Players, coaches and fans may get a deja vu kind of feel as the Division II Regional softball tournament returns to Mason High School for a pair of regional semifinals Wednesday.
Jonathan Alder will square off with Kenton Ridge at 5 p.m., that game will be preceded by the other semifinal which pits Greenville against Clinton-Massie. Three of the four schools are the exact same ones that competed in the 2017 D-II regional at Mason.
Alder supporters would be in for a repeat of last year’s results. The Pioneers topped Springfield Shawnee 11-2 in one semifinal, Greenville knocked off Clinton-Massie 14-4 in the other setting the stage for the regional final. The Lady Pioneers triumphed in that one 5-3 with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, sending them to the state final four.
This year’s regional again features four teams which were ranked in the final D-II state poll. Kenton Ridge (23-1) was No. 2, while Greenville was No. 4, Clinton-Massie was No. 7 and Alder (19-6) was No. 9.
The Lady Pioneers are coming off an impressive 20-3 thrashing of Big Walnut in a Central District championship game.
“I’ve been here for seven years as the head coach, what we’ve done, that success has really planted seeds with the younger kids in the community,” Alder coach Dave McGrew said. “We’ve got a lot of good talent down through the grades, it’s a lot of fun. I really believe that nobody works harder than we do.
“We try to keep it fun, and we have a couple assistant coaches in Heather (Colvin) and Glen (Widner) who teach the game as well as anybody. We all compliment each other really well and it’s just working.”
Alder is very familiar with semifinal foe Kenton Ridge. Both schools are members of the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division. They split a pair of regular season games. Kenton Ridge won the first one 4-3, but Alder responded a couple weeks later to win 7-6, handing the Cougars their only loss of the regular season.
The two semifinal winners will square off against each other Saturday, May 26, back at Mason High School with the regional champion advancing to the state final four in Akron May 31 to June 2.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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