Northeast Ohio Huddle: An area team will get the D-II state baseball title, but which one will it be?


Northeast Ohio Huddle

CVCA’s doubles duo impressed at the state tennis tournament while a pair of D-II Northeast Ohio baseball teams are facing off in tomorrow’s state championship while a pair of D-I teams from the Northeast are battling in Akron. Indian Valley, faces a big boy in Hamilton Badin in the D-III baseball finals and Strasburg-Franklin looks for its sixth state championship game…more?

Two teams travel more than two hours to face each other in a state championship matchup in Division II baseball while two softball teams in Division I are doing the same but not as far– but none are surely complaining.

Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin pounded Canal Winchester 10-0 in five innings in one state semifinal and defending champion Walsh Jesuit edged out Columbus St. Francis DeSales 2-0. Now the two teams who are not far from one another in Northeast Ohio, will play for the state championship at 1 p.m. today at Huntington Park in Columbus.

In Division I softball action, Hudson edged Cincinnati Colerain 3-0 while Elyria beat Hilliard Darby 2-0. Hudson and Elyria, both located near Lake Erie, will face off at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the state title game at Akron’s Firestone Park.

For NDCL, Rob Searles went 3 for 4 at the plate with a run, four RBIs and two doubles. Dave Medve had two hits, including a double, with an RBI. Mitchell Herringshaw added two hits with three runs scored and Nick Cappello had two RBIs with Alex Toth. Bill Turosky whirled a 3-hitter for the win on the mound.

For Walsh Jesuit, Tyler Skulina hurled another awesome game, striking out 11 while going the distance with three hits and just three walks allowed.

In the softball, Elyria’s Tess Sito, a Cleveland State recruit, absolutely dazzled Darby. She struck out 17, allowed one hit and gave up no walks in the win. Alana Williams had two hits for Elyria while Kristen Boros doubled. Alyssa Barker and Darien Ward both had RBIs.

For Hudson, Mindy Meredith amazed as well. She hit a 3-run homer in the sixth to account for all the scoring and at the mound, struck out nine, walked none and gave up just two scattered hits.


Alex Aleman and Lou Konstan, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Boys’ Tennis: Aleman and Konstan, both sophomores, won the Division II state doubles championship last weekend, defeating Andrew Enslen and Joey Frank of Columbus Academy 6-3, 7-5 in the championship match.

In the semifinals, Aleman and Konstan beat Seth Udelson and Nick Smediva, 6-4, 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, bested another Columbus Academy tandem in Austin Griffin and Eoghan Bahnson 7-4, 6-4.

Finally, in the first round, the dynamic Royals duo pounded Arnau Griffin and Aloke Desai of Cincinnati Indian Hill 6-0, 6-0.


Gilmour Academy Girls’ Track: Led by sprinter extraordinaire Candace Longino-Thomas winning the 100 and 200 dashes, Gilmour Academy dominated the always-competitive Division III regional meet at Fairless High School in Navarre. Gilmour scored 94 points to easily outdistance second-place Creston Norwayne’s 49.2 points.

Longino-Thomas joined teammates Bekka Simko and Melanie Frank in taking at least one individual win while leading relays as well as they won all four relays.

Longino-Thomas took the 100 and 200 while leading the 4-by-200 relay team that included Alexandria Dahlhausen, Kathryn Drew and Grace Brennan to victory. Simko and Frank were both on the victorious 4-by-800 team that included Tricia King and Brennan while Simko won the 400 and Frank the 800.

The 4-by-100 team of Rebecca Bloom, Dahlhausen, Drew and Sarah Siedlak also won while Dahlhausen, Brennan, Frank and Simko took the 4-by-400 as well.


Battling Braves: After rolling through Fairland and Wheelersburg by a combined score of 23-7 in its Division III regional at Chillicothe, Gnadenhutten Indian Valley proceeded to beat Garrettsville Garfield 7-4 in the state semifinals on Thursday.

Entering the semifinals, Bobby Hall was leading the team with a .429 batting average and he didn’t disappoint at the highest level, going 4-for-4 with two doubles. Logan Cozart was batting .424 and had two RBIs and a double in the semis while Logan Gray was hitting .407 and winning pitcher Johnny Iacobucci .403. All IV starters were hitting over .300.

In the state semifinals, Alex Knecht was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs and Adam Mizer had two runs, two RBIs and a double.

The Braves face Hamilton Badin at 10 a.m. today. Badin beat Coldwater 4-3. Indian Valley has now won 24-straight games after a 2-2 start to improve to 26-2. They were state semifinalists in 2003 and many of this year’s players were on the team that went to the Senior League World Series in Maine over last summer.

Surging Strasburg:
Strasburg, 31-2, beat Ansonia 3-0 in its Division IV state semifinal game and will face Convoy Crestview at 1 p.m. tomorrow. The Tigers got leadoff homers in different innings from Abby Froman and Erin Metzger while the pitching duo of Carly Clark and Kasey Gerber continued its dominance. Clark went the first four frames, striking out three while giving up three hits. Gerber went the final two innings, striking out five with one hit. Neither pitcher issued a walk.

Entering the semifinals, Clark was 18-1 with 119 innings pitched, 174 strikeouts, 54 hits and a 0.53 ERA. Gerber was 12-1 in 97 innings. She had allowed just 32 hits with 170 strikeouts and a tiny 0.14 ERA.

Entering the semis, Clark also had 12 homers with 45 RBIs and a .433 batting average while Froman was hitting .396.

Pollock Pounding the Ball:
Walsh Jesuit’s Matt Pollock pulled off a case of déjà vu in his team’s 8-4 Division I regional semifinal win over Bay Village.

Pollock connected for a leadoff home run to start the game for the second-straight year. It was his seventh of the season.

In the meantime, his teammate, Ryan Berry, hit his fourth homer of the year while Marco Caponi had a 2-run double and Greg Greve hit two doubles.

Hammerin’ Herringshaw:
Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin’s baseball team is no stranger to postseason success, having advanced to the state semis in 2001, 06, 08 and then this year. In a key 11-8 regional semifinal win over Padua, Mitchell Herringshaw went 4-for-4 at the plate while Mike Szabo had a big 3-run double.

In the team’s 4-1 regional final victory over Poland Seminary, Szabo added another double while Matt Bencic had an RBI triple, Dave Medve had an RBI double and Alex Toth hit a double among two hits.

Great Gabriel:
In her team’s Division II regional semifinal win over Field (4-0), Poland Seminary pitcher Erin Gabriel allowed just one hit with 17 strikeouts.

Trading Places:
At the Navarre Division III regional track meet, Vienna Mathews’ Mike Davis and Trinity’s Jonathan Bobak traded places in the two major sprints. Davis won the first round by taking the 100 10.86 to 10.88 while Bobak won the 200 21.83 to 22.34.

Garfield Senior Leaders:
Garrettsville Garfield is a young team that starts four freshmen and advanced to the state semifinals in Division III before losing to Gnadenhutten Indian Valley 7-4.

Two seniors stood out this year for the team on the mound and at the plate. Entering the state semifinals, Joe Collins was 9-1 with a 2.10 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 67 innings. He also hit .400 at the plate with three homers and 25 RBIs. In the semifinal loss to IV, Collins had a double and single but took the loss on the hill.

Classmate Jon Hartman was 7-1 on the mound with 64 K’s in 60 innings. He also hit .459 at the plate with three homers and 28 RBIs.

Smashin’ Shumate:
In a tight Division IV regional softball final, Crestline’s Stacy Shumate came up huge, pounding a 2-run homer to lead her team to a 3-1 win over Warren JFK.

Chelsea McKeever smacked an RBI double for the other run for a Crestline team that is 8-0 at the Kent State University regional since 2003.

JFK was led by Gina Gelsomino’s RBI single.


Tallmadge vs. Clear Fork, Division II Softball State Semifinal at Akron Firestone Stadium, 3 p.m., Tonight: Tallmadge is 27-4 on the year behind pitcher Jen Cottrell, who is 21-3 with a 1.47 ERA. She has only walked six in 156 2./3 innings.

Teammate Lauren Grimes smacks a .555 batting average with 36 runs, 26 RBIs and four home runs.

Clear Fork finished the year unranked but is 28-4. The Colts are led by Rachel Wilson, a Kent State recruit, who is 15-1 with a 0.92 earned run average and .514 batting average with 49 runs and 40 stolen bases from the leadoff spot.

Becca Mottayaw hits .377 with 22 RBIs and 24 runs scored while Katie Palmer nails .400 at the plate with 21 RBIs.

Sandy Valley vs. Youngstown Ursuline, Division III Softball State Semifinal at Akron Firestone Stadium, 12:30 p.m., Today: While both teams boast strong starting pitching, today’s Division III state semifinal game between Sandy Valley and Youngstown Ursuline could prove to be a power play at the plate.

Sandy Valley enters the game 25-5 after beating Archbold 1-0 while Ursuline beat West Salem Northwestern 3-2 in nine innings.

Allysa Lancaster is 20-5 this year for Sandy Valley with 202 strikeouts in 163 innings pitched and a 1.30 ERA. She allowed just one hit with 10 strikeouts in the Cardinals’ regional final win. She also allowed two hits in a 3-0 win over Woodmore in the regional semifinals.

Ursuline pitcher Casey Lower gave up four hits with three walks while striking out 15 in her team’s regional final win. It was her 63rd career win.

But the hitters on both teams are incredible. Sandy Valley is led by Shaynna Johnson with a .477 clip with 32 RBIs while Kelli Mohr bats .416 and Nicole Skropits .410. Danielle Grooms also smacked a big 3-run double in the regional semis.

For Ursuline, Sarah Ingalls hits .467, Kasey Foley .462 and Anna Danko .421.

St. Ignatius vs. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, Division I State Semifinal Baseball at Columbus’ Huntington Park, 4 p.m., Tonight.

Green vs. Pickerington North, Division I State Semifinal Baseball at Columbus Huntington Park, 7 p.m., Tonight: Green ousted defending state champion Lakewood St. Edward’s 7-4 as Jordan Williams pitched the win to improve to 9-1 on the year. Green is 25-3 and was led by Dickie Coombs with a 2-run double and a triple while Kurt Gamby had an RBI double and Jon Amhausen a key 2-run single.

Green took advantage of St. Ed’s pitcher Nick Slogik, who threw 45 pitches in the first inning alone.

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