LAGRANGE — The Lorain County Senior All-Star Game had a giant change Tuesday at LaGrange Community Park.
For the first time, the game pitted Lorain County’s top senior talent against Cuyahoga County’s best, underclassmen included.
The result was a 4-3 victory for Lorain County as it held off a late rally from Cuyahoga County.
“I thought this setup was really cool and I enjoyed teaming up with all these girls,” Midview’s Ella Leonard said. “It was an honor to be a part of this type of game.”
Despite an abundance of talent up and down both lineups, it was the pitching that stole the show.
Keystone’s Sydney Campbell, the freshly crowned Lorain County Miss Softball, got to pitch one final time in her home circle.
Campbell, who set a state record with a 63-game winning streak, started and threw three scoreless innings. Per usual, Campbell left hitters off-balance and guessing, striking out five and surrendering one hit.
“There was a chill vibe coming into this game, which is a lot different than what we’re used to,” Campbell said. “I know a lot of these girls and it’s nice being teammates for once instead of going head-to-head.”
Another Wildcat was the star of the game offensively.
Autumn Acord produced the first extra-base hit when she clubbed a double to deep left field in the bottom of the third inning. She then got aggressive on the bases, stealing third before scoring the game’s first run on an errant throw from the catcher.
In the sixth inning, Acord broke open the game with a two-run double for a 4-0 lead. She had three hits — the only player with more than one.
“It’s amazing that I get to end my high school career on my home field and get three hits,” said Acord, who will play for Kent State next year.
Acord also made numerous nice defensive plays behind the plate.
“Honestly, it’s just been amazing to be a part of Keystone’s program and being chosen for this game,” she said. “It was so nice and relaxing to play in this type of atmosphere.”
Amherst’s Madison O’Berg relieved Campbell in the fourth inning and pitched three scoreless innings.
She got into a little trouble in the top of the sixth, allowing a hit and walking a batter, but settled in and forced a groundout on the next play.
“It’s an honor to be able to play in this game,” O’Berg said. “It’s pretty cool to have an extra game that you can just come out and have fun with people you’ve been playing against.”
Vermilion’s Corah Peterson, Keystone’s Ali Pyles and Amherst’s Kasey McGraw singled and scored in the sixth.
Peterson opened the inning by lining a single to left-center and later scored on a passed ball.
“It’s a really cool feeling to be able to come here and make an impact,” Peterson said. “It is very special for me and this was a great group of girls to be around.”
Bryanna Rivas, Oberlin’s standout pitcher, closed out the game for Lorain County. She pitched two shutout innings, striking out two.
Rivas briefly exited in the ninth to allow players who don’t usually pitch a chance at it.
That didn’t go well, as Cuyahoga County scored all three runs and put the tying run on third with just one out.
Rivas came back in and retired the next two batters to help Lorain County escape with a win.
“I just tried to go out there and pitch my normal game,” Rivas said. “Even though I was up against some great players, I approached each one the same way.”
Leonard, Midview’s catcher, nearly hit a liner over the fence, but it bounced just in front of the wall for a standup double.
“I just jumped on a good pitch to hit and was able to get a pretty easy double,” she said.
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