Gladstone major girls fall to Ohio in opener

FISHERS, Ind. — Nerves got the better of the Gladstone Major Girls’ Little League All-Stars (age 11-12) here Monday as they dropped a 9-4 softball decision to Tallmadge, Oh. in a Central Regional opener.

Gladstone trailed just 2-1 after three innings. Tallmadge then took advantage of four errors and scored five times for a 7-1 lead in the fourth.

“They were a very solid team,” said Gladstone manager Rick Pepin. “They played much more confident than we did. I felt our girls played with nervous energy today. This is new territory for the girls and coaches. We just weren’t ourselves at times. Softball is about eliminating errors and we made some uncharacteristic mistakes. I don’t have a problem with the physical errors. That’s going to happen, but you can’t make mental errors against a team like this.”

Gladstone faces Columbia, Mo. Wednesday at 11 a.m. with eight of the nine teams advancing to Thursday’s bracket play.

Addie Trombley, Lauren Sundquist, Reese Herioux and Tia Schone had hits for Gladstone, which trailed 9-1 before scoring three times in the fifth.

“We showed some fight, which is encouraging,” said Pepin.

“There’s no quit in these girls. They kept battling, which gives us something to build on. Now they know what to expect. They’ll be more confident and ready to go Wednesday.”

Montgomery Pepin, who pitched the entire contest, absorbed the loss. She struck out eight, walked five and allowed five hits.

“I thought she pitched extremely well,” said manager Pepin. “When you give a team extra outs it can wear on a pitcher. Ohio was very disciplined at the plate, which made Montgomery work extra hard. We’re in a real tough pool, but we have a nice team despite what happened today.”