Thursday, April 24, 2014

OHS softball gets rematch with Paola

By The Herald Staff | 5/13/2013

The Ottawa High School softball team is building momentum toward today’s showdown against state-ranked and undefeated Paola.

The Cyclones bested Baldwin, 9-3, Monday in the first round of regional in Ottawa.

The Ottawa High School softball team is building momentum toward today’s showdown against state-ranked and undefeated Paola.

The Cyclones bested Baldwin, 9-3, Monday in the first round of regional in Ottawa.

“That is the Ottawa team we need to see [today] for two games,” Ottawa coach Joe Serna said. “The rest will take care of itself. They played together as a team.”

Ottawa plays 4 p.m. today in the semifinals against Paola, which downed Anderson County.

“We still had some mental letdowns,” Serna said. “If we are going to beat a team like Paola we can’t have a single one. We respect Paola.”

The Panthers swept a pair from Ottawa last week.

The Cyclones offense took the steam out of Baldwin early. Ottawa scored four runs in the second take a 6-2 lead and the momentum for the rest of the game.

“That was huge,” Serna said of the second inning. “It set the tone for the rest of the game. We got two and gave them two. We needed that next rally. We were starting to cruise and get complacent.

“We got some timely hits. We knew this first one would not be easy.”

Ottawa (8-8) had production offensively and defensively from all the players.

“Our motto all season, ‘total team effort is what is going to get it done’”, Serna said. “It is whatever it takes to win.”

Serna gave both Elizabeth Seimears and Kendall Blanco innings in the circle.

“Seimears has been our workhorse all season,” Serna said. “That was our plan to split the innings and get them both work. Have both of them ready for Paola.

“We will throw everything and the kitchen sink at Paola. Seimears has battled out of situations all season long. Kendall has struggled at times, then starts to throw strikes. Then our defense lets her down. It was good to see the defense come around for her.”

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