AKRON — Heading into the postseason with a losing record? That’s nothing new for Woodridge softball. In fact, the Bulldogs came into last year’s playoffs with a losing record and made it all the way to the regional finals.
Woodridge didn’t forget that run as it returned to Firestone Stadium Tuesday — and neither did Crestwood, as the Bulldogs beat the Red Devils 6-3 in last year’s district final. Thus, was Crestwood thinking revenge?
"That was one of incentives for this game," said Crestwood coach LeRoy Moore.
Crestwood got its revenge Tuesday, as the Red Devils scored a 2-0 win over Woodridge in a Division II district semifinal.
Woodridge finished its season at 10-15.
The game was an old-school pitchers’ duel between Crestwood freshman Mikayla Berquist and Woodridge senior Caitlin Raid. Each pitcher allowed only three hits in game.
While Berquist wasn’t part of last year’s game, her teammates made sure she knew its importance.
"I heard we lost last year, so we had to get them back," Berquist said. "My curveball was working today. My fastball had some movement on it at the end."
Berquist wasn’t overpowering, but she went the distance, allowing three hits and two walks with three strikeouts. However, Crestwood’s defense was flawless on the night, particulary in the infield.
"She did a great job holding her composure and making her pitches count," Moore said of Bequist. "Having a solid defense behind a pitcher does a lot for her confidence. We didn’t have any errors tonight with as many ground balls as they hit"
Crestwood did all of its damage in the bottom of the first inning. Center fielder Camille Gibler walked and shortstop Angie Masiello hit a bad hop single behind the mound. Gibler scored on a groundout by third baseman Maci Head and Massiello scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.
That would be it for the Red Devils, as Raid kept them off-balance the rest of the game. Raid (10-9) also went the distance, allowing three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Woodridge also played error-free ball.
"We had runners on second early, but we just couldn’t get anybody home," said Woodridge coach Dan Schneider said. "If we can put runs on the board, the whole came changes. It could have gone either way today."
Woodridge got a two-out double from first basemen Madison Randall — the game’s lone extra-base hit — in the third inning, but Berquist then got shortstop Brayden Wigal to ground out to end the inning.
In the fifth inning, Woodridge got a pair of singles from second baseman Kendal Gregory and right fielder Abby Bergdorf. With two outs, Randall hit a smash, but it went right to the third baseman to end the inning.
Woodridge had a glimmer of hope in the seventh inning when left fielder Megan Stanfield drew a two-out walk. However, Berqist struck out Bergdrof to end the game.
The contest was the final game for Raid, Wigal, Mansfield and Julia Beatty. Schneider noted Raid and Wigal leave as four-year letter winners and both will leave big legacies within the program.
"It’s tough for Caitlin and all of our seniors," Schneider said. "We had some bright spots this year. Wigal more than doubled our school home run record this year. She had 11 homers this year. The previous record was five."