Baseball, softball tourney previews


PDT Staff Report



Baseball

Piketon @ Minford

After their 9-0 win over Eastern Brown Wednesday, the Piketon Redstreaks will travel to face the top seeded Minford Falcons in a Division III battle in Muletown Saturday.

In their three games against SOC II opponents this season, Piketon faired 3-0 with wins over Valley, Northwest, and Oak Hill by a combined score of 23-3.

Minford enters their sectional final contest with a 24-1 record in the regular season and a share of the SOC II title.

The defending regional champs will have their hands full with a team who has faired well against similar competition this season. But, the senior, experience laden Falcons should fare well against the Redstreaks in their opening game of the 2019 postseason.

Ironton @ Wheelersburg

After clinching their share of the SOC II regular season title Wednesday in their return trip to Waverly, the one seeded Wheelersburg Pirates return to the postseason with a home sectional final game against the nine seeded Tigers.

Ironton enters Saturday’s sectional unphased by the road environment after defeating Meigs on the road Wednesday in their sectional semifinal in Pomeroy.

In their matchup earlier this season, Wheelersburg defeated the Fighting Tigers 11-1 way back on March 28th.

Wheelersburg should have a great shot at revisiting the district tournament stage under head coach Derek Moore if they continue to do the things that helped lead them to an 18-6 regular season record.

Valley @ Westfall

Tenth seeded Valley will travel to second seeded Williamsport Westfall for their sectional semifinal contest with the Mustangs

Valley’s 2019 regular season didn’t go as the Indians had hoped it would. But, now that they’re in postseason baseball, their record from the regular season is gone and the fact still remains that this team was a district champion in 2018 and returned most of their talent from that squad.

Senior ace Tanner Cunningham will take the mound for Valley Saturday morning in Williamsport, a fact that will certainly give the Indians a chance in any game.

If the Indians play how they did while earning their district title a year ago and at various points throughout this season, they can undoubtedly upset the seconded seeded Mustangs. Hitting the ball on a consistent basis, making smart base running decisions, fielding the ball like a defensively grounded team: all things that need to happen for the Indians to walk away with a sectional title and a spot in next week’s district tournament.

Softball

Fairfield vs. Wheelersburg

Top seeded Wheelersburg will take on second seeded Leesburg Fairfield for a district title Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Unioto High School in Chillicothe. Saturday’s district final comes two days after the Pirates defeated Minford 13-3 in six innings while Fairfield defeated Wellston 4-3 in eight innings.

Wheelersburg will face one of the best pitchers in the Southeast district in Fairfield’s Kaiti White. White pitched a one hitter against Portsmouth in the Lady Lions sectional final game against the Trojans.

However, Fairfield will also have to account for the duel threat pitching system from Wheelersburg that is senior Sarah Claxon and junior Sydney Spence. Claxon and Spence combined to limit Minford to just three runs in their district semifinal win over the Falcons Thursday.

If the Pirates are able to hit White and play a solid game of small ball when runs may come few and far between, Wheelersburg will be looking at a berth in next week’s regional tournament.

Waterford vs. Notre Dame

After a solid outing from the Notre Dame Titans Thursday in their 6-0 district semifinal over South Webster, the Titans will now turn their attention to the Waterford Wildcats in a Division IV district final at the University of Rio Grande at 1:00 p.m. The top seeded Wildcats defeated Manchester 4-3 Thursday in their district semifinal contest.

After falling in the district final stage a year ago against the Valley Indians, Notre Dame is more than ready to avenge last season’s loss and reach the regional tournament with a win over Waterford.

The difference between last season’s Titans team and this? More experience playing high level softball. Particularly for junior ace Cassie Schaefer. After allowing just three hits in their district semifinal win over South Webster, Schaefer and her team feel more poised than ever to reach the regional tournament stage.

If the Titans are able to play small ball, get runners on and get them in with timely hitting and their ability to bunt, they could very well get that opportunity in Pickerington next week.

PDT Staff Report

© 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

© 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved