WHEELING - Bellaire took undefeated Fort Frye to the limit Saturday afternoon, but the Cadets scored the lone run of the game to remain perfect in 18 decisions.
Victoria Mimken struck out 16 and singled in the only run she needed with two outs in the bottom of the fourth as the top-seeded Cadets blanked the No. 2 Big Reds (17-3) by a 1-0 count to capture the OVAC Class 3A Championship on Lisa's Field.
"Our bats let us down," Bellaire coach Melissa Lahna said. "That was our one fault, but I'll tell you what, these girls played hard. They have nothing to be disappointed in. It was a hard-fought battle here. It wasn't an easy game for either side.
Bellaire’s Megan Ging comes out of the circle to field a ball and fire to first base Saturday.
"They (Fort Frye) came to play and hit the ball better than we did.''
Mimken was nearly untouchable as she permitted only a two-out bloop single to Mary Garloch in the first inning and an infield single to Megan Ging in the sixth, also with two outs. She fanned 10 in a row from the last out of the first through the fourth.
The hard-throwing senior needed just 76 pitches - 61 strikes - and threw a first-pitch strike to 18 of the 24 batters she faced.
"Victoria has been doing this for us for four years now," Fort Frye coach Barb Sleek praised. "She won an OVAC championship as a freshman, and now she's won one as a senior."
It appeared as though Fort Frye had scored a run in the second before Hali Lemasters was ruled out for leaving third base early on a fly ball to Garloch in left.
The Cadets finally broke through against Ging when Natalie Smith ripped a double to deep center. Courtesy runner Tori Hendershot scored on Mimken's single to right one pitch later.
"This doesn't define us," Lahna admitted. "There's a lot of season left for us. This game should show some people that we are legit. There are a lot of people out there that don't think we're legit, and we are.
"They (Fort Frye) are one of the best teams in the state, and we held them to one run. I thought (Megan) Ging pitched well; our bats just let us down a little bit."
Ging fanned two and scattered five hits. She didn't walk a batter, but hit one.
"I thought we were a little dead at the plate, but, fortunately, that's not our bread and butter," Sleek said. "We make sure that we don't give up a lot of runs, so we don't have to score a lot.
"Pitching and defense won this championship for us."