Big invites on the track and key, early-season battles on the diamond
both headline this week’s action in the Southeast.
Big invites on the track and key, early-season battles on the diamond both headline this week’s action in the southeast. A nice mixture of schools from a variety of conferences took to the track at the R.L. Davisson Invite at Southeastern and further south saw several others doing battle at Belpre High School. This week’s News, Notes, & Nuggets has the results from both.
I know sometimes in sports we have a tendency to make too much out of early season contests, but in a few of this year’s conference races, many feel there are some two horse races. This makes the head-to-head match-ups crucial because in some cases the team that loses the first round game will probably not get any help throughout the rest of the league. This week we take a look at some of these examples in both baseball and softball.
First, we start with our top awards. For our top team we head all the way down to the Ohio-West Virginia border where we find a track squad that took on several local track teams and finished on top. With the individual honor, we congratulate a southeast track star as she announced where she would run at the next level.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Athens, Boys Track: The Bulldogs were 10 points clear of the field in Saturday’s Belpre Shrine Invitational. Athens recorded wins in the 400 (Eric Conway with a time of 53.50), the 100 (Ian Dixon with a time of 11.07), and the 4 X 800 (Ben McAdoo, Chris Holiday, Phillip Dakhnovets, and Steven Rhue combined to post the winning time of 8:29.16). Dixon was the high individual scorer in the boys’ meet.
Complementing these wins was a depth that kept the green and gold in the scoring in all events propelling them to the win. The field which Athens defeated included Williamstown, Parkersburg South, Eastern, Belpre, Warren, Southern, Nelsonville York, and Waterford.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kara Jackson, Gallia Academy Girls’ Track: One of the area’s biggest track stars over the last four years signed this week to commit to Ohio University next fall to continue her track career. In three years, Jackson has been a major part of three state qualifying teams including the D-II runner-up squad in 2007. The Bobcat-bound runner is a six-time SEOAL champion over the past three years and is a heavy favorite to add to that number later this spring.
NEWS, NOTES, & NUGGETS
Lady Huskies Still Perfect: John Glenn remained perfect this past week with a 2-1 win over Sheridan. Rachel Townsend struck out nine as she out-dueled Sheridan’s Kira Wilson. The offense for the Lady Huskies was supplied by catcher Syd Brown who produced a pair of singles and two RBIs.
Not as Advertised: In what was suppose to be a down-to-the-wire battle for the early SOC lead, the Wheelersburg Pirates took care of business in five innings. Wheelersburg received a solid all-around performance from Andrew Elliott as the Pirates defeated Lucasville Valley 13-2. Elliott struck out nine while not allowing a free pass on the hill, and the Wheelersburg star was also 2-for-4 at the plate with a two-bagger and three RBI.
Surprising Start: The Southeastern Panthers have started league play in the Scioto Valley Conference perfectly in week one. The Panthers knocked off Zane Trace and Westfall this week, and they are currently tied 4-4 in the ninth inning with Unioto – the other league unbeaten – in the ninth inning. This game will be finished when the two teams meet again later this month.
In the latest SE win over Westfall, Michael Brown and Ben Davis pounded out three hits apiece while teammates Adam Cottrill and Christian Colburn both added two knocks. The Panthers are currently 6-2 overall on the season.
Walk-Off Winners: A Jen Arnzen single brought Katie Kaser home to lift Portsmouth Notre Dame to a win over nearby rival Portsmouth Clay. Miranda Pauley earned the win for the Lady Titans as she struck out six while allowing seven hits. Morgan Hannah had a hit and scored a run while Katherine Binns had a hit that drove in two runs.
Another key softball walk-off win came for Meadowbrook as they improved to 7-1 overall thanks to a walk-off dinger off of Alyssa Wright’s bat giving her squad a 2-1 win over ECOL rival Dover.
Redstreaks Roll: In this week’s Scioto Valley Conference softball showdown, Piketon’s Shella Zimmerman struck out 11 Adena batters as her Piketon squad defeated the Lady Warriors 3-1. Zimmerman also had a double and a run scored on offensive while teammates Aryn Harris and Tiara Grider both recorded run-scoring singles. Piketon is now 3-0 in SVC play and 6-0 overall. The loss for Adena was its first of the season as the Warriors fall to 8-1 overall and 2-1 in league play.
R.L. Davisson Invite: Host Southeastern scored 116 points to take the boys’ team title. Piketon finished second with 106 and Paint Valley was third at 97. Greenfield McClain, Vinton County, Zane Trace, Jackson, Huntington, and East Clinton rounded out the field. Piketon’s Caleb Southworth was the meet medalist.
On the girls’ side, meet medalist Taylor Hatfield lifted her Zane Trace Lady Pioneers to the win with 149.5 points. Jackson was a distant second with 124 points followed by Southeastern, Vinton County, Greenfield McClain, Huntington, Piketon, East Clinton, and Paint Valley.
Solid Week for Shamrocks: The Barnesville Shamrocks won their fifth straight game this week including its second within three days over Shadyside when they outlasted the Tigers in a 7-6 battle late in the week. Barnesville recorded the one-run win despite leaving 12 men on base including eight in the last three frames.
One Up, One Down: Buckeye Local first dropped a 1-0 decision in eight innings to Bellaire this week before rebounding to defeat Steubenville 1-0. In the win, Jenna Clark recorded 14 strikeouts in her complete game win. Clark also singled twice at the plate. Buckeye Local’s run came thanks to a pair of sophomores as Dana Bettineschi singled home Sydney Omaits.
Devils Now 9-0: Zanesville defeated Cambridge in non-league baseball last week thanks to a combined two-hitter from Colten Maxwell and Andy Paxson. Maxwell also smacked his fourth homerun of the spring. Cambridge’s Jimmy Antalis recorded the only two knocks for the Bobcats as he was the losing pitcher as well.
Aldridge Rewrites Record: Fairland track star Jordan Aldridge set a new meet record in the 100 meter high hurdles with a time of 15:08 in Friday’s 43rd Chesapeake Lions Club Invitational Track and Field Meet. This time was just shy of her career best of 14.91. Teammate Megan Brooks cleared 10 feet in the pole vault to take first-place as well.
Vinton County vs. Wellston, Baseball/Softball, Monday, April 12th, Wellston High School, 5 p.m. The Vikings make the short bus trip to nearby rival Wellston for what always seems to be a dogfight regardless of the sport. The baseball Vikings are coming off their big win over Belpre and a win over the Rockets would put them towards the top in the TVC Ohio race.
Waverly vs. Lucasville Valley, Baseball/Softball, Monday, April 12th, Lucasville Valley High School, 5 p.m. Crucial games in both the baseball and softball standings of the SOC. In baseball, both need a win to stay close to Wheelersburg. In softball, LV is enjoying a great start as they swept Chesapeake this past Saturday to improve to 10-1 overall.
Blue Lions Relay, Boys & Girls Track, Friday, April 16th, Washington Court House High School, 4:30 p.m. Several elite southeast track squads including the likes of Chillicothe will visit Washington Court House for a battle of relay teams.
Unioto Track & Field Invitational, Boys & Girls Track, Saturday, April 17th, Unioto High School, 10 a.m. In what always seems like a loaded field, the home Shermans will welcome not only some of the elite southeast programs but many elite programs from central Ohio as well.
Shamrock Diamond Classic, Baseball, Saturday, April 17th, Barnesville High School, 10 a.m. Host Barnesville will play Buckeye Valley in the first game with Tri Valley and Ridgewood to follow. The consolation game is slated for 3 p.m. with the championship game to be played at 5 p.m.