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Regular season setbacks land Shoregals in home district semifinal – Morning Journal

A finish in the bottom half of the Southwestern Conference didn’t stop No. 16 seed Avon Lake from advancing to the district semifinals in the playoffs.

The Shoregals’ Division I Northeast 5 sectional final on May 8 resulted in an 8-5 victory against No. 21 seed Westlake and their first district semifinal appearance in three years.

“We don’t look ahead. We don’t look back. We’re just looking at the next game,” Avon Lake first-year coach Brandon Webster said. “Over the past two weeks we haven’t worried about our record. Why? Since the vote has already taken place, it is irrelevant. We are working; challenge ourselves to get better. … We’ve come a long way.”

Avon Lake (17-9) will be the host site in a Northeast 5 district semifinal, but the Shoregals will be listed as the away team and Brecksville Broadview Heights will be their next opponent.

“From day one, we have respected all of our opponents,” Webster said. “We expect to go in there and compete. We expected to play this game and compete. We look at everyone and think they’re going to come in and beat us. We are happy that we have home field advantage, even though Brecksville is the home team.”

The Shoregals faced tough opponents to end the year. Along with the SWC, they played state-ranked Walsh Jesuit (13-2 loss) and defending Division I state champion Austintown Fitch (18-0 loss).

They were one of five SWC teams to advance to the district round, along with Midview (16-6 win vs. Wadsworth), North Ridgeville (4-1 win vs. Elyria), Amherst (15-0 win vs. Rhodes) and Avon (18-4 win vs. Akron Ellet). No. 22 seed Richfield Revere upset No. 5 Berea-Midpark, 13-11, in the Division I Northeast 6 bracket.

“When we decided to take the (playoff) path, I had multiple ways to go. I wasn’t afraid (of any team). At the end of the day. I saw (the district tournament) at Avon Lake. I couldn’t turn that down. We will take that into account,” said Webster.

Avon Lake had an early lead, but Westlake tied the score at 2-2 to start the bottom of the second inning.

Avon Lake responded with five runs in the bottom frame for a 7-2 lead. With two outs, Avon Lake pitcher Lindsay Revmatas doubled to drive in two runs.

“I was a little nervous because everyone else was struggling to pitch slower,” Revmatas said. “I forgot to count, but I put the bat on the ball and ran. It was fun because I got other people too and we all scored.”

Revmatas was one of two Avon Lake players to double. Mackenzie Anspaugh drove in the first run of the game with one.

She also threw five innings, striking out six and giving up three earned runs and seven hits. First baseman Avery Orille replaced her for the final two innings of the game and picked up the win.

“The atmosphere is always good,” Revmatas said. “Everyone is on the fence. We are always cheering and picking each other up. It’s a great atmosphere to play in, especially as a senior. It’s great to lead these girls.”

After Westlake’s falter in the second inning, the team gave up one unearned run and two hits in the last five innings.

Westlake (6-12) took away the lead, but one run in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings was not enough for a comeback.

The Demons fought back to get to the plate with a chance to tie the score, but a pop-out to second baseman Carmen Mcminn was the final straw to end their season.

“I definitely wish we could have had more than three outs,” Westlake coach Traci Edmunds said jokingly. “I am very proud of the girls because they never gave up; throwing away each inning, run by run. Avon Lake made great defensive plays with some of those hits.”

Westlake’s Megan Forshey was the impact player with two hits and two RBI.

Webster is confident in the future of the program. He noted that the Learwood high school program defeated Berea-Midpark in the SWC high school championship game.

“We have a great youth coming up, with a great core of first and second year students. There are a lot of exciting things happening at Avon Lake,” he said.

THE SCORE

Avonmeer 8, Westlake 5