ELYRIA — Midview’s Sara Liszewski had the adrenaline flowing in the bottom of the seventh inning as she faced Columbia looking to finish a huge 11-10 come-from-behind win.
It was Liszewski’s two-out RBI double in the top of the inning that put Midview in the lead for the first time and she wasn’t about to give it back.
She struck out all three hitters in the seventh to preserve a two-win day for Midview (9-3) at the Elyria Softball Classic. Earlier, the Middies beat Fairview 15-5. They’ll face Elyria Catholic this morning to wrap up the annual Classic.
“We know we just have to keep battling back pitch by pitch,” said Liszewski, who struck out six, walked one and gave up three hits. “I knew they needed me and I was feeling good and I said, ‘OK, I can do this and stay confident.’”
“She hardly ever pitches for us,” coach Mike Ives said. “I don’t want to take her out of left field. I brought her in and she pitched bullets. She was throwing good strikes. She’s got a good change-up and she kept it right in the zone.”
Midview trailed the Raiders 10-3 after just three innings when Ives summoned Liszewski from the outfield to take over the pitching duties. The Middies kept scratching and clawing their way back into the game, but down 10-8 with two outs in the top of the seventh, things didn’t look real good.
“There’s no quit in these kids,” Ives said. “We’ve been in some games this year where we had to come back to win and just stay in it. I tell everybody just do your job.”
Kerstyn Yates beat out a single to second and Emma Barnes, who already had three hits, hit a hard smash up the middle for a double to put the tying run in scoring position.
“I didn’t have a very good at-bat the time before (a soft grounder to the pitcher) and I was ready to go back and redeem myself,” she said. “I knew we weren’t going to lose that game.”
The next hitter, Alexis Qualls, sure knew how to put a couple of early errors in the rearview mirror. The hard-hitting third baseman drilled the next pitch for a two-run double to tie Columbia and set up Liszewski.
“I knew I had to be clutch for the team,” Qualls said. “Once the runs start going, we’re all hitting. We knew we had to stay positive. Once you get down, the whole team stays down. It’s a team sport so once one of us gets down, you just have to pick the other one back up.”
Midview dug itself a hole with six unearned runs and Columbia appeared ready to coast to a victory. Caitlyn Wilkins delivered three hits and scored twice from the leadoff spot. Jessie Morlock had two hits and an RBI. Jennifer Boey drove in two as the Raiders built the early advantage.
“What’d we have?” Ives asked. “Six, seven errors? Defensively, we were not ready. I was worried coming over here after sitting around for a half-hour waiting for Columbia to get done (beating Bristol 14-8). I was worried we’d come out flat and, boy, were we flat.”
But the Middies righted the ship, scoring three times in the fifth inning, two on Stephanie Bennett’s triple to right-center. They added a pair in the sixth to close the gap to 10-8 but started the seventh with two quick strikeouts before rallying.
Barnes, Liszewski and Marcella McMahon each had four hits. Loral Tackett drove in three.