FRANKLIN FURNACE – Coming into Monday’s game against Western, Green knew they had to take care of business to continue accomplishing their goals set before the season, and take care of business they did.
After regular season play concluded for area teams a week ago, tournament play began which now presents the scenario of win-or-go home style games. Knowing this, Green was confident in their ability to execute against a team they had faced twice during the regular season. Green’s 13-0 win over Western Monday was one that was necessary, but also another good tune up before their impending sectional final game Thursday against Manchester.
“It was an important win, we want to make sure we achieve our goals we set before the season and make sure we get to that next stage of the playoffs,” said Green head coach Shane Jenkins following Monday’s sectional semifinal win over Western. “We beat Western both times in the regular season, but playoffs are different. A one game scenario is different. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t make any mistakes that might hamper us down the line in the game, it’s something I’ve seen too many times. Our bats came alive and Ava (Jenkins) did a good job of shutting them down.”
After Monday’s win, Green outscored Western 58-7 in their three wins over Western this year. The Bobcats were favored to win Monday’s game, but that doesn’t mean the Bobcats weren’t planning and preparing for this game like they would in any other game.
“A big part of it was trying to decide what to do with out pitching,” Jenkins said. “Do I go with one of the two pitchers they’ve seen before, or do I go with who they haven’t seen. We decided to go with Ava from the success she had in the regular season against them. We played great defense today too. Stopped them from extra base hits, and our offense really helped give us the chance to win today.”
In her five inning performance on the mound, Ava Jenkins allowed just four hits and struck out eleven Western batters, a season high for Jenkins on the mound.
Kasey Kimbler led the Bobcats’ efforts at the plate Monday by finishing 2/2 with a game high three RBI and one run scored. Kerston Sparks drove in two runs for Green in their win on 1/3 hitting with one run scored. Jenkins, Charli Blevins, Cass Kellogg, Kori Derifield, and Gracie Daniels also each drove in one run for Green in the win.
Monday’s win helps set up the Bobcats with a date in the sectional final against four seeded Manchester. Green and Manchester did not play each other during the regular season, but they do share common opponents. During the 2019 regular season, Manchester has faced Notre Dame, East, and New Boston. While Green may not have faced these teams either, Manchester has also earned wins over three Scioto County Division III programs: Minford, West, and Portsmouth.
Thursday’s game is winnable for Green if they play their best ball, Jenkins says, and that’s something that will take an entire effort to advance to district tournament play and earn a sectional title.
“We just have to play our game defensive wise,” Jenkins said. “Any time we can slow down a team defensively, we can show them we can hang with them. It seems like anytime we can keep the ball in the park, we give ourselves a chance every game. Our girls know that it’s going to be a fight, and if we play our best, we believe there’s no game we’re officially out of.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved