CHILLICOTHE — Wheelersburg’s softball season has been over for over a month now, but junior pitcher Sydney Spence is still in midseason form.
Competing in Southern Ohio Sports Authority’s All-Star Game at Unioto Tuesday evening, Spence threw seven shutout innings in a 4-0 win. Spence, who was playing for SOSA White, cruised through a talented SOSA Black lineup, allowing just four hits and striking out nine.
“It was my first time meeting Sydney. She’s a great person with a great attitude,” Unioto coach Rob Hull said, who was SOSA White’s coach. “I can see why she’s so successful in the circle. I thought she pitched a tremendous game against some of the most talented hitters in Southern Ohio. The way she spots her pitches and movement of the ball, she takes control of an at-bat. That’s what makes her dominant. She’s a talent that all coaches would love to have on a team.”
Spence also drove in a run in the bottom of the fifth inning, helping her own cause.
SOSA White’s other three runs came via an RBI double from South Webster’s Emma Bailey, an infield single off the bat of Wheelersburg’s Christen Risner and an RBI single from Unioto’s Jade Zickafoose.
“I feel honored and grateful that I was asked to play in the SOSA All-Star game last night,” Spence said. “What really topped off the night was getting the MVP award, but my team was a huge part of my success. They were awesome in the field and at the plate. I feel as if my pitching performance, was all-around performance was solid and consistent. Overall, I believe it turned out to be a good night.”
The win came in the second game of a doubleheader. In the first game, SOSA Red beat SOSA Grey by a 9-0 final. Much like Spence’s performance in the second game, Waverly’s Hailey Robinson was lights out in the circle during the first.
Robinson threw the final four innings, whiffing eight batters and allowing a single hit.
“I woke up feeling dangerous,” Robinson said, laughing. “That’s what I said in the dugout before going to pitch. The All-Star Game was just a lot of fun playing with old teammates and new friends.”
Robinson had plenty of help at the plate from the likes of Northwest’s Laiken Rice and Addi Newman, Waverly’s Zoiee Smith and Hannah Robinson, and Minford’s Brittani Wolfenbarker.
SOSA Red took a 1-0 lead in the first when Rice knocked in Wolfenbarker with a two-out single. In the third, they made it 4-0 when Smith drew a bases loaded walk, Hannah Robinson grounded out to drive in a run and a pitch squirted out of the catcher’s glove.
In the sixth, Wolfenbarker drove in Unioto’s Jayla Campbell, who had doubled earlier in the inning. Addi Neman then made it 7-0 with a single before Hailey Robinson drove in the final two runs with a double into the left-center field gap.
All in all, 26 athletes from the Southern Ohio Conference and Ohio Valley Conference participated in the event including Minford’s Brittani Wolfenbarker and Andi Blevins, Northwest’s Jaclyn Burchett, Laiken Rice and Addi Newman, Waverly’s Zoiee Smith, Hannah Robinson, Hailey Robinson, and Emma Bellaw, West’s Abbie Boland and Laney Ayers, Green’s Rachael Cline, Ava Jenkins and Kasey Kimbler, East’s Ali Escamilla and Hannah Ginn, Portsmouth’s Madison Perry and Jacqueline Bautista, Notre Dame’s Claire Dettwiller, Clay’s Preslee Lutz, Wheelersburg’s Sydney Spence, Christen Risner and Boo Sturgill, and South Webster’s Emma Bailey, Mackenzie Eller and Brianna Smith.