At least the first mission on the West Jefferson softball team’s list of to-dos this season.
The Lady Roughriders (17-4, 10-2) were aiming for at least a share of the Mid-State League Ohio Division for the fifth straight year when the season started back in the end of March. Coach Jim Stevens bunch did just that with a 5-4 11 inning marathon victory over visiting Worthington Christian Monday, May 8.
The Warriors (14-6, 10-2) could have wrapped up an outright title with the win, but the West Jeff players on the roster know nothing but winning MSL crowns refused to give in and earned their share of the crown.
“We dropped a game to them earlier in the year (also Bexley),” Stevens said. “Bexley beat (Worthington Christian) which put us back in the hunt for the championship. All I can say is that it was a dog fight for 11 innings.”
Worthington Christian scored a pair of runs in the top of the first inning off of West Jeff starter Isabelle Fisher. But the ’Riders answered right back with a pair of their own in the home half of the first frame to tie things at 2-2. West Jeff scored a couple more in the bottom of the third to take a 4-2 advantage, but it was the Warriors return to answer in the top of the fourth tying it back up 4-4.
The game remained tied until West Jeff scored in the bottom for the 11th frame for the walk-off victory and the school’s fifth and final MSL championship. The Roughriders will move to the Ohio Heritage Conference next year.
“I am so very proud of how our girls played their style of ball and battled every inning and never let up,” Stevens said. “It is a definite testament of the way these girls have played all year.”
Fisher went the distance inside the pitching circle. She along with Brooke Foster were both 4 for 6 at the plate. Haley Kurtz and Alexis Good both had a pair of hits in the contest.
West Jeff, the No. 3 seed in the district, will next be in action Thursday, May 11, when it plays host to either No. 15 Fairbanks or No. 21 Centerburg in a Division III district tournament second round game, starting at 5 p.m.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.