WILLARD — The Warriors finally broke down the door Friday afternoon.
Joslynne Frazier belted a two-run home run in the fifth, propelling third-seeded Ontario to a 5-0 win over No. 4 Clyde in the Division II district championship game at the Willard Sports Complex.
The district title is just the third in program history and the first since 1986. Ontario reached the district tournament three straight seasons from 2018 to 2021 (the 2020 season was canceled because of the pandemic), but fell in the district semifinals each time.
“I still haven’t come to the fact that we just made history here,” said Frazier, whose two-run shot into the teeth of a stiff breeze gave the Warriors (20-5) a 5-0 lead. “It’s crazy just to be a part of this team.”
Ontario gave starting pitcher Autumn Taylor all the support she would need in the home half of the first.
Taylor Mullins, the hero of Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Bellevue in the district semifinals, drew a leadoff walk and promptly stole second and third before Frazier singled to center to drive her home for a quick 1-0 lead.
“I like pitching with pressure, but with a lead it is much easier because I can relax a little bit,” said Taylor, who worked out of a jam in the top of the first after giving up a leadoff single to Clyde’s Karissa Smith.
“It always takes me an inning to settle in, then once I get there I’m great.”
The Warriors gave Taylor a little breathing room with a pair of runs in the fourth.
Frazier drew a lead-off walk and moved to second on Trista Jewell’s infield single. Taylor moved both runners up with a ground ball to the right side of the infield, before Eden Howard bunted for a base hit to load the bases with one out. Olivia Kreger’s infield single drove in Frazier and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Alex Switaj plated Jewell.
Taylor worked around a two-out single by Mya Stiefel in the top of the fifth before Frazier’s two-run shot blew it open in the bottom of the frame.
Smith singled to lead off the top of the sixth for the Fliers (16-11) but was erased on a nifty 8-3 double play. Teghan Smith lifted a fly ball into short center that Mullins nabbed as she raced in and rifled a perfect throw to Kreger at first.
“Our defense was top-notch. We didn’t commit an error today,” Ontario coach Sean Snow said. “My shortstop (Howard) probably had nine or 10 balls hit to her and she was flawless.”
Ontario will play either Maumee or Otsego in the regional semifinals at 2 p.m. May 24 at New Riegel High School. Maumee and Otsego play for the Genoa district crown at noon Saturday.
“We’ve been to the district three of the past four years. You knock on the door but you want to know this feeling right here,” Snow said. “This feels real good and the girls are having fun.”