HS softball: Hoover, Strasburg capture state titles in Akron

1:16 PM, Jun 9, 2013   |    comments
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Four Northeast Ohio high school softball teams played in state title games on Saturday at Firestone Stadium in Akron, and two brought championships back to their respective schools.

North Canton Hoover shut out Elyria 7-0 to win the Division I title and capture the program's seventh state championship.

Strasburg-Franklin followed the Vikings' win with a 7-4 victory against North Robinson Colonel Crawford in the Division IV title tilt to win the program's seventh state championship.

Columbia lost 3-2 to Bloom-Carroll in the Division III championship game

Division I title game recap courtesy Ohio High School Athletic Association

Undefeated, top-ranked and two-time defending state champion North Canton Hoover scored four times in the sixth inning to pull away from third-ranked Elyria en route to a 7-0 win Saturday in the OHSAA Div. I softball state championship at Akron Firestone Stadium.

The Vikings (34-0) now have won seven state titles, which is second-most all-time in Ohio behind Akron Springfield's nine championships. Hoover's other titles came in 2012, 11, 08, 06, 99 and 98 and their 14 state tournament appearances are tied for most all-time. The 2013 Vikings are the first big-school team (AAA or Division I) to go undefeated and are the sixth team to win back-to-back-to-back championships

Junior pitcher Tara Thacker (22-0) allowed just three hits and struck out six Elyria batters in notching a shutout. She also doubled and drove in three runs. Freshman Andrea Farrah had three hits and two RBI.

Elyria (27-6) was making its 10th state tournament appearance, which is the most among big schools (AAA or Division I) and takes home the state runner-up trophy for the fourth time to go along with two titles.

Division IV title game recap courtesy Ohio High School Athletic Association

Third-ranked Strasburg-Franklin overcame a pair of deficits and plated the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on its way to a 7-4 win over North Robinson Colonel Crawford and the Division IV state championship Saturday at Akron Firestone Stadium.

Now with seven state titles, the Tigers (30-5) become the fourth school in OHSAA softball history to earn seven or more championships, joining Akron Springfield (nine), Tallmadge (seven) and North Canton Hoover (seven). Strasburg, which was making its state record-tying 14th state tournament appearance, also won state titles in 2011, 09, 91, 89, 88 and 87.

After knocking off No. 1 and undefeated Covington in the semifinals Friday, Strasburg took an early 2-0 lead Saturday with a pair of runs in the first inning, but Colonel Crawford senior Kendra Hudson launched a three-run home run to give the Eagles (19-10) a 3-2 lead. The two teams traded single runs over the next couple innings until the Tigers' big sixth inning outburst, with all three runs being unearned.

Senior Karly DiBacco had two hits and two runs batted in for Strasburg, while junior pitcher Kristina LaRocca (27-5) struck out eight and scattered five hits.

Division III title game recap courtesy Ohio High School Athletic Association

No. 1 Bloom-Carroll scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, then hung on after Columbia Station Columbia scored twice in the top of the seventh inning to win the Division III state title, 3-2, Saturday at Akron Firestone Stadium.

After finishing as the state runner-up last year, Bloom-Carroll (29-3) wins its third championship after taking home back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.

Bloom-Carroll sophomore pitcher Taran Alvelo struck out 12, walked none and allowed only three hits. Freshman Mckenna Coffman provided the big hit in Bloom-Carroll's three-run fifth inning with a two-run single, while junior Katie Silvia drove in the other Bulldog run.

Fifth-ranked Columbia (29-5) was making its first trip to the state tournament and was playing in the school's first state championship game in any sport. Senior Christine Lyzen belted a two-run double to account for the Raiders' runs in the seventh inning.

For more Northeast Ohio high school sports news, scores, photos and videos, visit usatodayhss.com/Cleveland.

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