ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – The Rocky River Pirates returned to the diamond after a weather-induced, nine-day layoff, and the Maroon & White did so in style, picking up a district bracket victory on Tuesday.
Powered by a Marissa Smiley home run and a key second-inning error by the Clippers, the Pirates opened an early 4-0 lead and then hung on to beat the Clearview Clippers, 5-3, in an opening-round game of the LaGrange District Tournament. River now advances in the LaGrange District bracket of the Northwest Region in the Ohio Division II Softball Tournament; the No. 8-seeded Pirates will face No. 1 Keystone on Thursday.
Enduring a week of rainouts, the Pirates hadn’t played since April 27.
On Tuesday, Rocky River (7-11) got solid pitching from Smiley (five innings, two runs – one earned – allowed on four hits and three walks) and Katie Mommers (two innings, one run allowed on no hits and a walk) in hampering the Clearview attack. Smiley and Mommers came through in the clutch when needed; they combined to hold the Clippers to a 1-of-8 mark with runners in scoring position. Smiley started the contest and didn’t allow a run until the fourth inning when Clearview put a double together with a River error to claim one run.
By that point, Smiley had been staked to a 4-0 lead. Her bat was responsible for half that advantage. The Pirate senior clubbed a two-run home run after a Nani Meese single in the first. River netted runs three and four in the second when a Mommers walk and singles by Lexi Aguilar and Lindsay Hartman were eventually followed by a two-out error on contact by Meese.
Clearview would find its way to solo runs in the fifth and the sixth as well as the fourth, but Mommers shut the door in the top of the seventh when she set down the Clippers’ 3-4-and-5 batters in order.
For the game, Rocky River out-hit Clearview, 7-4. Catie Wolons (single, walk) and Mommers (single, walk) reached base twice in the game.
River’s Thursday game against Keystone will be at LaGrange Community Park. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.
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