No. 13 RSM softball beats Westwood to reach regional final
REMSEN — A matchup between Remsen St. Mary’s and Westwood in the softball regional tournament has become a recurring theme over the last several years. RSM won a 2014 regional semifinal game while Westwood had wins in the 2017 regional final and 2019 regional quarterfinal.
The latest postseason matchup between the two squads came Friday in a 1A regional semifinal game with the No. 13 ranked Hawks claiming a 7-2 victory.
A four run third inning for the Hawks proved to be the difference in the contest. Back-to-back doubles and a home run were the big plays of the inning.
An inning-opening error by the third baseman allowed Claire Schroeder to reach, but the Rebels were able to get the the next two batters in the order, the top two in the lineup, to pop out.
The third out proved more difficult to find as Brittany Johnson broke the 1-1 tie with a double and she traded places with Ana Conover who followed with a double of her own. Carmindee Ricke then blasted a shot over the left-field fence to extend the lead to 5-1. It was the first home run of the season for Ricke.
It was the second homer of the game for the Hawks who also got one in the bottom of the first from Carly Ortmann. The round-tripper, her second of the season, tied the score after the Rebels plated the first run of the game on an RBI single from Jaeden Ferris.
RSM pitcher Marina Cronin suffered some control issues in the fourth, giving up a leadoff walk and then hitting a batter. A run eventually came home on a passed ball and Cronin gave up another free pass in the frame, but she was able to escape with just one run coming home by getting strikeouts for the final two outs of the inning, part of her seven total strikeouts in a complete game win.
Cronin buckled down after the fourth inning, facing just one over the minimum in those final three frames with the only baserunner reaching on an error.
The Hawks tacked on insurance runs in the fifth and sixth. Four straight singles led to a run scoring off the bat of Sydney Schroeder in the fifth and Ortmann picked up her second RBI of the game with a base hit in the sixth.
Holly Holtz took the loss for the Rebels in a complete game effort in the circle. She was one of four seniors who played in their final game for Westwood as they finish the year with a record of 18-14.
Remsen St. Mary’s (20-4) will be making their first regional final appearance on Monday since that 2017 loss to Westwood. The Hawks will be in search of their fourth ever state tournament appearance and their first since the 2013 season as they travel to play at War Eagle Conference foe Akron-Westfield (25-2).
RSM lost both meetings with the Westerners this season, a 13-1 defeat at home in the opening week of the season and, more recently, a 4-1 loss in Akron on June 23. The series has been heavily slanted towards the Westerners in recent years as they are 21-1 since the start of the 2011 season. The only RSM win in that timeframe came last season as the Hawks won 5-4 on a walk-off in the only meeting between the teams in the shortened season.