GREENVILLE – Franklin Monroe reached the elite eight and needed a win to receive a berth to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state final four, but No. 6 state ranked Williamsburg was standing in the Jets’ way.
Williamsburg came into the game with a 27-2 record and had mowed down the competition in the playoffs with dominating pitching and lively bats.
FM made a few mental errors in the first inning, and the Wildcats jumped on top 4-0, putting the pressure squarely on the Jets.
Left-handed pitcher Carly Wagers has been dominant all year in the circle and was on her game pitching as the Jets had a difficulty timing her fastball and she kept them off balance with the rise ball and placement.
The Wildcats put up two more runs in the third inning and one each in the fifth and sixth to go up 8-0.
Franklin Monroe has never been about quitting and in the top of the seventh the Lady Jets had one last chance to try and make something happen.
With one out and senior Emilee Morris headed to the plate Coach Mike Morris hugged his daughter and star pitcher and whispered in her ear break it up (Wagers’ no-hitter) have fun and I love you.
Emilee Morris got a good bat on the ball, but it was lined straight at Wagers who fielded the hard-lined shot then struck-out the final batter, ending the fairy tale finish for Franklin Monroe and to send Williamsburg to Akron for the state playoff berth.
The 5-foot 10-inch Wagers tossed her sixth no-hitter this year. As just a junior she also has the state record for home runs in a season with 24 and is a major college prospect.
“We knew what kind of pitcher we were going see today, and we ran into a buzz saw,” Coach Morris said.
“It was a great postseason, and all the coaches are extremely proud of this team. There was no quit even when we got down. All our girls were up in the dugout, talking and encouraging one another all the way to the end,” Coach Morris said.
“We started out slow this season, but we know our league is strong and tough to win, but it’s going to prepare us for the postseason. We tell our team every year let’s go far in the tournament. This year we achieved our goal – a district title and a regional runner-up finish – that’s a reflection of this team’s dedication and work ethic.”
Despite losing two seniors, softball is looking bright at Franklin Monroe … but that doesn’t make it easy on Coach Morris as those seniors are his daughter Emilee Morris and niece Madison Schaar, both four-year starters.
“It’s hard to say goodbye as I have coached these two since T-Ball and both were key pieces to this team. Someone is going to have to step up, and someone usually does. That is the expectation at Franklin Monroe,” Coach Morris said.
“It might not have sunk in yet … but this team has accomplished something that hasn’t happened at Franklin Monroe for 31 years, and although we are hurting now they are going to be able to look back and realize what they did and be really proud,” Coach Morris concluded.