jitters.”

Wilmington’s season comes to an end at 16-3.

“We did have a good season,” Frank said. “It wasn’t the way we wanted it to end. But, it just didn’t happen.

“The girls were looking forward to this game. They were loud and they never stopped.”

Seneca advances to the District 10, Class 2A championship game and will meet Sharpsville on Monday.

The Lady Bobcats scored two runs in the first inning courtesy of a pair of errors by Wilmington.

“The first inning, I think, was a lot to do with jitters,” Frank said. “They were a little nervous. Once they settled in, it was go time.”

Faith Jones helped the Lady Greyhounds get a run back in the bottom of the first on an RBI single. Jones then swatted a solo home run in the third inning to tie the game at 2. Jones finished the season with seven home runs.

Kyla Baney and Maelee Whiting delivered back-to-back doubles in the fourth to give Wilmington its first lead at 3-2. The Lady Greyhounds pushed the lead to 5-2 later in the frame when a grounder by Lia Krarup was misplayed, allowing two more runs to score.

“We all thought we had it going on. We were hitting the ball,” Frank said of taking the lead. “The bottom of the order today contributed to the runs we got.

“The top of the order in the first couple of innings was putting the bat on the ball.”

Two wild pitches and an error propelled Seneca to a big inning in the fifth, rallying for a 6-5 lead.

“They had some timely hits in the fifth,” Frank said. “It wasn’t our day.

“Coming back and putting up five runs on them, we thought we had a crack at it. A walk here, a little dinker hit there, you can’t stop stuff like that. It happens. They didn’t quit. I’m very proud of this team and these young ladies.”

Seneca tacked on an insurance run in the seventh for a 7-5 lead.

The Lady Greyhounds got a runner on in the last of the seventh, but she was stranded and Seneca held on for the win.

“There were some hard-hit balls today,” Frank said. “We call them ‘at-em balls’. We just couldn’t advance that runner. It was the way the ball bounces.”

Wilmington posted 11 hits, led by Karah Deal with three. Lia Krarup and Jones added two apiece. Jones added a home run and two RBIs.

Ava Williamson (9-3) started and took the loss. Williamson worked 4 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and six runs — four earned — with two walks and four strikeouts.

Stella Maynard tossed the final 2 1/3 innings for Wilmington. Maynard gave up three hits and one run — earned — with no walks and a strikeout.

Seneca scored two runs in the first, four in the fifth and one more in the seventh.

Wilmington plated a run in the first, one in the third and three in the fourth.

The Lady Greyhounds lose five players — Whiting, Chloe Krarup, Jones, Paije Peterson and Malia Baney — to graduation.

“I am going to lose a great group of girls,” Frank said. “I’ve had them from the time they were freshmen until now.

“I couldn’t ask for a better group of seniors. They’re like my daughters, you’re always with them. They would bend over backwards for coaches. They’re always there to help. Hopefully, that leadership is passed down to the younger girls.”

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Sports Editor

Ron Poniewasz Jr. is the sports editor at the New Castle News. Email him at rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com.

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