Prep Softball

Jarvis sisters fuel rally that sends Canton to state tournament

 canton softball
Canton catcher Hunter Collins, left, hugs second baseman Brianna Caldwell after the Tigers beat Salisbury 6-3 in Saturday's Class 1 quarterfinal softball game and advanced to next weekend's state tournament. | H-W Photo/Mat Mikesell
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 14, 2017 7:50 pm

SALISBURY, Mo. -- Olivia Jarvis saw her opportunity.

She noticed the Salisbury shortstop was keeping her near second base, and the third baseman was playing for a bunt. The Canton senior decided it was a chance to make a play in a tie game in the bottom of the sixth inning.

"We've talked about reading defense and looking for opportunities," Jarvis said. "(Canton coach Jonathan Bastian) wants us to be aggressive."

On the next pitch to Hunter Collins, Jarvis swiped third base easily, and the throw from catcher Abigail Gebhardt went into left field, allowing Jarvis to score to give Canton a 4-3 lead during Saturday's Class 1 softball quarterfinal.

"That was a huge situation for her to do that, and she read it perfect," Bastian said. "I didn't expect her to do that on her own in that big of a situation. That doesn't mean it was the wrong call. She got a huge jump and got there easily, so it was obviously the right move on her part."

Freshman Abby Jarvis -- Olivia's younger sister -- smacked a two-run line drive homer to left later in the inning that sealed Canton's 6-3 victory to advance to the Class 1 state tournament for the third time in four seasons. Canton will play either North Harrison (20-6) or Maysville (13-12) in the state semifinals on Friday.

The postgame celebration was filled with hugs and tears.

"For me, it was just the heart of this team and the work we put in," Olivia Jarvis said. "No one gave up, and we finished this game together strong as a family."

Two family members sealed Canton's state berth.

Olivia Jarvis felt confident when she scored that Canton could hold on to win. Abby Jarvis, however, wanted to make the Tigers even more confident.

"I just knew I had to get those runs in," Abby Jarvis said. "I knew if I didn't, the next person would, but I wanted it to be that I did it.

"It's the best feeling in the world to go to state."

Olivia Jarvis worked a perfect seventh inning against the top of Salisbury's lineup to finish the game. She allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings. She struck out five and walked none.

Canton had to rally from an early deficit after Salisbury (23-3) took advantage of a couple of errors.

In the first, Salisbury's Allison Biner reached on an throwing error by Canton shortstop Laken Hugenberg, and she moved to second on Brooke Stefankiewicz's bunt single. Binder scored two batters later on a sacrifice bunt by Alicia King, and Stefankiewicz scored on Gebhardt's RBI infield single for a 2-0 lead.

Canton answered in the bottom half on Hugenberg's RBI single to score Katie Gaus.

In the third, Salisbury pushed the lead back to two runs when a groundball by Bryn Woolridge was hit to Hugenberg, and she tried to get Stefankiewicz at third base. The ball sailed into the Salisbury dugout and allowed Stefankiewicz to score.

"My team really helped pick me up," Hugenberg said. "I had to take a chill pill, because I had done that about 1,000 times in practice."

Canton didn't commit another error.

The Tigers tied the game in the fifth inning when Abby Jarvis and Abbey Hultz singled to lead off the frame. A sacrifice bunt by Tegan Burbridge moved them into scoring position, and Riley Marshall drove them in with a single to right field.

Canton 6, Salisbury 3

Salisbury 201 000 0--3 7 2

Canton 100 023 x--6 7 2

Woolridge and Gebhardt; O. Jarvis and Collins. WP--O. Jarvis. LP--Woolridge. 2B--Salsibury 1 (Stefankiewicz). HR--Canton 1 (A. Jarvis).