After Friday’s tie and win at the Ohio Invitational softball tournament, Coventry found itself playing for a trophy on Sunday.
Unfortunately for the Comets, their path to that trophy was blocked by a Brecksville team that had been using the event as batting practice.
The result was an 8-3 loss by the Comets.
Brecksville won Pool IV with a 3-0 record. Other pool winners included Perry (Pool 1), North Canton Hoover (Pool 2), Whitmer (Pool 3) and Eastwood (Pool 5).
Twenty teams participated in the three-day event, held at Firestone Stadium, as well as Logan and Pony Fields.
“I’m really glad we got in this year. T
this is the first year we got in,” said Coventry coach Kristen Young, whose team is 5-5-1. “I only wish it was more like a real tournament, where you have single-elimination after a number of games, but overall I liked it. It was nice to see teams that we don’t normally play.”
One of those teams was Brecksville (9-2), which won its first two games by a combined score of 21-3. Like Coventry, the Bees were making their first appearance at the tournament.
“Some of our girls have played here [at Firestone Stadium] over the summer. It’s a great facility,” said Brecksville coach Rex Mack. “I like this tournament because we get to see great teams like Hoover and Walsh. Lots of great players.”
Brecksville jumped on Coventry in the first inning Sunday. The Comets hurt themselves by misplaying a pop foul, a bunt and an infield single in the inning. The Bees scored twice before runner interference got the Comets out of a bases-loaded jam.
Leading 3-0 in the fourth inning the Bees broke things open as their first four batters singled against Comets starter Cree Daniels. That led to three more runs and a 6-0 lead for the Bees.
“We just gave them too many outs, which gave them too many runs,” said Young. “But other than that, I felt we held it together pretty well.”
The Comets had trouble with Bees pitcher Kristen Lang, one of only three seniors on the team. Lang allowed just four hits and one unearned run in six innings. She struck out 12.
“We battled with the bats,” said Young, “But we never faced a pitcher that throws that fast before. I think we adjusted well and still had some nice hits.”
The Comets finished with seven hits, three of which were doubles by Hailee Sellers, Alex Miller and Daniels. Miller and Amber Thacker (two singles) were the only Comets with multiple hits.
Daniels went the distance and suffered the loss. She allowed 11 hits, but only seven of the runs were earned. She struck out eight.
“She pitched her heart out and kept the batters off balance,” said Young. “I was pleased with her performance.”
Brecksville’s Bailey Frederick pitched the seventh inning, and that’s when the Comets made the most noise. Daniels led off with a double to the left- field wall. Thacker followed with a single.
After a strikeout and groundout, both runners scored on a double by Sellers. But Frederick struck out Miller to end the rally.