MASON – Greenville got the redemption it was seeking on Friday as the Lady Wave run ruled defending state champion Granville 11-0 in five innings.
One year ago Granville beat the Greenville softball team in the regional finals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament, ending the Lady Wave’s season while the Blue Aces went on to win the Division II state championship. This year it was Greenville who came out on top to qualify for the regional finals and move one step closer to a potential state championship.
“Last year they took it from us down here on Saturday,” Greenville coach Jerrod Newland said. “And all week we wanted to do one thing and that’s come and compete and just bring it. Love our kids. Man, we’re on a mission, and we’re not done.”
Greenville’s determination was evident from the beginning of the game. After setting the Blue Aces down in order in the top half of the first inning, the Lady Wave scored four runs in the bottom half of the inning.
After Karsyn Shaffer was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the first, Ashton Kester hit a RBI double that gave Greenville the only run it needed all day.
Moments later Greenville added to its lead when Sydney Grote cranked a two-out home run over the left field wall for a 3-0 Lady Wave lead.
Makayla Hanes then doubled and scored when Alli Hill reached on a Granville error, making it 4-0 through one inning of regional semifinal softball.
“It didn’t matter who we were playing today because once you get your lunch money taken from you you’re going to get it back,” Newland said.
Granville’s best chance to score came in the second inning when Vega Theophilus walked, Halle Garman doubled and Megan Gummere walked to load the bases. However, Greenville pitcher Allison Minnich got an inning-ending strikeout to leave the bases loaded and end the threat.
Unlike Granville, Greenville didn’t have any problems scoring as the Wave added four more runs with a two-out rally in the bottom half of the second inning.
Shaffer and Kester drew back-to-back walks. After a sacrifice grounder by Cassie Cromwell, Jazzlyn Petry ripped a two-out single that plated both runners and made it 6-0.
Following an infield single by Grote, Hanes drilled a two-run double to drive in Petry and Grote for an 8-0 Greenville lead.
The Lady Wave then scored the game’s final runs in the third inning.
After Logan Tabler walked, Shaffer reached base on a bunt single. Granville’s first baseman tried to throw the ball to third base but it sailed high, allowing Tabler to advance two bases and score for a 9-0 Greenville advantage.
Kester and Cromwell then drew back-to-back walks to load the bases, and Petry drove in Shaffer and Kester with a single, making it 11-0.
Granville got its second base hit of the game in the fifth inning when Kaitlyn Brown singled, but Greenville kept the Blue Aces off the scoreboard to win in a five-inning run rule.
“Run rule in the regionals? That doesn’t happen too often, I think, especially against the defending state champs,” Newland said.
Greenville out-hit Granville nine to two in Friday’s game. The Lady Wave had no errors while the Blue Aces had two.
Grote had a single, a home run, two RBIs and scored two runs for Greenville. Hanes had two doubles, drove in two runs and scored a run. Kester doubled, walked twice, scored three runs and drove in a run.
Petry had two hits, three RBIs and scored a run. Shaffer singled, walked, was hit by a pitch and scored three runs. Tabler walked and scored a run. Alli Hill also had a hit.
Minnich pitched the complete game shutout, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out two.
Greenville now advances to play in the regional finals at noon Saturday at Mason High School. It’s the Wave’s seventh regional final appearance in the last 11 years and third in the past four years.
Greenville will play Hamilton Ross in the regional finals. Ross will be looking for its own redemption as Greenville beat the Rams in last year’s regional semifinal.
Following Friday’s victory against Granville, though, Newland was confident that his team would punch its ticket to the state final four in Akron.
“This senior class has been in the regional finals now three times in four years, and we’re 0-for-2,” he said. “So I can promise you tomorrow it’s going to line up and we’re going to Akron.”
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.