CANFIELD OH- District semifinals usually mean higher seeded teams squaring off in much anticipated matchups.  Both United and Gilmour Academy had other plans as each entered Tuesday nights contest coming off upsets in the sectional round.  It was the Lancers who kept proving their march towards a district crown is no fluke as Gilmour Academy defeated United 15-2 in the district semifinals at South Range High School.

Gilmour would strike early in the top of the 1st inning as Laney Klika would leadoff the game, doubling to left center.  Consecutive singles by Allison Schuh and Megam Mlinaric followed by a throwing error gave the Lancers the early 3-0 lead.  The United hitters would answer in the bottom half of the inning. Joshlyn Irey singled following a leadoff walk by Sam Lippiatt and the Eagles were in business.  Tori Firth and Colby Burton would follow with back to back RBI singles cutting the Lancers lead to 3-2.

  The talented Lancers lineup would answer back in the top of the next inning adding 2 runs extending the lead to 5-2. The 3 run lead would prove to be enough moving forward as Gilmour Academy starter Megan Mlinaric (5IP, 5H, 7K) settled in limiting United hitters to just 2 hits the rest of the way.  The Lancers offensively would go on to add 10 more runs including a 3 run Home Run by Mlinaric to seal the five inning victory. 

Tori Firth (5IP, 15H, 3K) took the loss in the circle as she was roughed up by the talented Lancer lineup. The loss for United abruptly ended a very successful campaign that captivated the small town of Hanoverton. 

Coach Matt Zines on the Eagles quick rise this season “Most of our girls do not play year round so we knew we had a big challenge ahead of ourselves if we wanted to compete at the level we believed they could achieve. The improvement came much quicker than we could imagine.  The leadership of our 3 seniors shined through during our early season workouts.”

  The 15 wins posted this season by the Eagles is something Coach Zines hopes helps catapult United softball to greater things moving forward  “The season success legitimizes what we are trying to do as we pushed the girls they were able to see positive results. We have great leaders on this team who have great relationships with our youth program and hopefully one day they come back to United to see a program that has moved even farther forward and be proud they were the start of something special.” 

United returns many faces next year, this experience gained will undoubtedly contribute to their ability to make future seasons just as special.

*Contributed By YSN’s Chris Sigler