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Huron ousted from state playoffs PHOTO GALLERY

  • Huron's Summer Callahan beats out a second-inning bunt in the Division 2, District 55 finals against Airport. The Jets topped the Chiefs 6-2. Photo gallery by Ricky Lindsay.

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There's an old saying that defense wins championships.

The Huron softball team learned that the hard way.

After topping Summit 14-4 in the Division 2, District 55 semifinals four hours earlier, the Chiefs watched rival Airport, not themselves, celebrate with a district trophy at home plate. Airport defeated Huron 6-2 in Saturday's district finals after taking advantage of four costly errors.

"We just didn't support our pitcher very well with defense behind her," Huron Coach Heather Holshoe said. "I mean, they had two earned runs in that game and that's the difference. Two earned runs, it's a 2-2 ball game and it's a little bit of a different spin."

Two errors and Tera-Jane Bindus' three-run home run in the first inning created a sizable hole for the Chiefs to crawl out of. The senior catcher tallied four RBI in three at-bats, including a fifth-inning sacrifice fly.

"Bindus is their big hitter and anytime she's able to put one out, then yeah, that's definitely to their advantage," Holshoe said. "It was on a 3-0 pitch. She goes after it, she attacks it. It wasn't a great pitch, it wasn't in really the strike zone, so she was able to capitalize on that."

The Jets tacked on one run in the second, fifth, and six innings to seal their district championship.

Huron couldn't muster up any consistency with the bats until the sixth inning. Julie Littler's two-run shot revived hope of a comeback, but it was too little, too late. Down to their last chance in the seventh inning, the Chiefs went down swinging in order.

A 24-5 record and a lengthy spell of perfection will have to do for Huron. But reaching their goal the district finals and losing it to a rival is an undesirable sting for the Chiefs.

"No loss is ever easy and this definitely isn't the case," Holshoe said. "We could've played a better ball game and you don't want that to be the end."

After starting the district semifinals' game against Summit, Courtney VanRiper opposed Airport with a complete-game, four-strikeout effort. Center fielder Erika Yancey doubled in the third inning for one of Huron's four hits.

Huron graduates three seniors, Paige Zarb, Savannah Leininger, and VanRiper. With the majority of its roster returning, the Chiefs appear primed for another strong campaign next spring.

"You definitely hope so," Holshoe said. "We're losing our pitcher (VanRiper) and our catcher (Leininger), so that's always an important battery there. You hope someone steps up and we've had a great four years they were four-year starters for us. The goal is always to come back better."

Last Updated: 6/3/2014 2:17:55 PM EST