PICKERINGTON — Ping. Ping. Ping.
That constant sound you heard Friday evening, May 18 is nothing to worry about, unless you’re a future opponent of the Jonathan Alder High School softball team.
The second-seeded Lady Pioneers (19-6) hammered the ball Friday during a dominating 20-3 Division II Central District championship win over No. 5 Big Walnut in a game played at Pickerington Central High School.
With the lopsided win Alder advanced to a D-II regional semifinal where it will face Central Buckeye Conference foe Kenton Ridge on Wednesday, May 23, at Mason High School. The other regional semifinal will pit Greenville against Clinton-Massie. The D-II regional championship will be held Saturday, May 26 also at Mason High School.
The Pioneers were a powerful offensive force against the Eagles in the district final. Lindsey Potter led the way for Alder as she hit a towering first-inning leadoff home run. She proceeded to hit a three-run homer in the second inning and later added a bases loaded double. For the game she was 3 for 3 with two home runs and a total of seen RBI.
“When I first went up to bat I was really nervous,” Potter said. “I had these nerves and we really wanted to do this for the seniors. I got up there and I just felt so good. Everything was right there. I hit the first one and every time I got up there I said to myself I’m going to do it for my team.”
Big Walnut scored a run in the top of the first inning, Alder answered with Potter’s solo blast to make it 1-1 going into the second. Big Walnut scored another single run in the top of the second but that’s when Alder started to heat up offensively. Kelsey McDonald walked, Sophie Thomas singled and Potter hit a home run to centerfield.
Emily Walker followed with a single and Jillian Jakse walked, Katelyn Perkins got into the swing of things with a three-run home run and a 7-2 Alder advantage. The Pioneers scored 13 more runs in the third inning, a frame that included a grand slam by Walker.
“We’ve played a lot of good teams and they’re a good team they’ve got kids who can play,” Alder coach Dave McGrew said. “The wind is blowing out, and they were up 2-1. I like our girls and how they made adjustments. We were down 2-1 and then we got things going and our girls just kept the pedal to the metal. I’m so proud of them, they came out and hit the ball a ton.
“Lindsey hit the first one, then blasted the second to center and had a bases-clearing double. She’s had a great year, she’s led our team in hitting this season and really got us going today.”
Potter, who was intentionally walked in the third, which loaded the bases ahead of Walker’s grand slam was happy to be a part of yet another district championship.
“It’s amazing, our top 1-5 can really hit and can be awesome,” Potter said. “It’s great knowing if you’re down the next person will pick you up. We have so much confidence in each other. (Winning the district) means a lot, we really wanted to do this for our seniors.”
For the game Alder had 16 hits and Perkins pitched the entire five innings of the run-rule shortened contest.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.