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Cardinals walk-off into the Championship Game with 2-1 win over Big-Red

Akron OH- Thursday afternoon saw a clash between the Canfield Cardinals (23-2-2) and Steubenville Big-Red (23-5) for an opportunity to punch their ticket into the OHSAA DII State Championship game. Julianna King took the circle for the Big-Red, countered with Malena Toth for the Cardinals.

Julianna King stepped in to lead things off for Steubenville, working a walk off her pitching counterpart. Sophia Zorne bunted into a popout, turning into a double play as King was caught off the bag at 2nd. Sena Smith struck out, ending the top of the first. King induced a pair of groundouts, the final out being her first strikeout of the night.

Malena Toth was shut down the Big-Red in her second inning of work, striking out the side quickly. A near copycat performance for King in the 2nd, striking out the first two Canfield hitters before a fly out ended the 2nd.

The pitching duel continued, Toth struck out the side for the second consecutive innings, sitting her last eight down all on strikeouts. King ushered another two strikeouts in the third inning, striking out four of her last six.

Toth would provide all three outs in the fourth inning, a pair of strikeouts and groundball hit right back at her to retire the side again. King continued business as usual, earning another strikeout that ended the fourth.

Paige Matteson broke up Toth's no-hitter with a lead off double up the alley in left-center. Sagan Smarrella moved Matteson to 3rd on a groundout. Emily Tuttle's RBI groundout gave the Big-Red their first run of the game. Toth would end the inning on a bunt hit back to her. Canfield needed an answer, but they wouldn't get one in the fifth, two more strikeout for King helped sit the Cardinals down 1-2-3.

Malena responded with a quick three up three down inning of her own in the sixth, including her tenth strikeout of the night. In a pitcher's duel of "anything you can do, I can do better" as King collected another pair of strikeouts in the 6th.

Sophia Zorne worked a four-pitch walk. Toth's eleventh strikeout comes in the 7th. Another double play is turned as Matteson lined out to first, with Zorne being doubled up to end the top of the 7th. A one out single for Gianna Pannunzio broke up Kings perfect game. Hailey Freedy smoked a single past the diving third baseman. A double steal moves the tying and winning runs into scoring position. A passed ball opned the door for Pannunzio to score and tie it up, Freedy made her way to 3rd. Faith Morell layed down a bunt out in front of home plate, bringing home Freedy to walk it off as Canfield punches their ticket into the Chamionship game.

Malena Toth earned the win in the circle, a dominating complete game while only allowing one hit, giving up a run with a pair of walks and eleven strikeouts to boot.


Canfield strung together three consecutive one out hits in the seventh en' route to the win. Gianna Pannunzio, Hailey Freedy and Faith Morell all collected base hits for the Cardinals.


GP: 1-3 R

HF: 1-3 R

FM: 1-3 RBI

Despite the loss, Julianna King held Canfield in check all night. She went six and a third, allowed three hits, gave up two total runs (only one earned) and ten strikeouts.

FINAL LINE: JK (L): 6.1IP 3H 2R 1ER 10K

The Big-Red offense only mustered one hit from Paige Matteson. Julianna King and Sophia Zorne both drew a walk.


PM: 1-3 2B

SZ: 0-2 BB

JK: 0-2 BB


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