CHILLICOTHE — The South Webster Lady Jeeps withstood a potential Adena comeback during their 3-2 victory over the Warriors in Monday’s Division III district final at Unioto High School.
It’s the program’s second straight district crown, but first in that sequence as a Division III program — as last year’s was in D-IV.
“We play D-II and D-III teams all year long in our conference, had always been the D-IV team but now we’re up there with them,” South Webster coach Andy Messer said, following the win .”We felt accustomed to it, these girls love playing ball and were up to the challenge.”
“It’s really exciting, especially since we have such a young team,” South Webster junior Skylar Zimmerman said, “Winning districts and being in D-III, being in D-IV last year, it’s a big step for South Webster softball.”
The now 22-4 Lady Jeeps cracked the scoreboard first with a two-run third inning and never looked back.
Zimmerman singled with one out, driving in freshman Laiken Lancaster who started the inning with a one-out walk.
Addi Claxon doubled which put Lancaster in scoring position, as Claxon later touched home due to an Adena wild pitch.
In the fourth, South Webster played add-on.
Sophomore Makayla Raynard produced a one-out RBI single with two outs, scoring sophomore Lauren Kaltenbach who reached via error.
“It was more difficult in the sense that you play better competition in D-III. But playing some of the teams we do in the SOC (II) really helped prepare us,”Raynard said, after the win. “Telling ourselves we can do it and having that confidence is also big.”
“We knew that their pitcher was good, but we also knew we were good,” Claxon said. “Just went to the plate with full confidence that we can step up to the plate and hit the ball, make contact.”
Adena got on the scoreboard in the third with a one-out RBI bunt single by Greenlee Bossert, scoring Kiera Williams from second.
The 23-4 Warriors again threatened in the seventh, scoring their second run on a single by Caroline Corcoran with no outs — cutting the Lady Jeep lead to 3-2.
The potential-tying run at second base and two outs, a ball in play deflected off of junior first baseman Ashlee Spence’s glove and was recovered by Kaltenbach at second base.
Kaltenbach relayed the ball back to Spence, who was covering first to record the game’s final out.
South Webster freshman pitcher Jaiden White earned the win in the circle, allowing four hits, two earned runs and striking out four Adena batters.
“Our defense has been strong all year long,” Messer said. “With her (white) pitching, they put a lot of balls in play, so we rely on our defense. Held them off at the end, put up one more in the seventh and had the tying run in scoring position. Luckily we made the play there at the end — came off Ashlee’s glove, Lauren made the pickup, get the out to seal it.”
South Webster’s victory in the district final advances them to the Region 11 semifinals where a familiar opponent awaits — the West Lady Senators.
West earned 6-2 and 13-10 victories over South Webster during the regular season.
The two will meet on Wednesday (May 24th) at 2 p.m. at Unioto High School.
The winner will face the winner of Wheelersburg-Meadowbrook in a potential all-Southern Ohio Conference Division II regional final.
“We like playing a lot, don’t like the layoff. We’re good with the short turnaround so we’re ready to go,” Messer said. “We know West very well, very good team with a great pitcher. We’re going to prepare the best we can for them from now until then and hope for the best.”
South Webster 002 100 0 — 3 7 1
Adena 000 100 1 — 2 4 2
W: Jaiden White (SW) 7IP, 4H, 2ER, 1BB, 4K; L: G. Bossert (A) 7IP, 7H, 2ER, 1BB, 8K
South Webster batting
Addi Claxon 3-4, RBI
Skylar Zimmerman 3-4, RBI
Lauren Kaltenbach 0-3, R
Makayla Raynard 1-3, RBI
Lakin Lancaster 0-2, R, BB
K. Williams 0-2, R, BB
G. Bossert 2-3, R, RBI, BB
C. Corcoran 1-2, RBI, BB
S. Cheesebrew 1-3
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved