Valley, Clay battle in tight duel

Ruby sets school record in long jump

By Kevin Colley -

Valley's Jesse Jones throws a pitch from the stretch on Tuesday evening.

Valley's Jesse Jones throws a pitch from the stretch on Tuesday evening.

Brenda Parsley Blanton

Valley's Jesse Jones throws a pitch on Tuesday evening.

Brenda Parsley Blanton

Tuesday (4/10)


Ruby breaks 23-year old school record, ‘Burg wins Jackson Track Meet

Behind an outstanding 18 feet, seven inch long jump from Ellie Ruby, the Wheelersburg Pirates’ girls track program was able to take home first place in a five-team meet on Tuesday evening in Jackson.

Ruby, who jumped 18 feet, seven inches on Tuesday, broke Rebecca Barnett’s record of 18 feet, six inches — which was set in 1995. The senior already held the 300 meter hurdles record with a time of 44.86.

In addition to Ruby’s outstanding performance — which has proven to be par for the course for the senior — Paige Emnett was able to obtain a victory in the shot put, throwing a distance of 38 feet, six and one-quarter inches to obliterate the field in that marker.

Along with the long jump and the shot put, Wheelersburg also won the 4-by-100, 4-by-200, 4-by-400, 100 meter hurdles, 100 meter dash, high jump, 400 meter dash, 300 meter hurdles, and the 200 meter dash en route to taking home victory in that event.

Jackson, along with Belpre, Meigs, and Wellston, participated in the meet.


Valley 2, Clay 1

In another strong pitching duel — this time, featuring Valley’s Jesse Jones and Clay’s Reece Whitley — the Valley Indians’ baseball program emerged victorious as Valley edged the Clay Panthers’ baseball program, 2-1, in a nonconference bout that was played in Lucasville.

Jones, who threw six and two-thirds innings on the hill, was strong throughout en route to holding Clay to just three hits. The multi-sport athlete also added a pair of strikeouts and led Valley at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI on the evening — which scored Jared Morrow in the third inning. Jake Ashkettle added a 2-for-3 day at the dish, while Tanner Cunningham and Morrow went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored and 1-for-4 with a run scored, respectively. Tucker Williams, Kayden Mollette, and Cayton Ruby all drew walks, respectively, for Valley.

Clay, however, was no slouch by any means. Reece Whitley threw five strong innings for the Panthers, giving up just four hits and striking out four while walking only two and allowing no earned runs. Shaden Malone added a scoreless sixth frame to put Clay in a position to strike in the seventh.

In the top half of the seventh inning, the Panthers loaded the bases on Jones, and needed just one hit to tie the score or take the advantage. Ashkettle, however, came on in relief of Jones to pitch the final third of the seventh frame, and needed just five pitches to earn the save as Valley held on for the victory.

For Clay, Evan Woods led the Panthers offensively by going 1-for-4 with a hit and an RBI. Whitley (1-for-3) and Malone (1-for-2) joined Woods in the hit column, while Malone, along with Clay Cottle and Tanner Richards, all drew walks that put Clay in a position to score the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning.

“We had a chance at the end with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, but we just couldn’t get that key hit,” Clay head coach Marc Cottle said. “I was really proud of Reece and Shaden on the mound tonight. They pitched really well with both runs being unearned. Valley is a well-coached ballclub and they took advantage of our miscues in the field.”

East 10, South Gallia 3

Behind strong efforts on the hill from Dylan Bailey and Kyle Winston, along with a six-run sixth inning, the East Tartans’ baseball program was able to capture a 10-3 victory over the South Gallia Rebels’ baseball program on Tuesday evening.

East immediately started off quick as Tyler Winston, who was hit by a pitch with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, stole second and third before scoring on a single by Brayden Queen. After another single by Zach Garrett, Justin Kritzwiser singled home both Queen and Garrett as the Tartans made up an early 1-0 deficit en route to taking a 3-1 advantage.

In the fourth inning, East struck again. After a single to lead off the inning by Winston and a steal of second base, Queen’s single allowed Winston — who advanced to third on the play — to score on a Zach Garrett sacrifice fly as East took a 4-1 lead after four innings of play. Kritzwiser then opened up the sixth inning with a single before the Winston brothers struck. After a pair of free passes, Kyle drove in Kritzwiser with an infield single, with older brother Tyler following with a bases-clearing double to increase the East lead to 8-2. RBI base knocks from Queen and Garrett closed out the scoring for East.

Bailey, who threw the initial four and two-thirds, struck out seven on the hill and only gave up one hit while walking three. Kyle Winston pitched the final two and one-third innings, and, despite surrending four walks, came back by not allowing a hit and striking out a batter.

At the plate, Garrett (3-for-3, two RBI, run scored), Queen (3-for-3, two RBI, three stolen bases, two runs scored), Tyler Winston (2-for-3, three RBI, three stolen bases, three runs scored) and Justin Kritzwiser (2-for-4, two RBI, two runs scored) led the multi-hit crowd. Kyle Winston and Bailey, in addition to their efforts on the hill, each went 1-for-4, with the former driving in a run and scoring one himself to round out the East output.

“Dylan threw the ball very well tonight,” East head coach Matt Miller said. “He stayed around the zone all night and let his defense work behind him. Kyle came in and followed what Dylan had been doing by staying in the zone. He ran into a little difficulty in the seventh inning, but was able to work out of it. We brought the bats out tonight, which is a good sign. We finished with 12 hits, so hopefully that gets us going in the right direction.”

Green 11, South Webster 1 (F/6)

Behind 18 hits and a strong pitching performance on the mound, the Green Bobcats’ baseball program continued its roll as Green took its fourth straight victory with an 11-1 victory over the South Webster Jeeps’ baseball program in six innings on Tuesday evening at Green.

Singleton, who started his first career game on Tuesday, struck out five batters in the victory as Green improved to 4-1 overall with the win behind the strong outing on the hill. The freshman was also aided by a defense that didn’t commit an error on Tuesday.

Rylee Maynard, who went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two stolen bases, Tanner Kimbler, who went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored, Hayden Whitis, who added a 2-for-4 day at the dish with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored, and Mason Barber, who went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI, were among Green’s performers at the top of the line.

South Webster was led by Daniel Allard and Billy Jones, who each went 1-for-2. Allard drove in a run and Jones collected a double to round out the Jeeps’ main efforts.


Notre Dame 3, Rock Hill 0

Behind a complete game three-hitter from Cassie Schaefer in the circle, the Notre Dame Titans’ softball program was able to take home a 3-0 victory over the Rock Hill Redwomen on Tuesday evening in Portsmouth.

Schaefer, who improved to 7-1 on the year in the circle — and helped Notre Dame to improve to that same mark — struck out nine in the complete game effort and added a 1-for-2 day at the dish to go along with a double and a run scored. Lauren Delabar went 2-for-2 at the plate with a run scored and Claire Dettwiller went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the Lady Titans at the dish, while Baylee Webb (1-for-3, double, RBI) and Molly Hoover (1-for-3, two stolen bases) rounded out the main contributors for Notre Dame.

South Webster 16, Green 2

Behind five runs each in the second, fifth, and seventh innings, the South Webster Jeeps’ softball program was able to claim a sizable victory over the Green Bobcats’ softball program as South Webster took home a 16-2 victory on Tuesday evening in Franklin Furnace.

The Lady Jeeps were led by Gwen Messer, who continued to impress as a young freshman by striking out 13 batters and allowing just six hits in a complete game effort. Messer also went 3-for-5 at the plate with a triple, three RBI, and three runs scored to lead South Webster.

Messer’s strong day was only equaled by her fellow teammate, Bri Smith, who led South Webster by going 4-for-5 with a home run, a double, three RBI, and three runs scored on the evening. Kaylee Hadinger went a perfect 5-for-5 with a triple, a RBI, and a run scored to add to the offensive explosion.

Behind the trio, Mack Keller (3-for-5, double, two runs scored), Baylee Cox (2-for-5, double, run scored), Kaylea McCleese (2-for-4, walk, two doubles, RBI, three runs scored), Tori Clarke (2-for-5, double, RBI), and Taylor Rawlins (1-for-2, three walks, two runs scored) all contributed in a major way offensively. Emma Bailey added a walk and run scored to round out a very strong evening for South Webster.

Green was led by Ava Jenkins and Mac Carver, who went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI and 2-for-4, respectively. Kerston Sparks and Rachael Cline went 1-for-4 and 1-for-4 with a run scored, while Haley Bradley, Kame Sweeney, and Megan Johnson each drew a walk and Cass Kellogg drew two for the Lady ‘Cats.

Waverly 7, Clay 5

Despite notching nine hits and obtaining a strong complete game effort from Hannah Oliver on the mound, the Clay Panthers’ softball program couldn’t obtain victory as eight errors by Clay ultimately proved to be costly in a 7-5 defeat to the Waverly Tigers’ softball program on Tuesday evening in Rosemount.

Oliver, who allowed 10 hits, fought her way out of trouble by striking out nine batters and only walking two for a 4.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio — all while only allowing three earned runs to cross the plate. However, the eight misplays proved to be the deciding factor in the contest.

Oliver, who went 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored, led Clay, who also got contributions from Julia Swain (1-for-3, solo home run, RBI, run scored), and Shaelyn Vassar, Lila Brown, and Cassidy Wells, who each went 1-for-4 with the former stealing a base, scoring a run, and driving in one as well. Megan Bazler (1-for-2, walk, run scored), Eliza Collins (1-for-2, run scored) and Chloi Hayslip (1-for-2, RBI) also contributed in a strong manner.

Russell (Ky.) 10, Minford 6

Despite additional offensive explosions from Brittani Wolfenbarker and Hannah Tolle, the Minford Falcons’ softball program couldn’t claim victory over the Russell Red Devils’ softball program as Minford fell by a 10-6 margin on Tuesday evening in Russell.

Tolle, who went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, four RBI, and a run scored, and Wolfenbarker, who added a 3-for-4 day at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored, led a Minford offense that collected nine hits against a traditionally strong Russell program.

Emily Shoemaker (1-for-3, walk, RBI, run scored), Tamara Burchett (1-for-4), Kiersten Hale (1-for-4), Maddie Slusher (1-for-2) and Marissa Watters (hit by pitch, run scored) rounded out the Minford cause.


Waverly 3, Wheelersburg 2

Despite strong victories from Drew Jackson and Mason Nolan at the No. 1 and No. 3 singles slots, the Wheelersburg Pirates’ tennis program was able to claim victory over the Waverly Tigers’ tennis program, 3-2, on Tuesday evening.

Jackson, who faced off against Brandon Nibert, won the rematch in a battle between two of the Southeast District’s brightest young tennis standouts by overcome a 6-1 defeat to win going away via 6-2, 6-0 tallies. Luke May lost a hard-fought matchup at No. 2 singles to Colton Lambert by dropping the first and third sets by identical 6-3 scores, but Mason Nolan took home a sweep of Patrick Copple to give Wheelersburg a 2-1 advantage heading into doubles play. At that point, however, it proved to be all Waverly as the Tigers took home 24 of the final 33 sets en route to winning the match.

No. 1 singles — Drew Jackson (Wheelersburg) def. Brandon Nibert (Waverly) 1-6, 6-2, 6-0

No. 2 singles — Colton Lambert (Waverly) def. Luke May (Wheelersburg) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

No. 3 singles — Mason Nolan (Wheelersburg) def. Patrick Copple (Waverly) 6-0, 6-0

No. 1 doubles — Chase Downing/Ryan Dunn (Waverly) def. Seth Pertuset/Carson McCorkle (Wheelersburg) 6-1, 6-1

No. 2 doubles — Brayden Stultz/Alex Workman (Waverly) def. Travis Miller/Logan Davis (Wheelersburg) 6-4, 6-3

Valley’s Jesse Jones throws a pitch from the stretch on Tuesday evening.’s Jesse Jones throws a pitch from the stretch on Tuesday evening.Brenda Parsley Blanton

Valley’s Jesse Jones throws a pitch on Tuesday evening.’s Jesse Jones throws a pitch on Tuesday evening.Brenda Parsley Blanton
Ruby sets school record in long jump

By Kevin Colley