MASON – A first-inning blitz of six runs gave Greenville firm control of Saturday’s district championship softball game and propelled the Lady Wave to an 8-0 victory over Western Brown.
The victory marked Greenville’s 10th Ohio High School Athletic Association district championship in the past 12 years. It’s the Wave’s third consecutive district title.
“To know we’ve won a gold medal 10 of the last 12 years it’s as good as it gets,” Greenville softball coach Jerrod Newland said. “It’s just awesome.”
Greenville’s first four batters of the game all reached base beginning with a walk to Morgan Gilbert and an infield dribbler by Karsyn Shaffer. Cromwell then singled into left to drive in Gilbert and put the Wave up 1-0 before they committed an out.
After Makayla Hanes walked, Western Brown was able to get the first out of the inning with a strikeout but then committed an error that brought in two runs, making it 3-0.
Baylee Petry then drove in two runners with a double into center, increasing the lead to 5-0. After a bunt moved Megan Johnston, Petry’s courtesy runner, to third an illegal pitch allowed her to score and put Greenville up 6-0.
“Unbelievable,” Newland said. “It’s the game within the game sometimes, you know. To put the pressure on like we did – even on the foul ball that he called fouled that we score on and they put them back to second that would have been one, and we bit our lip and played the game and came back a couple minutes later and just pressed and all of a sudden it’s two, three, boom. Two-out hit five then six. And just good stuff.”
Greenville continued to put pressure on Western Brown in the second inning with Shaffer reaching base on an infield single. Moments later she scored on a double by Cromwell to make it 7-0.
The game’s final run came in the sixth inning. Leading off the inning Gilbert reached base on an error and eventually scored on a grounder by Hanes.
Western Brown, meanwhile, was limited to just three hits all day – a double in the third inning and singles in the sixth and seventh innings. Petry, who struck out five Bronco batters, led Greenville to its fourth consecutive OHSAA tournament shutout victory.
“Petry just shut them out and play defense like we did around her today was great,” Newland said.
Greenville now advances to the OHSAA Division II regional semifinals. The Lady Wave will play Clinton-Massie at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Mason in the sweet 16 of the OHSAA tournament.
Greenville is ranked third in the state by the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association while Clinton-Massie is ranked sixth.
“It’s great,” Newland said. “It’s a fun atmosphere. I love when Wave nation comes down and we get to play at Mason. We’ve got two to go here next week. Just proud of the kids, proud of the atmosphere. It’s good stuff.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.