Division IV District Championship
Strasburg 7, Newcomerstown 3
NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Things looked bright and sunny for the Lady Trojans after they scored three runs in the top of the third to go up 3-0 over their IVC nemesis, the No. 1 state-ranked Lady Tigers, in the Division IV district championship on Friday at Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School. At stake were a district championship and bragging rights to the rubber match between the teams who split during the regular season with Newcomerstown taking the first game 1-0 and Strasburg claiming the second, 8-5.
But just like the weather this spring, the clouds moved in quickly and the game didn't look so bright afterwards. The Lady Tigers scored the next seven runs to come away with a 7-3 win and a berth in the regional semi-finals at Pickerington Central this Wednesday against Portsmouth Notre Dame or Portsmouth Clay.
The loss ended Newcomerstown's record breaking season at 17-9 as the team made it to the district final for the first time. Strasburg bumped theirs to 22-2.
Tiger senior ace Kasey Gerber, a senior, ran her record to 16-1 as she struck out 11 batters and while spreading out six hits over the game.
Strasburg wasted little time in coming back from their 3-0 deficit as they scored twice in the bottom of the third to make it 3-2. Three runs in the fourth inning made it 5-3 and insurance runs in the fifth and sixth frames sealed the Lady Trojan's fate.
Gerber also had a good day at the plate as she and teammate Kristen Smith came through with two base hits and two RBI apiece. Erin Metzger had an RBI single in the bottom of the third, a critical time for the Lady Tigers who seemed rattled after getting behind early, a position they weren't accustomed to this season.
Newcomerstown struck first with junior Kelsey McCune and senior Chelsea Fenton driving home runs with base hits after several Strasburg miscues allowed runners on base.
McCune would finish with half of the Lady Trojan's six hits as she connected on three singles.
In the fourth inning, the Lady Tigers tied the game on a fielder's choice and then got a sacrifice fly from Smith to put Strasburg up for good. Four walks in the fourth inning by sophomore Aeriel Green (7-5) set the stage for the Lady Tiger runs that would follow.
A wild pitch scoring one run in the fifth, a Gerber RBI single in the sixth, and a passed ball in the sixth finished out the Tiger scoring. The Lady Trojans, after threatening to score in the sixth, went down in order in the seventh to end the game.
Nct 003 000 0 - 3 6 1
Strasburg 002 311 x - 7 9 2
Division IV District Semi-Final
Newcomerstown 5, Bellaire St. John 1
NEW PHILADELPHIA -- In Division IV district semi-final softball action on Thursday, the Lady Trojans used some electrifying two-out lightning to propel themselves to a 5-1 win over Bellaire St. John. The game, played at Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School, put Newcomerstown in its first ever district softball championship.
A huge four run rally in the fifth inning proved to be the game winner for the Lady Trojans, with all the runs in the frame crossing the plate with two outs.
"We've done that all year," Newcomerstown coach John Dupke explained. "Our girls just keep battling, they don't give up with two outs. It's sort of our motto, they have to get three outs on us before it's over."
Sophomore Allie Hinton started off the scoring for the Lady Trojans by slamming an RBI triple in the first inning. Then with the game tied at 1-1 entering the fifth, Newcomerstown starting pitcher Cydney McMillan led off with a base hit. The next two batters were retired before Hinton coaxed a walk from St. John pitcher Bethany Cera, and clean-up hitter Kelsey McCune reached on an error to load the bases.
Senior Chelsea Fenton stepped up and promptly stroked a clutch double to plate McMillan and Hinton for a 3-1 Lady Trojan lead. McCune scored following a wild pitch, and Sabrina Postel sliced an RBI single to left field to bring Fenton home and raise the NHS lead to 5-1.
Fenton's big hit was nothing new according to Dupke, who has grown used to her providing big plays for the Orange and Black.
"She's (Fenton) been doing that for four years for us," Dupke said. "She is one of our two seniors and always seems to come through when we need her."
Not only did Fenton get the job done on offense, she also flashed some leather from her right field position as she snagged a sliding catch in the seventh inning, a play worthy of air time on Sportscenter.
"Chelsea has made a ton of plays for us just like that one in the seventh," Dupke continued. "She really enjoys playing out there in right, and you can tell. She gives it all she has on every play."
While the Lady Trojan offense was doing its two-out damage, McMillan was doing her part in holding down the Lady Irish hitters. McMillan allowed just four hits in going the distance for the pitching win, and retired the last eight batters in a row. She finished with four strikeouts and two walks.
"Cydney pitched a real good game tonight," Dupke said. "She threw strikes and let her defense work behind her."
Fenton added a single to her big two-base hit to lead the Lady Trojans' eight hit attack, while Taylor Postel finished with a pair of singles. Hinton added an RBI triple in the first inning to get the Lady Trojans on the scoreboard.
St. John Central (15-8) was led by Rosa Young's fifth inning double. Cera was tagged with the loss as she went 4 2/3 innings, striking out five, hitting two, and walking three.
With the victory, the Lady Trojans improved to 17-8 and set a new standard for Newcomerstown softball by reaching the district championship game for the first time in school history.
"I told the girls we're just one game from regionals now," Dupke said. "This is the best run in school history and we're excited about it. We don't want it to end, we want to keep playing."
The Lady Trojans play Strasburg on Friday in the Division IV district championship.
Nct 100 004 0 - 5 8 0
Bellaire St. John 000 100 0 - 1 4 1
Tusky Valley 7, Indian Valley 6
ZOAR -- Despite leading 6-0 at one point, the Lady Braves couldn't hold on and fell to the Lady Trojans on Thursday in regular season PAC action.
Indian Valley scored five runs in the top of the fourth and another in the fifth, only to see Tusky Valley respond with four in the bottom half of the inning. After scoring once in the sixth to trail just 6-5, the Lady Trojan's got a game winning RBI from Corri Morris in the bottom of seventh to cap a two-run rally and end the game.
Morgan Miles, who picked up the loss on the mound, got two base hits, as did teammate Kelsey Kochman. Jess Wallace earned the win for the Tusky Valley (9-11, 6-6 PAC).
IV 000 510 0 - 6 6 2
TV 000 041 2 - 7 9 1
Indian Valley 6, Fairless 2
NAVARRE -- Katie Shamel smashed a three run homer and the Lady Braves picked up a regular season PAC win over the Lady Falcons on Tuesday.
Morgan Miles earned the win as she struck out seven while Breanna Tucker took the loss for Fairless (11-9, 9-5 PAC).
Rikki Ohler came through with a double and single for Indian Valley (9-10, 5-8 PAC).
IV 003 030 0 - 6 6 1
Fairless 000 200 0 - 2 7 3
Division III Sectional Championship
Fort Frye 9, Indian Valley 3
BYESVILLE -- The Lady Braves fell to the Lady Cadets, 9-3, in Monday's Division III sectional championship. The game was played at Meadowbrook High School due to rain conditions at Cambridge City Park.
After leading the game off with a run, Indian Valley gave up three in the bottom half of the inning to trail 3-1. With the game standing at 4-2 after four innings, Fort Frye (15-3) racked up five runs in the next two innings to put the game out of reach.
Rikki Ohler had the hot bat for the Lady Braves as she cracked a double and two singles. Katie Shamel crushed two doubles and Vanessa Ziegler cranked on one double.
Morgan Miles suffered the loss for Indian Valley (8-10) while Victoria Mimken got the win.
IV 100 101 0 - 3 8 2
Fort Frye 310 023 x - 9 11 3