GREENVILLE – Two of the state’s premier high school fastpitch softball programs went head-to-head Wednesday night at Greenville’s Lady Wave Stadium with the local ladies earning a 3-2 win to complete the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic season with a perfect 1-0 record.
The Clinton-Massie Lady Eagles including five 2020 seniors traveled to Greenville to take on the Lady Wave in a game organized and coached by Travis Gilbert with local businessman Bob Claudy serving as first base coach for the team.
“I just wanted to put something together where they could come out in front of their home community and show themselves one last time,” stated Gilbert, “get recognized as seniors for their accomplishments and what they plan to do in the future.”
“It was great,” said Morgan Gilbert who will be playing NCAA DI ball for IUPUI. “We went to the dugout and it was seven innings already and it felt like it had only been two innings. It is just amazing the feeling when you are in Lady Wave Stadium, the atmosphere and all the fans.”
Seven Lady Wave 2020 seniors managed to bring just a thread of closure to a season that without a doubt would have seen the Lady Wave making a June trip to Akron to play for the OHSAA DII State Championship trophy.
“No doubt Clinton-Massie would have been one of the teams we would have faced in the Regional Final,” said Gilbert. “They are top notch and thankfully we were able to get them to come up. It was a real good show for the fans.”
I’m not very good with closure, never am,” said veteran Hall of Fame Lady Wave head softball coach Jerrod Newland, “but obviously if we would have played this year these two teams would have probably played.”
Lady Wave stepping on the field for the final time included: No. 3 Baylee Petry, No. 5 Morgan Gilbert, No. 6 Courtney Bryson, No. 7 Zoe Pressnall, No. 12 Haleigh Behnken, No. 13 Chloe Sowry and No. 14 Layne Claudy.
The Lady Eagles jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning only to have the Lady Wave take advantage of back-to-back singles off the bats of Baylee Petry and Zoe Pressnall to even the score at 1-1 after two complete.
The Clinton-Massie girls took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning, a lead that would hold until Greenville came to the plate in the bottom of the fifth.
The Lady Wave used a fifth inning opening walk followed by a Petry sacrifice bunt and a Lady Eagles throwing error to plate the tying run bringing Pressnall to the plate. The Cedarville University Lady Jackets NCAA DII signee immediately drilled a liner high over the leftfield fence to give the Lady Wave a 3-2 win that would hold up for the final score and give Greenville the win.
“It is just awesome to get to play one last game with everybody,” Pressnall said following the win.
“To see the seniors out here playing and Gilby (Gilbert) makes a couple awesome plays, Chloe back there behind the plate, Baylee making a few crazy ones at first,” said Newland. “Zoe hits one out there almost off the scoreboard for the winning run. So proud of the kids and the program – but look at the families of these seniors. They raise their kids the right way and that is what it’s all about, good people and good families.”
“2020 is a dream that will never end and that is one thing you get out of this,” added Coach Newland. “We all knew what 2020 would bring for them on the field but for those kids the dream always ends with them getting the hit, or them getting the win or making the big play. I guess you just have to be thankful for just the chance to come out here and be together. It really ices the cake very well for myself and the senior class and the Lady Wave Softball program.”
“I just want to thank everyone in Greenville who has always supported us and believed in us,” concluded Morgan Gilbert. “I just wish we had that last year…but just move on to bigger and better things and be thankful for the years that we did get.”
Contact Darke County Media Sports Editor Gaylen Blosser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-548-3330