Mason scored in each of the first three innings, including crossing the plate six times in the third inning, to advance to its ninth consecutive Division I district softball title game with a 12-2 victory against Turpin Tuesday afternoon at Lakota West.
The game, postponed from Monday due to wet field conditions, ended in the top of the fifth because of the 10-run rule when freshman Jordan Sullivan beat a throw home to score on a fielder’s choice. It was Sullivan’s third run scored of the game.
Mason (18-10) is the No. 1 seed in the Cincinnati sectional and will face No. 2 Fairfield Friday at 5 p.m. at Lakota East. The two Greater Miami Conference rivals split their two regular season games. The winner of the rubber match will earn a trip to the regional tournament.
“Fairfield is a very good team, a GMC rival and they are hitting the ball very well,” said Mason coach Liann Muff. “That will be a tough game but we’re looking forward to it. Any time you get a chance to play a GMC rival it’s a good day.”
Turpin got off to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Junior second baseman Kelci Martin singled with one out and later scored on a throwing error. Two of the three hits Turpin got off of Mason senior pitcher Sarah Browning came in the first inning.
The Comets answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning off of Turpin sophomore Beth Persicano. Sullivan led off with an infield hit, went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by junior leftfielder Macy Hubbard and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Margo Hutchison. Browning later delivered a two-run double to give Mason the lead for good.
Mason added two more runs in the second inning before their six-run third inning. All of the runs were driven in on three consecutive two-run, two-out hits; Hubbard singled in the first two runs, senior Jillian Richardson doubled in the next two and then scored when Hutchinson hit her 10th home run of the season.
“We started off slow but when we got up to the plate we found we could hit (Persicano) and we kept building from there,” said Browning.
Browning retired the final eight batters to improve to 13-8 on the season.
Turpin, the No. 7 seed, ends its season at 18-4. It is the fourth time in the last five seasons the Spartans have won at least 17 games.
The Spartans didn’t help themselves by committing three errors. They had committed just 27 errors in their 21 previous games.
“We didn’t lose this one, we got beat by clearly the better team,” said Turpin coach Tom McGill. “I feel bad for the kids. That’s not the way you want your seniors to go out. It’s a young group but three seniors who are very clearly the leaders and we’ll miss them a lot. They’ve meant a lot to the program.”
MASON 12, TURPIN 2 (5 Innings)
WP – Browning (13-8); LP – Persicano (8-3). Hitting leaders: M – Sullivan 2-4; Hubbard 2 RBI; Richardson 2B, 2 RBI; Hutchison 2B, 3 RBI; Browning 2B, 2 RBI; Hayner 3B. Records: Turpin 18-4, Mason 18-10.