TIPP CITY – The Greenville Lady Wave continued its march to Akron with a 7-1 OHSAA D-II tournament win over Dayton’s Carroll Lady Patriots, a member of the Greater Catholic Co-Ed League.
“We haven’t had an opportunity to play too many quality games the last couple weeks,” said Greenville coach Jerrod Newland. “Innings and reps and Carroll was making every play the first couple of innings. We left a couple on the table but it was great. That’s why it will be good next week because this game gets you churning and gets fans on the edge of their seats, kids digging a little deeper – you see who your leaders are.”
A popup storm with 60 MPH wind gusts, hail, thunder, lightning and pouring rain flooded the softball field delaying the start of the game for an hour as coaches and fans worked to get the field in playing condition.
Carroll took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning while keeping the Lady Wave off the board through four innings of play.
Leading 1-0, the Lady Patriots opened fifth inning play with back-to-back singles bringing a Greenville pitching change with Coach Newland summoning Grace Shaffer to the mound where the freshman with the backing of solid defensive plays behind her set the Lady Patriots down 1-2-3 to hold the score at 1-0.
Lani Shilt led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to left-center and moved to second on a Chloe Sowry sacrifice bunt. Morgan Gilbert followed with an infield single and a steal of second putting runners on second and third bringing Baylee Petry to the plate to drill an RBI single to left knotting the score at 1-1 and Gilbert racing home on a Carroll throwing error giving Greenville its first lead of the night at 2-1.
“Baylee Petry – goodness gracious,” Newland said. “An all-State player last year and obviously with the injury we’re kind of immune, but steps up and gets two runs today to give us the lead. Puts us up 2-1, the first two and the two runs a couple innings later and gives us runs five and six. She plays for that name on the front and boy she steps up and she’s cheering in there and cheering on these other two pitchers, and that’s what it’s all about.”
“She’s doing therapy and rehab to do what she’s doing now,” added Newland. “Just proud of her and Cass (Cromwell), both playing through the injuries, and Gilby (Gilbert), giving some time off (injury).”
Cassie Cromwell drove an RBI double down the right field line upping the Lady Wave lead to 3-1 and Haleigh Mayo smacked a two-out RBI single to left to give the Greenville girls a 4-1 lead with five innings of play in the book.
Inning six had Carroll opening with a single with the next batter sending a screaming liner to the right side only to have Lady Wave first baseman Cromwell make a diving stab to her right coming up with the ball and crawling to first to complete an unassisted double play. Shaffer struck the third batter out bringing Greenville to the plate in the bottom of the inning.
“Just proud of some kids today, making some plays,” noted Newland. “Cassie Cromwell; goodness gracious, on crutches yesterday, not moving, not walking and the play she made out there leaving it on the field and then hits it off the fence. That’s what Lady Wave softball players do. She’s hurting like heck. It’s like the NFL week 17, everybody’s hurt but with the playoffs you just play.”
The Lady Wave opened the sixth with two quick outs followed by a Sowry infield single, Gilbert reaching on an error and Petry knocking an RBI double to lead 6-1. Megan Johnston walked on a 3-2 count and scored on a Sydney Grote knock giving Greenville a 7-1 lead that would hold up for the final score.
Petry went 2-3 with a single, a double and three RBIs. Mayo was 3-3 with an RBI and Cromwell had a double and an RBI. Nyesha Wright went 2-3. Gilbert, Grote, Shilt and Sowry each had singles.
“Mayo had quality at-bats tonight,” said Newland.
Caitlin Christman went 4.1 innings on the mound giving up six hits and a run. Shaffer closed out the game tossing 2.2 innings of scoreless ball allowing one hit.
“We play for that name on the front. There was no doubt in my mind – 100 percent confidence in Christman and 100 percent confidence in Grace (Shaffer) and Grace pics up another win today,” Newland said of losing his starting pitcher on the mound for most of the 2018 season. “Just good stuff.”
“When your time is called upon we don’t hesitate,” added Newland. “You just go do what you can. That’s why you’re on the team and one through 18 is Lady Wave softball moving to districts.”
With the Tuesday night Sectional Championship win, the Lady Wave now have 15 consecutive 25 or more season wins under the leadership of Coach Jerrod Newland.
The Lady Wave take on Hamilton Ross, Friday, May 18 at Lebanon Junior High School with a 5 p.m. start time.
PHOTO CAPTION: Cassie Cromwell craws to the first base bag to complete unassisted double play in 7-1 Sectional Championship win over Carroll. (Gaylen Blosser photo)