Tri-Village softball beat Southeastern for District title and a spot in regionals


By Drew Terhall

PLEASANT HILL — For the first time since 1992, the Lady Patriots softball team are District champions. The one seed Tri-Village won 10-1 over one seed Southeastern Local on May 17 at Newton High School in the OHSAA Division IV Softball Southwest District Finals.

Head coach Emily Osborne said the team came in and executed the game plan. While it took awhile to get the bats going, they came through in the end.

“We did what we were planning on doing. Come in and put the ball in play. Make sure we had the runners in scoring position and getting them across the plate,” Osborne said.

Senior Kiersten Wilcox said this moment feels great after seeing all of the improvement the team and program has gone through since her freshman year.

“My freshman year, we rode the struggle bus for a long time. It feels good to finally get some wins under our belt and prove ourselves,” Wilcox said.

Freshman Emma Greer got the game started with a one-out triple in the top of the first inning. Wilcox drove her in on a fielder’s choice to take a 1-0 lead.

Tri-Village had some chances in the next two innings to get more runs across, but couldn’t drive them in. Freshman Kaley Brandon eventually drove in a run in the top of the fourth to go up 2-0.

Southeastern got their first two hits of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning and had runners in scoring position. Sophomore Elizabeth Poling and the Tri-Village defense got the final out on a ground out to get out of the inning.

Wilcox said when the team needed it the most, they were able to drive in base runners.

In the top of the fifth inning, Tri-Village had bases loaded with two outs. Sophomore Hailey Burk hit her second triple of the game to take a 5-0 lead.

Burk said at the plate, she was thinking about how her team needed her in that moment. While running the bases, the thought of going home didn’t cross her mind as she knew her teammates could drive her in.

“At the box I kept thinking to myself that I’m doing it, I’m doing it because my team needs me right here. We have to put runs up on the board. I did exactly that,” Burk said.

Osborne said that triple from Burk gave them the momentum they need. She also said the team did a great job adjusting to the pitcher after seeing her once.

Brandon drove in Burk to give the Lady Patriots an 8-0 lead.

Tri-Village scored four more runs in the top of the sixth inning. Wilcox had a two-run single and Burk had a two-run double to go up 10-0 and give Burk five RBI on the day.

Southeastern got one run back in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Tri-Village defense and pitching didn’t allow much more after that.

Poling pitched five innings and had two strikeouts. Greer pitched the last two innings and had three strikeouts. Osborne said Poling did a great job to start and was hitting her spots all game long. Greer then came in and did her job closing it out.

The defense made plays all game long. Greer caught a few line drives from her third base position. Poling almost held onto one, but picked up the dropped ball and got the out.

Osborne said making those plays were a product of how focused the team was on the field. They were on their toes ready to get the out.

“It’s obviously nerve-racking when you’re out there playing and you get that line drive hit to you. To come up big with the catch or continue to make the play and get an out, that shows they’re out there to be ready and get the out,” Osborne said.

Tri-Village will play the winner of fourth seed Covington and third seed Fort Loramie on May 22 at 2 p.m. at Northmont High School.

Osborne said the plan now is to set new goals to achieve and continue this record-breaking season.

“We’re going to continue to win innings and break records. Set more goals. We had to set new goals coming in here. We reached that, so now we have to go back to setting goals, breaking records and winning innings,” Osborne said.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected].

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