Darke County girls make impact at Russia

RUSSIA – Russia’s 14U girls fastpitch softball coach Dan Hoying has stepped up and brought softball play to the far west side of Shelby County with the team made up of Darke, Miami and Shelby County athletes.

“This team has led getting these other teams in here,” said Hoying. “It has been a lot of work but it has been fun.”

Back to back weekend road tournament cancellations had Coach Hoying and his staff bringing several teams from the cancelled tournaments to Russia on short notice to keep his team on the softball diamonds.

“We were supposed to play in Dayton last weekend and they closed two weeks in advance so we brought eight teams here,” Hoying noted. “Then Columbus cancelled on us just a week before we were supposed to play this weekend so we scrambled and got some teams that were supposed to play down there to come up here.”

Coach Hoying has served as past president of the Russia Community Junior Athletic Association (RCJAA), the organization that oversees the town’s summer baseball and softball programs.

“This is our home fields, we practice here in the park,” Hoying stated. “Because I’m here I want to keep it close. There are kids from Miami East, Arcanum and Ansonia, Versailles, Bradford, Covington, so we are kind of in the middle. It works out pretty well for everybody to come here to practice.

Known as the Cannons, the 14U fastpitch team won the eight team tournament a week ago and won two of three games this past weekend, easily winning the first two games before losing 3-2 to a Capitol City team from Columbus, OH.

“When those other tournaments got cancelled, we just wanted to play some games so last weekend we reached out to some teams,” added Hoying. “We got up to eight and so we just decided to do a tournament. The diamonds werent being used last weekend as they will be in the next few weeks so both for today and last weekend it worked out really well.”

Coach Hoying has two daughters, Makena and Saige Hoying playing for the Cannons.

The Cannons with a 10 player roser includes: Emilee Fout (Arcanum), Mackenzie Byrne (Arcanum), Jenna Dircksen (Versailles), Lydia Hecht (Versailles), Remi Harleman (Bradford), Kinsey Hartzell (Ansonia), Keira Kirby (Miami East), Erika Gostomsky (Covington), Makena Hoying (Russia) and Saige Hoying (Russia).

PHOTO CAPTION: Arcanum’s Emilie Fout pitches the Cannons to an 18-2 win over Lancaster 14U fastpitch team. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

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