WHEELING - Madonna coach Chris Conti shook his head and said it just wasn't his team's night.
No, Friday night belonged to Bishop Donahue's Andrea Guzek.
Though she continued her week-long struggle with her control, Guzek tossed a one-hitter and helped herself with three hits, including a mammoth three-run homer on her way to a five-RBI outing, as she led the Bishops to a 10-1 victory against the Blue Dons in an OVAC Class 1A semifinal at Lisa's Field.
BD’s Selena Ghaphery is tagged by Madonna’s Brianna Fierrl as she slides into third. Making the call is umpire Dan Delande.
Bishop Donahue wound up with 11 hits in the game, but if you put them end over end, they might not have gone as far as Guzek's homer - save for her two other extra base hits.
''She crushed it,'' Bishops coach Curt Mele said of the blast, which came in the bottom of the seventh and accounted for the game's final three runs. ''As soon as it hit the bat, I knew it was gone. That was one of the hardest hit balls that anyone on our team has hit all season.''
Trailing 7-1 at that point, with Guzek swinging a hot bat all night, Conti didn't consider walking her.
''I told my pitching coach let's pitch to her and we'll see what happens,'' he said.
The ball landed 25 feet beyond the fence in left-center, scoring Megan Rush and Katie Scott.
The one-hitter was a bit misleading in that Guzek walked nine and Madonna had at least one baserunner in six of the seven innings.
The only time it scored was in the fifth when Amanda Paul walked and came around to score on a groundout by Madison Burchill.
The rest was all Bishops.
''They were the better team,'' Conti said. ''We didn't play well. We didn't field it well (four errors). We didn't do a lot of things well.''
That was part of Mele's plan, as he had his runners stealing at nearly every chance. When they stayed put for the moment, his hitters moved them over - and sometimes in -with bunts.
''I thought we played a pretty good small ball game advancing the runners.'' Mele said. ''We did take advantage of some of their errors. We were aggressive on the basepaths. We put a lot of pressure on them that, in tern, led to their errors''
The Bishops scored two in the first thanks to a walk and a pair of Blue Dons miscues. The only hit in the frame was a single by Scott.
They added another in the third on Guzek's RBI double and three more in the fifth, with Guzek hitting an RBI triple, another run crossing the plate via error, and a bunt single by freshman Abbey Mele. She and fellow freshman Sommer South combined for three hits and two runs.
''I think it's starting to come together for them,'' Mele said. ''They're starting to play like sophomores now.''
The final three runs crossed on Guzek's blast.
Bishop Donahue will face St. John in a rematch of last year's final today at 3:45 p.m.
''We're going to have our hands full,'' Mele said.