Minford vs. Wheelersburg (Division III District Semifinal)
This district semifinal matchup is so intriguing in so many ways. In their two games this season, Wheelersburg defeated Minford both times by scores of 2-1 and 6-3 for a +4 run differential in the Pirates favor.
However, those numbers may not tell the whole story. In both games, it was key runs scored in the sixth inning by the Pirates that helped them secure an undefeated run in SOC II play. A run scored in the top of the sixth inning in their contest at Minford on April 11th helped Wheelersburg earn the win in Muletown while a six run bottom of the sixth inning on April 13th helped the Pirates gain yet another win over the Falcons.
Both teams will likely throw their ace in this matchup: For Minford it’ll be Madi Sifford and for Wheelersburg it’ll be Sarah Claxon. Two seniors who both will leave it all out on the line for their team to reach the district title game.
Both teams have hitters up and down the lineup, hitters one through nine will make you pay if you leave a ball hanging on them. A key hit here or there will likely decide the result of this game Saturday afternoon. Likely, the team to first have a big momentum shift in their favor will see themselves as winners.
These two teams know each other almost as well as they know themselves, it’s a classic SOC II battle for a spot in the district title.
Notre Dame vs. South Webster (Division IV District Semifinal)
With a spot in the district title game looming, Scioto County’s lone two remaining Division IV softball programs have a lot on the line.
It’s been exactly a week since three seeded South Webster knocked off sixth seeded Trimble 14-0 and second seeded Notre Dame knocked off seventh seeded Whiteoak, and both teams should be more than prepared for Thursday’s district semifinal game.
This matchup poses interesting matchups on both sides of the ball, so to speak. The Titans are led by ace junior pitcher Cassie Schaefer who undoubtedly has one of the best arms at the Division IV level. For South Webster, sophomore ace Gwen Messer has been about as consistent when on the mound this season as anyone could ask for. These two young arms, after having a week off, will be one of the key matchups to look for going into this game.
If Schaefer and her defense behind her can limit the Titans offensive capabilities, Notre Dame will position themselves nicely for a win. In eleven of Notre Dame’s twenty wins this season, the Titans have held their opponent to zero runs. That means that over half of the Titans wins this season have come via shutout. In 15 of their 22 games played, Notre Dame has limited their opponents to two runs or less. Those numbers will be key if J.D. McKenzie’s squad wants to come out on top.
South Webster on the other hand, has shown their ability to score runs. In nine of the sixteen wins this season, the Jeeps have scored more than fourteen runs. If the Jeeps hope to secure their spot in Saturday’s district final, they’ll need a strong offensive performance as they’ve showcased their ability to do so this season.
The winner of this game will take on the winner of Waterford and Manchester in the District Final Saturday at the University of Rio Grande, first pitch coming at 1:00 p.m.
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