The first two innings cost the third-ranked Greenville softball team Wednesday in a Division II regional semifinal at Mason High School.
No. 6 Clinton-Massie (27-5) scored five runs in the first inning and three in the second and rode that early lead to an 11-4 victory, avenging a 14-4 loss to Greenville in the same round a year ago.
“The better team won today,” Greenville coach Jerrod Newland said. “They returned about everyone. The gas was on the fire from last year. We run-ruled them last year. Same game, same place. I knew that would be coming. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get out of the first inning.”
Claire Carruthers had the big hit in the first inning, a two-run home run. Victoria Severt hit a two-run home run in the second inning.
» PHOTOS: Greenville vs. Clinton-Massie
» EARLIER COVERAGE: Greenville beats Carroll in sectional final
Greenville finished the season 26-6. This was its 16th straight season with 20 or more victories for Newland, who took over the program in 2003.
Greenville’s Sydney Grote drove in the team’s first run in the second inning. Morgan Gilbert hit a solo home run off the top of the fence in right field to provide Greenville’s second run in the third inning.
Clinton-Massie advanced to face No. 2 Kenton Ridge or No. 8 Jonathan Alder in the regional final at noon Saturday in Mason.
Greenville, which won the state title in 2007, was seeking its fourth state berth. It made the final four in 2010 and lost in the state final in 2012. It lost 5-3 to Jonathan Alder on a walk-off home run in the ninth inning last season in the regional final.
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