Avon explodes in seventh inning to beat Brecksville, advance to district finals in softball

Chris Sweeney
The Chronicle-Telegram

BARBERTON — Avon’s table setters delivered when it counted Monday night.

The Eagles’ first three hitters started 0-for-8 with a walk, but they got the offense rolling in the seventh, each reaching base to break open the floodgates and turn a tie score into a 14-2 rout over Brecksville in the Division I Barberton district semifinals.

“I was just thinking that I had to get on base for my team,” Avon leadoff hitter Amanda Demmerle said. “I wasn’t ready for my season to be over. It was 2-2 in the top of the seventh, nobody knew what was going to happen. We weren’t ready to be done and I knew if I got on base they would move me around and we’d score.

“It feels great (to reach the final). Going from where we were my freshman year, where we didn’t even make it out of sectionals to now, it’s a big step in this program and I’m so excited.”

Sixth-seeded Avon (19-8) will try to capture its first district championship since 1979 against No. 5 St. Joseph’s Academy — a 3-0 winner over Strongsville — at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Brecksville finished its season at 18-6.

“We knew we had to have the timely hitting to bring runs in,” said Avon pitcher Kayla Dykin, who drove in four runs on two doubles in the seventh, including the one that broke the tie. “We said we’re not going to extra innings with them again, because we did it earlier in the year, so we came out with the mindset to just hit the ball where it’s pitched and that’s what we did.”

Dykin delivered a strong outing for Avon, striking out nine with five hits and three walks in the complete game. The only blemish for Dykin, and the Eagles’ defense, came in the fourth when an error on a double-play ball put runners in scoring position with no outs.

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