The Jonathan Alder softball team won the first of what it hopes will be multiple trophies this season as it won the Black Pool at the exclusive Wendy’s Spring Classic over the weekend in Ashland.
The Lady Pioneers (10-3) won three games over three tough opponents, including a 2-1 decision over Leo, Ind., a 10-0 shutout of Loudonville and a 5-1 win over Division I powerhouse North Canton Hoover in the championship match.
“Our girls are on top of the world right now,” Alder coach Dave McGrew said. “After the River Valley game Thursday our girls were down. To lose in the last inning like we did was tough, but they really bounced back up at the classic.”
In the game Friday against Leo, a state-ranked team from Indiana, Alder scored a pair of runs in the third inning and Katelyn Perkins made that stand up as she picked up the win in the pitcher’s circle. The junior standout stayed hot as she fired a no-hitter against Loudonville. The Pioneers had 11 hits in the victory.
In the title tilt, Alder scored twice in each of the first two innings against Hoover, but as the opposition started to time up Perkins. The Pioneers went to seldom-used pitcher Erin Jackson. She came in to close out the game, getting out of a bases-loaded no-out situation in the top of the seventh.
“KP was great all weekend long, but by starting her and coming back with Erin we were able to keep them off-balance,” the coach said. “They started hitting the ball well against her in the end but we were able to find a way.”
McGrew’s team has a big week scheduled with five Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference games on tap and a contest at Johnstown on Saturday, April 29. The Central District tournament draw is scheduled for Sunday, April 30.
“Our team is growing, these young kids have bought in and are really putting in the work,” the coach said.
West Jeff battles through injuries
Things don’t always go as planned during the course of a high school sports season.
Unforeseen events on and off the field can have an affect on how a team plays and whether or not it can pull out tight games.
The West Jefferson High School softball team is dealing with its own issues right now after a pair of starters were lost to injuries. The players are banged up a bit and may miss a week or two, but the rest of the squad was able to pick up the slack and helped the Lady Roughriders win two of three games over the weekend.
West Jeff downed Grandview 10-1 Friday in Mid-State League Ohio Division play. On Saturday it topped Madison-Plains 12-2, but was unable to solve Liberty Union and fell 12-6. Coach Jim Stevens knows his talented team will miss its starters but also knows the players still around are capable of big things.
“The rest of our team, our family, as the girls call us have really stepped up and played good ball winning against Grandview (Friday) and Madison-Plains (Saturday),” Stevens said. “Liberty Union was able to time our pitching up early in the game today and got some big hits. We made some changes and were able to hold them and battle back and score some runs and hit the way we do. This set back has brought our team together even more. We will keep fighting and make it work because they believe in each other.”
In the win over the Bobcats the Roughriders banged out 15 hits. The hot streak continued against Madison-Plain High School as it had 14 more.
Worthington Christian 10, London 0
The Red Raiders (4-12, 2-4 in MSL Ohio) were unable to hand the Warriors (9-3, 5-0) their first league loss of the season as they were shutout Friday.
Coach Kelly Nelson’s team could only muster two hits, one of which was a triple by Serena Crawford.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.