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Lady Chargers drop district final rematch to Col. Crawford

By JOSH MORGRET • Updated May 16, 2017 at 9:11 PM

LEXINGTON _ After getting out of a jam in the second inning, Edison coach Troy Keegan felt like his team had a real chance.

But, Colonel Crawford broke through in the third inning with three runs to take a lead it didn't give up.

From there, the top-seeded Eagles rode the arm of Sydney Studer to a 5-2 win in a Division III district semifinal on Tuesday at Lexington High School.

The Chargers fell to 11-13, while Colonel Crawford (19-5) advances to Friday's district title game against the winner of today's other semifinal between Willard and Galion.

"Our girls could not lay off the high pitch. That is what I saw," Edison coach Troy Keegan said. "We were not disciplined. Studer is very comparable to Ashley Riley (Oak Harbor), as far as throwing the ball up like that. When you are not disciplined, we were not taking advantage of hitting the strikes she threw."

Caitlin Koschnick singled and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Kerri Reynolds followed with a single and ran to second on the throw home for the Eagles in the second inning. Edison pitcher Lindsey Fortuna bounced back with a lineout and popout to keep the Chargers ahead, 2-1.

Fortuna recorded one of her two strikeouts to open the third inning, but her command quickly became an issue. She walked Studer and Lydia Strouse before Abbie Bradshaw singled to load the bases. Koschnick came through with a two-run single to centerfield for the lead. Bradshaw then scored while Koschnick was thrown out trying to steal second base, but the damage was done.

"You can not give teams bases," Keegan said. "When you do that, it puts pressure on us."

Hailey Stoll doubled to lead off the game and Lauren Wolf walked as Studer struggled to find the strike zone early. Two separate wild pitches allowed each to move up a base, and yet another wild pitch allowed Stoll to score. The throw from the backstop to Studer covering home was off, which enabled Wolf to come home as well for a quick 2-0 lead.

"The early lead was nice. We took advantage of Studer not throwing strikes," Keegan said. "We got a hit right off the bat and then she was not throwing strikes. We had to take advantage."

From there, Studer was in control. She retired six straight batters, including five straight strikeouts. Later, she sat down nine in a row before a walk to Fortuna. Studer struck out Jessica Stoll to end that inning.

“We knew we did not get off to a good start, and that is a credit to Edison," Colonel Crawford coach Chuck Huggins said. "They are a good ball club. They came out of the gates quick."

The Eagles added an insurance run when Reynolds tripled to lead off the fourth inning and scored on a sacrifice fly. Crawford used small ball, including four successful sacrifice bunts to pressure the Chargers.

"They got a lot of first batters on and their game is small ball," Keegan said. "They are going to bunt them over and then try to get a hit. That is what they did. We had some chances, but we dug ourselves a hole."

Leah Krul and Jillian Danda singled in the seventh inning to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Stoll, who popped out to end the game.

Fortuna allowed nine hits while walking four batters. The Chargers experienced an 0-3 start before reeling off seven straight wins. From there, the team limped to a 4-10 record down the stretch.

"We beat some great teams in the Sandusky Bay Conference, but all of a sudden, I don't know if we lost confidence or what, but we did not have what we had in those seven straight wins," Keegan said. "Losing started getting contagious and we could not bounce back."

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