Writing the final huddle for the year means a couple of things: One, we
are ready to finally crown our state champions in all divisions for
track, baseball, and softball, and two, we are about to approach a near
three-month wait for high school sports to rekindle in the news.
Writing the final huddle for the year means a couple of things: One, we are ready to finally crown our state champions in all divisions for track, baseball, and softball, and two, we are about to approach a near three-month wait for high school sports to rekindle in the news.
The final week of action in the southeast definitely didn’t disappoint high school fans. We had Division I bound college stars making their marks in their final high school postseasons, and some of them have some how saved their best for last.
We had some incredible baseball finishes that ended in dramatic fashion; however, softball takes the instant-classic prize this week as many regional battles needed much more than seven innings to crown regional champions.
One regional final ended bitter for one baseball team, but a unique regular season game that still needed to be played because of league standings helped give a sweet ending to the season.
Several track stars are still alive as they advance individually to Columbus this week, and once again there is some off-season news from the hardwood as another coaching change is going to take place in the Scioto Valley Conrference.
All this and more, so let’s get started around the southeast one final time this season.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Stephanie Morgan, Track & Field, Barnesville High School: Barnesville’s Stephanie Morgan cruised to the state meet in the 1600 with a time of 4:45.52. Morgan set a new meet record, scorching last year’s record time by better than 18 seconds. The Baylor bound star also won the 800 with a time of 2:12.99 at Fairfield Union High School.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Meadowbrook Softball: Led by their outstanding pitcher Kinsi Tellep, the Meadowbrook softball team is heading to the Final Four. The Lady Colts won a pair of 1-0 games – both in nine innings – against Logan Elm and Canal Winchester to capture the Division II Regional Title. Meadowbrook has now won eight, 1-0 games this season and 14 total games by just a single run. The Lady Colts are 22-7 entering this weekend’s state tournament.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS
A Softball Marathon: Two southeast foes – actually two Southern Ohio Conference rivals – in Franklin Furnace Green and Portsmouth Clay needed 14 innings to decide Thursday’s regional semifinal at Pickerington High School. Finally, Green plated a run to advance to Friday’s final where they were defeated by Strasburg Franklin 6-0 in the Division IV regional title game.
Typical Tellep: Meadowbrook star pitcher Kinsi Tellep pitched yet another shutout – this one a nine-inning effort – with 17 strikeouts as the Lady Colts are heading to this week’s state tournament. Abby Dudley delivered a hit to left scoring sister, Alyse score the game’s only run in the 1-0 win over Canal Winchester.
Qualifying for State: Buckeye Trail’s Amy Fisher qualified for the state in the 1600, running a 2:21.89 which was good for fourth. The Lady Warriors also saw their 4×400 team advance, as Fisher, Kaci Cunningham, Arika Urbauer and Kaitlyn Wolfe ran third with a time of 4:02.4.
The other regional champions included a group of Ohio Valley Athletic Conference stars. Steubenville Catholic Central’s Teddi Maslowski won the 100 hurdles (14.98) and the 300 hurdles (44.76), and the 4×200 team was victorious (1:42.72), setting a new regional record.
Coaching Turnover: Paint Valley announced this week that Harold Bates will not return as the boys’ basketball coach next season. Bates was non-renewed this past week by the Paint Valley Board of Education.
A Bitter-Sweet Finish: After Cambridge baseball defeated Waverly 6-1 in the regional semifinal, the Bobcats were just one win shy of the Final Four. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they were defeated by Canal Winchester in the final 13-7.
Now, out of the tournament Cambridge was forced to regroup because they had another regular season game to play. Cambridge overcame a six-run deficit with nine unanswered runs to defeat New Philadelphia 9-6 to finish 10-2 in the East Central Ohio League, tying Dover for the league title — the first in school history for Cambridge. Cambridge also recorded a school-record 24 total wins.
‘Burg Bounced One Step Shy: The Wheelersburg baseball squad defeated Zane Trace in an instant-classic finish on Thursday at the beautiful VA Memorial Stadium. In that game – a 7-6 win for the Pirates – Andrew Elliott threw 149 pitches, but was able to strand 13 Zane Trace runners including three in the final inning.
The following day Wheelersburg was defeated by Indian Valley 12-2 as the Pirates see their season end in the Elite Eight while the Braves head the final four.
Familiar Finish: The Lancaster Division IV baseball regional took on a familiar finish with Newark Catholic heading back to the Final Four. Racine Southern – who advanced to the Sweet 16 with wins over Whiteoak and Paint Valley – lost to Newark Catholic 11-1 in the regional semifinal. In the other semifinal, Toronto outlasted Symmes Valley 8-7 in eight innings; however, Toronto fell to NC 11-2 in the final.
Home of the Braves: As mentioned in one of the above nuggets, Indian Valley is heading to the Final Four. On Thursday, Indian Valley jumped out on Fairland with seven early runs, but the Dragons fought back with three runs of their own. After a near two-hour rain delay, Indian Valley regrouped and delivered the knockout punch to record an 11-5 win.
Title Defense: The defending Division III State Champions in softball in Lakewood were just three outs from a return trip to Akron. Up 2-0, Adena was down to their final at-bat when junior catcher Kirsti Yates hit a homerun to spark a two-run rally that sent the game into extra innings. Lakewood plated two runs in the top of the ninth and then Akron bound pitcher Alissa Burkhimer slammed the door shut.
Southeast Track Still Alive: Paint Valley’s Tanner Walls, Southeastern’s Taylor Rogers and Steven Hall, Western’s Vince Shanks, and Taylor Beeler and Caleb Chaney of Huntington headline some of the small-school qualifiers for this week’s state meet.
State Tournament – Baseball – Huntington Park in downtown Columbus:
*Starts Thursday with Division III (10 a.m. & 1 p.m.) & Division II (4 p.m. & 7 p.m.)
*Continues Friday with Division IV (10 a.m. & 1 p.m.) & Division I (4 p.m. & 7 p.m.)
State Tournament – Softball – Akron Firestone Stadium:
*Starts Thursday with Division I (10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.) & Division IV (3 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.)
*Continues Friday with Division III (10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.) & Division II (3 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.)
State Meet – Track & Field – The Ohio State University:
*Gets underway at 9:30 a.m. on Friday