Most of the Madison County high school softball teams are playing well at this point in the season, just in time for the upcoming postseason. Teams are jocking for seeding and the better record usually means a better seed and easier path through the tournament.
Jonathan Alder 19,
The Division II Central District tournament draw will take place at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 4, and the Pioneers (15-1, 8-0) are making a strong play for the district’s top seed following their 15th consecutive win, a 19-3 triumph over neighboring Fairbanks on Friday, April 25.
Coach Dave McGrew’s squad strung together 22 hits as they scored runs in four of the five innings in the run-shortened game. Mady Watson and Andi Blankenship combined to allow just three runs on six hits as the pair split time inside the pitching circle.
“We’re playing really good right now,” the coach said. “I’ve said it all along I really like this team. This team has a lot of fight in it.”
The squad really didn’t need to fight much in it’s easy win over Fairbanks on Friday, but there are some tough teams on the horizon that will surely test the Pioneers.
The most important at this time is North Union which sits in second place in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Red Division a game back of Alder. North Union’s only league loss was to the Pioneers. The two play each other at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 2 at Alder.
“We want to take care of business ourselves,” McGrew said. “With us not being in a league. We haven’t hung a banner in softball in 13-14 years.”
McGrew said his players have remained focus despite the fact they haven’t lost a game since a 7-6 season opener against Bishop Hartley.
“I knew we were going to be a good team but we’ve really come along,” he said. “As a coaching staff we’re focusing on the next game and the girls have done a good job of staying humble.”
West Jefferson 20,
Wo. Christian 0
When they met the first time, the West Jefferson softball team struggled to put away Worthington Christian. The Roughriders eventually strung enough hits together late to pick up a sloppy 10-7 victory.
When the two squads met on Friday, April 25, at West Jefferson the Roughriders (12-3, 7-0 in MSL Ohio) wasted absolutely no time in putting away the Warriors, hitting what is believed to be a state record for home runs in an inning, a total of six in a 20-0 shutout.
The home run barrage left coach Jim Stevens nearly speechless.
“Wow is about all I can say,” the coach said. “In all my years of coaching I’ve never seen a first inning play out the way this one did. It was just crazy.”
The OHSAA state record for home runs in a game is eight, but there is no category in the state record book for home runs in an inning by a team. There was one state record tied and it was by the Roughriders Kennedy Campbell who tied a state record for home runs in an inning with two.
Campbell hit a solo shot and later in the inning blasted a three-run homer.
Taylor Bowman and Madison Gatley hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the game. It was the second time this season they’ve accomplished that feat. Emily Stevenson hit a two-run blast a couple batters later. Kennedy then hit her first and then Emma Fisher smacked a three-run shot. Kennedy’s second capped the long-ball barrage.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” the coach said. “The girls played phenomenal ball, we hit the ball hard all the way through the lineup. When we didn’t hit home runs we were hitting doubles and triples and solid shots.
“I was proud of the way we hit the ball. It was a great win for us, another league win. It might wake people up to how well we’re hitting the ball. It was contagious, these were deep, deep shots. It wasn’t because the wind was blowing out or anything like that. These were legit home runs.”
Franklin Heights 4,
The Red Raiders (9-7) stepped out of league play on Saturday, April 26, and split a pair of games.
The squad came up short against the Falcons allowing a three-run fifth inning which broke a 1-1 game wide open.
Lauren Miller suffered the loss, Aliyah Hiram had a pare of hits and Alli Farley hit a solo home run for the team’s only run.
Runs were not an issue in the convincing win over the Bruins.
London recorded 11 hits and were led by Talia Frye, who had a double, triple and batted in four runs. Farley hit another home run, added a single and picked up two RBI. Hiram again had two hits with a single and a triple. Shelby Long had two singles and a pair of RBI.
Chris Miles can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 18 or via Twitter @MadpressSports.