DAYTON – In a closely contested game between Greenville and Northmont, it was the Greenville defense that shined the brightest during Thursday’s Reds Futures High School Showcase game at Wright State University.
Whether it was the outfield or the infield, Greenville made outstanding plays through the course of the game. As good teams tend to do, the Lady Wave were able to capitalize on a Thunderbolt mistake to gain their margin of victory. And pitcher Caitlin Christman held a strong Northmont team to a single run in the 2-1 win.
The Reds Futures High School Showcase is a series of games throughout Southwest Ohio in April. A total of 108 softball and baseball teams were selected for the showcase. This game was hosted at Wright State University, a change of venue for both teams. The weather was typical for this spring – snow in the morning and softball in the afternoon. Despite this, the infield was in decent condition, but the outfield was damp.
Northmont threatened to score early. In the second inning the Bolts had runners at first and second. A ball dropped for a base hit, but when the runner on second base attempted to score freshman Nyesha Wright threw a strike to catcher Chloe Sowry, who made the tag for the out and ended the inning and any thoughts that Northmont had of getting an early lead.
Greenville scored in the third inning. Sowry walked to advance to first. Then game MVP Morgan Gilbert hit a triple, which allowed Sowry to score the first run of the game.
A little later, the Northmont catcher made a mistake – she would throw a ball just wide of the pitcher and it would dribble past second base. Gilbert alertly dug hard for home plate, and she was across the plate before a throw could be made. This made it 2-0 in a defensive game.
When Northmont had a base runner in the fifth inning, outfielder Courtney Bryson made a nice throw to pick off that runner at second base for a force out to end that threat.
Northmont next tried to rally late. In the seventh inning the Bolts got their first two batters on base. One run scored, and they gradually moved the tying run to third base. It was time for the defense to step up. The next three batters would ground out with the last hit being straight back to pitcher Christman who tossed the ball to first to end the game.
“It was great to be invited here by the Reds and Skyline,” Greenville softball coach Jerrod Newland said. “It was exciting just being here and part of the atmosphere here at Wright State. In a couple of weeks we will be going to the Reds game (May 6) where we will be given a plaque. Seeing Morgan Gilbert getting the bat for being MVP was great. It was a fun game. With the low scoring, it was a fast game, too.
“Zoe Pressnall and Morgan Gilbert made a lot of nice plays on that side of the infield. Haleigh Mayo was covering our middle, and she made a few good plays, too. Nyesha Wright made a great bang-bang play to keep a run off the board. Lani Shilt made a huge play in right field – caught a ball that looked like it was going to drop for a double. We played some good fundamental softball. Despite this crazy Ohio weather it was fun day to play.”