Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
ATHENS — For 6 ½ innings, Unioto gave Sheridan all it wanted, and then some, Tuesday night in a Division II district semifinal at Ohio University.
The Shermans knew they were playing against the state’s No. 2 ranked team, they knew the Generals came in having yet to lose a game, and they knew they’d need to play near perfect to have a chance to advance.
But after giving Sheridan its best shot, and playing nearly perfect while doing so, Unioto (19-6) fell victim to a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, falling 2-1 and ending it season.
“I think towards the end of the season, our girls really started believing how good they really were,” Unioto coach Rob Hull said. “We battled a few times during the season and came up short, but they came into tonight battle-tested. They proved themselves against the number two team in the state and had them on the ropes. I thought we played a near flawless game.”
Down 1-0 in the top of the fifth, Carissa Wheeler restored hope inside Unioto’s dugout with an opposite field, solo home run that found the outfield trees. But unfortunately for the Shermans, that’s the only blemish they could put on Sheridan pitcher Sydney Campolo’s line.
Campolo had the last laugh with the walk-off home run to end the Tanks’ season by a 2-1 final.
The loss forces Unioto to say goodbye to three seniors: Tori Neff, Jayla Campbell, Jocie Fisher and. Combined, those three have led the program to 65 wins, an SVC title and the program’s first sectional title since 2015.
“You couldn’t ask for better seniors for my first year. They battled all season long,” Hull said. “They put the team on their shoulders at times and really brought this team up. From where they were last year to this year, you couldn’t ask for anything better. They listened, they responded and just their leadership alone … it’s going to be tough to replace three girls like that.”
Out of the six hits Unioto tallied Tuesday, three came from Wheeler and Miller, both freshmen.
Wheeler was 2-for-3 with a homer while Miller was 1-for-3 with a rocket down the third base line.
“It’s huge for us to see our two freshmen get two solid hits in this big of a game,” Hull said. “That’s really good for us, looking forward into the future. It shows the determination and the confidence they have at the plate. They work their butts off in practice and it shows.”
Neff also had two hits, finishing 2-for-3 while Haley Holt was 1-for-3. Fisher pitched all six innings for Unioto, allowing just five hits while striking out two.
For the Generals, Abbie Mills was 2-for-3 with a double, Campolo was 2-for-3 with the homer and Karysn Lentz finished 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI. Campolo got the win in the circle, tossing seven innings and whiffing six.
The Generals (29-0) advance to Wednesday’s Division II district championship game, where they’ll face Waverly. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m., back at Ohio University.