KIRTLAND–Haleigh Getchell’s bases-loaded ground-rule double in the bottom of the seventh inning set up Julia Camino’s walk-off single to lead Kirtland to a 7-6 win over visiting Garrettsville Garfield in a Division III sectional championship game on Tuesday at Recreation Park.
The Hornets scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to improve to 13-6 overall and will play defending Division III state champion Warren Champion in a district semifinal at LaBrae High School on Monday.
“That’s playoff ball,” said Kirtland coach Jamie Kamensky of the dramatic finish. “We got ourselves into a situation and never gave up. We battled through and prevailed. From 1 to 16 today, we were solid. Everybody bought in and came in clutch when we needed to.”
Garfield scored two runs in the top of the first inning on a single, a double and an error. Vikki Carriero’s RBI double in the bottom of the inning pulled the Hornets to within 2-1. A leadoff double gave the G-Men a 3-1 lead in the top of the third but Carriero delivered another big hit in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 3-3.
Katie McCollister reached on a bunt single and Emily Ungrady doubled to put runners at second and third with two outs to set up Carriero’s big hit.
The Hornets took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth when Colleen Baldrey led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. She scored on a two-out single by Danielle Davis.
Garfield scored an unearned run in the fifth and two runs on three hits in the sixth to take a 6-4 lead into the seventh.
Ungrady singled to start the Kirtland seventh and Carriero reached safely on a fielder’s choice to put runners at first and second with no outs. Kaitlyn Mancini then hit a hard grounder to the pitcher, who threw to second but couldn’t beat Carriero to the bag, leaving the bases full of Hornets with no outs.
A strikeout later and Getchell stepped into the batter’s box as a pinch hitter.
“Just looking at it, we knew Haleigh could provide the power and was raring to get an opportunity,” Kamensky said. “She came up to the plate focused and took care of her at-bat. She made it work. That was fantastic.”
Getchell hit a 1-1 pitch to the fence in right center. The base umpire originally signaled a walk-off grand slam but after conferring with the home plate umpire changed it to a ground-rule double, which tied the game at 6-6 and left Hornets at second and third with one down.
Camino, who was 0-for-3, then drove a 3-1 pitch the fence in left-center to win it.
“Julia Camino, that kid has come from being tentative to all of a sudden blooming,” Kamensky said. “We can’t ask for anything more. That kid is getting opportunities and handling it.”
Elizabeth Vernon led the Hornets with three hits while Ungrady, Carriero and Davis each had two. Carriero knocked in a team-high three runs and Getchell and Davis both had two RBI.
Ungrady struck out 13 in the win. She now has struck out 10 or more batters in all 10 complete games she has pitched this season.
“That was a good solid win all the way through from top to bottom,” Kamensky said. “We kept our heads today and lived another day.”
- Photo Gallery
- Video Interview: Julia Camino/Haleigh Getchell
- Video: Getchell’s ground rule double
- Video: Camino’s walk-off single