Lady Patriots storybook season comes to a close at Regional Finals


By Drew Terhall

CLAYTON — Like they have all season, the Lady Patriots battled their way through seven innings. Through the ups and downs, the team stayed locked in and competed.

But, the Tri-Village softball team came up short against Minster in the OHSAA Division IV Softball Southwest Regional Final, 5-3, at Northmont High School on May 24.

Head coach Emily Osborne said she couldn’t be prouder of how her team kept their heads high and kept their focus throughout this game. Even when they went down early, the team never sulked around.

“Of course there were some errors on our end. Some things we would like to get back and change. But, the girls just stayed in it as a team. So proud of them for that,” Osborne said.

Minster took a 2-0 lead after three innings. They had a RBI single in the top of the second inning and with two outs in the third inning, Addison Inskeep hit a solo home run.

Tri-Village almost responded to that home run in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs, they strung together three hits to load the bases. However, they left them stranded as Minster got a groundout to end the inning.

Osborne said the team made it a goal to not leave runners stranded after leaving 10 players on base in their last game against Fort Loramie. While they didn’t take a step towards accomplishing that goal, Osborne said that inning helped give them some momentum.

When Tri-Village got back up to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning, sophomore Camryn Osborne hit a ball off the scoreboard for a lead-off home run.

Minster did get a pair of runners on base in the top of the fifth inning, but couldn’t score them.

In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Aereonna Baker led off with a single. Senior Macy Howell dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Baker over.

Baker got to second and Howell was thrown out a first. Baker went a little too far off the bag at second and the Minster first baseman, Mikaela Hoskins, threw it over to second base and trapped Baker into a game of pickle. Baker moved back and forth a few times before seeing an opening to slide into third base safely.

After that fiasco, sophomore Tai Mize drove her in to tie the game. With two outs in the inning, Osborne hit a RBI double to give Tri-Village a 3-2 lead.

Osborne said the team has doe a great job throughout the year getting to the plate and looking to put the ball in play. They are aggressive right when they step to the plate and don’t watch and look at pitches often.

“As we went through the season, we’ve definitely made sure we’re up to the plate to hit the ball. We do that pretty well from top to bottom. I’m so proud of the girls for seeing it as an opportunity to hit the ball and not just watch and see,” Osborne said.

Minster immediately retook the lead in the top of the sixth inning. They got runners at second and third with no outs. One hit drove both the runners in as the Lady Wildcats led 4-3.

Tri-Village was held scoreless in the bottom of the sixth. Minster came back in the stop of the seventh and scored an insurance run.

The Lady Patriots did all they could and battled at the plate. But the Lady Wildcats didn’t give up a hit after a lead off walk to move on to the State tournament.

Sophomore Elizabeth Poling pitched five innings and had a strikeout. Freshman Emma Greer came in relief for two innings and had three strikeouts. Osborne said Greer did a great job at third base and on the mound while fighting through some small injuries with her hand.

The team will graduate two seniors, Macy Howell and Kiersten Wilcox. Osborne said both seniors have been great leaders and have led by example. Words can’t accurately describe what they have meant to this team and to this program.

“Their spirit they bring to the team. They’re 4.0 students. The character behind them, the leadership, the energy and the encouragement. I could go through a whole list of things. Those girls are beautiful from the inside out. I’m so blessed to have coached them for four years,” Osborne said. “I’ll miss them.”

Tri-Village finish their season with a 24-2 record and an 11-0 WOAC record. The last time Tri-Village lost was at Versailles, 10-9, on March 29.

The Lady Patriots collected some trophies this season. They won the WOAC, were District champions and are Regional runner-ups. They also set a new school record for wins in a single season with 24.

Osborne said the team were given small tubes to grab some dirt from the Northmont field as a reminder of what they accomplished and as motivation to get back to this stage.

“It’s been a great team. We’re looking forward to seeing them back out. I know a lot of them are going to play this summer. We’ll be stronger when we come back together,” Osborne said. “We dug up some dirt here and we’re going to take that with us as some momentum.”

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

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