Suffering six straight losses was not exactly how head coach Dan Schneider wanted his Woodridge softball team to enter the postseason tournament.
However, two close defeats to Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Springfield did just that.
Fourth-seeded Woodridge will take a 9-14 overall record and a 5-8 division mark into its home matchup with fifth-seeded Streetsboro in a Akron Division II sectional final. The game was originally set for May 11, but was postponed to May 15 at 4:30 p.m.
With a win, Woodridge would have advanced to play a district semifinal game against the winner of top-seeded Revere and ninth-seeded Beaumont School May 19 at 5 p.m. at Firestone Stadium in Akron.
Woodridge fell behind in both games against Springfield. Late rallies fell short each time, the Bulldogs falling 4-2 May 8 on the road and 8-6 May 9 at home on Senior Night.
In the first game the Spartans scored a run apiece in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings for a 2-0 lead.
Woodridge tied the game in the top of the sixth before the home team answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the frame. Both runs were scored on an error and with two outs.
Megan Stanfield led the way for Woodridge at the plate. The sophomore had two singles and a run.
"We've been starting Megan in left field for a few games on defense as a flex player while someone else was hitting for her," said Schneider. "We decided to give her a chance to hit for herself and she delivered, showing us she should be given a chance to hit for herself in the future."
Junior second baseman Cassie Riebau had a double, RBI, and scored her team's other run.
Senior shortstop Mackenzie Mercer and her classmate Ally Rohrer each singled. Mercer also knocked in a run.
Junior catcher Sage Jenkins drew a walk.
On the mound, sophomore Caitlin Raid went the distance, yielding seven hits while striking out four and walking three.
In the second game Springfield was up 1-0 after an inning, the Bulldogs tied it in the second inning, and then the Spartans tallied a run in the third and two each in the fourth and fifth for a 6-1 lead.
Woodridge refused to die, scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull within 6-5. That's as close as they got, however.
"We had 3 errors, and, like the day before, they cost us," Schneider said.
Raid went the distance again, giving up a dozen hits while fanning five.
"Caitlin pitched pretty decent," said Schneider. "They have a pretty good hitting team, but they did get some bloopers."
Raid helped her own cause with a double, single, two RBIs and two runs.
Senior outfielder Mary Bates, junior first baseman Sydney Shaheen, Rohrer and junior Sophia DeBord each singled and scored. DeBord also knocked in a run. Rohrer walked twice and Bates walked once.
Jenkins and senior outfielder Marissa Horn each singled.
Mercer had two RBIs and freshman Kilah Neal had a stolen base.