Paint Valley was sailing along in their state tournament game before seeing that lead evaporate and end with a 10 inning 4-3 loss to Minster in the Division 4 State Semi-Finals at Akron.
The Lady Bearcats scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings to take a 3-0 lead through five innings.
That's when Minster's Marissa Conrad went to work at the plate, where her next three plate appearances would be keys to a win. Conrad hit a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth, to cut PV's lead to 3-1.
In the bottom of the seventh inning with Paint Valley leading 3-1 in Minster's last at-bat, Minster rallied to tie the game. A Lady Bearcats fielding error with a runner on base made it 3-2, then Conrad's RBI triple tied the score at 3-3 to send it to extra innings.
Paint Valley had their biggest extra inning threat in the top of the 10th, with runners at first and second, but left both stranded.
Then in the bottom of that frame, Conrad led-off with a double, and two outs later was on third base. A grounder to shortstop, which could have ended the inning, was thrown to home plate instead of first, allowing Conrad to score the winning run in a heart-breaking 4-3 loss for the Lady Bearcats.
Paint Valley freshman Mikayla Newland pitched well in the loss, striking-out 14 Minster hitters, and scattered 8 hits for the game. Paint Valley collected 10 hits against Minster's Kayla Richard. Paint Valley scored two of their three runs off errors, which saw Minster commit four miscues for the game.
(22-9) Paint Valley finishes the season with their first-ever trip to the State Final Four, while Minster improves to (27-3) and heads to Saturday's championship game against Cuyahoga Heights.
For details and stats on the Paint Valley vs Minster game, go to this OHSAA link...