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Heralds roll past Trojans for D-IV sectonal tournament softball win

May 7—ASHTABULA — Isabelle Holler does not consider herself a strikeout pitcher.

"At least not as much as I was last year," the Saint John sophomore said.

The McKinley Trojans may beg to differ.

Holler fanned 13 batters in five innings as the Heralds rolled over Sebring 13-3 for Division IV sectional softball win on Monday afternoon at Cederquist Park.

Saint John, as a No. 16 seed, will now play at No. 13 Canton Central Catholic in the sectional final at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Early on, it looked like the Heralds and Trojans were going to have a slugfest

McKinley scored three in the first inning, but the Heralds answered with a 3-spot of their own.

From there, Holler took command. She retired six of seven hitters she faced in the second and third innings.

In the fourth, Holler allowed a hit and walk, but came back to strike out the next three after that.

"They scored those three runs in the first inning, I think we all went like 'Oh no,' she said. "But, after we came together, we got three back and I just went right after them and the defense backed me up."

First-year coach George Frasure said falling behind early has been a trend all season with his team.

"That's how we play,' the coach said. "We start off slow and we play from behind. It's almost like that's what they want. It's funny, but they turn it on and they get after it. It wouldn't be Saint John if we didn't give up at least one [run]."

The Heralds sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning.

Katie Carney supplied the big hit with a 2-run single to tie the game at 3.

They went right back to work in the second.

Gianna Torres started things with a leadoff walk, then was chased home by Allyssa Cevera's triple down the right-field line.

Three batters later, Isabelle Stern rattled the fence in right center. Stern was thrown out at third, but not before getting another run home.

Emma Hutchins, Nadia Lagoa and Carney all followed with singles, before Mary West drew a bases-loaded walk.

By the time the inning was over, Saint John

had sent 11 batters to the plate, and five scored.

They added one more in the third and four more in the fifth, before Holler struck out the side in the fifth to end the game by mercy-rule.

The win pushed the Heralds record to 7-7 on the season.

Just getting the postseason win, though, was a good first step according to Frasure.

"It was huge for me and it's great for this team," the coach said. "It's big for the program, it means things are going right in the direction and I'm really happy with the way things are going."

For Holler and her teammates, six of which have never played competitive softball before, it's an opportunity to enjoy one more trip to the diamond.

"It really is a big deal," she said. "It's a chance to play more games, have more fun and just get the most out of it before the season comes to an end."