Saturday, May 16, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Local baseball and softball teams wrapped up their regular seasons this past week. It was also rivals week for North and South as these two teams squared off on the diamond. Both baseball teams have had successful seasons and entered the game with winning records. Although South scored first in this close game, North had a big inning that put the game away.
Both teams were scoreless through the first 3 innings. Jacob Bassler pitched for South, while Austin Elmore took the mound for the hosts. South scored their 2 runs in the 4th inning. Wes Cole reached on a walk and scored on a double by Brandon Simpson. Simpson advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch where he scored off of a hit by Gunter Lautensleger. This put South up 2-0 and in their half of the 4th, North was 3 and out.
South seemed poised to score again in the 5th when they loaded up the bases with one out. But Elmore struck out the next batter and the next popped out to leave 3 stranded. North also loaded the bases in their at bat in the 5th, but were able to drive the runners home. Logan Elmore, Steve Miller, Austin Elmore, and Nick Gray all got hits in the inning. South finally had to switch pitchers and went with Austin Roell. He ended the inning by fielding a hit ball and completing a double play which sent North back to the dugout. But South was down 4-2 with 2 innings left.
North made a pitching change the next inning with Zach Edgin taking the mound after Elmore walked 2 batters. He did his job, closing out the side and South left the 2 runners stranded. Neither team would score the rest of the way and so North would earn the 4-2 win. North also had a comeback win earlier in the week against Milton Union 11-8. Bo Hendrickson was the pitcher of record.
Finally, North played spoiler to Arcanum later in the week – beating them 3-1 behind the pitching of Nick Gray. Arcanum had locked up the conference crown but was trying to end their season undefeated in the CCC, but North took that away with the victory and will be carrying momentum into the post season.
“We just had one bad inning,” stated South’s coach Bassler after the game.”we got that early lead and in the 5th inning they got on Jacob Bassler, they had him figured out. I might have been 1 or 2 batters late getting him out of there. We hit decently today, they had a nice pitcher, but we also left a lot of runners on base.
The tournament, “We play Preble Shawnee and someone has to come ready to play. We played each other in the regular season and we know each other.”
South did have two wins earlier in the week. They beat Bradford 7-5 behind winning pitcher Code Roell. The team celebrated Senior night at McBride stadium (where the Richmond Roosters played) in Richmond. Their opponent was Seton Catholic which they beat 7-5. Winning pitcher was Gunter Lautensleger – who was selected as a starter by the South Seniors who got to select the opening lineup on Senior night. The night was highlighted by a Wes Cole home run that was hit out of the stadium.
North’s coach Tucker commented after the game, “I think we battled really well. We saw Jacob Bassler – the same pitcher we saw last year. He has some off speed stuff and he really made us work until we figured it out. It took a couple of times through the lineup, but as a good hitting team we should be able to figure out a pitcher on the 3rd time through. Elmore had a good game pitching, I think he is going to be a big factor in the tournament for us.
Coach Tucker was asked about the tournament, “We face Northridge and they have played some good teams this year. They have a couple of good pitchers – they have played close with some good teams and beat some teams that you would have thought they wouldn’t. We have to be ready for whoever they put on the mound and we have to battle with them.”
South had another week where they started off slow, but finished strong. They lost their first two games against Bradford and North, but finished the regular season with wins against league foe Miami East and the SWBL’s Eaton Eagles. So the team achieved some measure of momentum going into their last 2 games of the season - a double header against Dixie.
First game for the Panthers was against Bradford. South struggled against Bradfords pitching. Although they did get 4 runs on the night, they allowed 10 in the loss. Next up for South was their rivals down 503 – North. The teams were closely matched, but South did not help their cause with mistakes on the base paths on offense and fielding errors on defense. Coach Robinson would later state that this was one game that got away from them.
South got a decent lead early, but seemed to relax and that let North back in the game. North kept chipping away at South’s lead and on defense, they shut out South the last 5 innings of the game. North scored the tying and winning runs in their bottom half of the last inning – so it was a dramatic come from behind win. Kelsie Shafer and Lacey Emerick both had 2 hits and 2 RBI’s for South.
“I was highly disappointed that we couldn't close this game out.” Remarked coach Robinson after the game. “We came out strong in the first two innings, scoring 3 runs in each inning, then our base running errors and mental mistakes seemed to take over, and we never scored again the rest of the way. I have to say, our mistakes on the base paths were the worst I've seen in a while, and they basically cost us at least 3-4 runs. Add in our four defensive errors, which caused us to give up 5 runs, and we could have come away with a big win over our rivals. I do give TCN some credit; they hung tough and never gave up hope. “
But South made up for the loss with a win over Miami East. And the team put together a better performance – only one error on defense and their offense exploded for 14 runs. Pitcher Ali Robertson got the win and Hailee Bright earned a save. Robertson aided her cause with 3 hits at the plate. The team got the lead early and did not look back as they scored 7 runs in the first 3 innings and then solidified the lead with 6 runs in the 4th. The team only allowed 2 runs in the 14-2 rout.
An elated coach Robinson was asked about this game, “I thought we were much smarter at the plate, as well as on the bases. Several players hit the ball well. Ali Robertson pitched her third game in 3 days; she has definitely done her job on the mound all week. I did decide to bring Hailee Bright in to get the final 5 outs of the game. She got the first 4 batters out before walking one, then got the final out to pop up to the infield. Lacey Emrick deserves credit for the work she's done this week behind the plate as well.”
South had one of those games against Eaton that gives coaches ulcers. They were scoreless in the early going and spotted the Eagles 5 runs. But in a reversal of their roles from the North game, South now played the comeback kids – scoring 13 runs in the last 3 innings to gain the lead and then hold off a last inning rally by Eaton for the 13-10 win.
Coach Robinson was happy with the comeback win, “I give a lot of credit to our girls for having the determination and heart to battle through the adversity of this game. In pretty much every other game of the season where we got down early, we never were able to make a comeback to win the ball game. I'm very grateful for today's win. It's not very often that we can record 6 errors and still come away with a victory. Eaton has improved tremendously in the past couple of years, so we knew we had our work cut out for us, going into the game.”
Alas, South was not able to carry forward the momentum they gained against the Eagles as they closed out the week against Dixie – one of the better teams in the area. They would end up losing a closely contested opening game 4-1, and couldn’t seem to manage a challenge in the second game, losing 12-1.
Sunday, May 03, 2015
The TVS softball team had a tough week against CCC opponents. Coach Robinson lamented that the team was hitting well earlier “...and our defense was lacking. Now everything has switched around. If we can get our bats to pick back up, I think we could start making a lot of noise.” The team did earn wins against Mississinewa Valley and Oakwood, but took their lumps along the way.
The first team up was Miami East where the team played with the Vikings –they were only up 1-0 until the 6th inning. But the team faltered late in the game and gave up 4 runs in the 6th inning. The Panthers could not recover from this deficit and would eventually lose 6-0. They had their chance at a comeback in the 7th inning where they loaded the bases, but couldn’t score anyone.
Covington has been playing great baseball this season and seem poised to make another strong run in the state tournament. South gave Covington all they had but it wasn’t enough as Covington would win 10-0. Still Coach Robinson found some bright spots in the game, “If there's a positive I can take from this game, it's that it took them until the 5th inning to run-rule us (10 runs). I've been seeing some of their box scores against better teams than us, and they've had that many runs in the first inning. So I give Hailee Bright credit for being just a freshman, and going out on the mound and doing a pretty good job. One other really bright spot on the night was the play of Lacey Emrick behind the plate. She picked off 4 of their runners, either on a straight steal or picking them off at the base they were at. Covington is very aggressive on the base paths, and Lacey proved that she could keep up with them.”
South Softball has had charity games in season’s past and this season the theme was “Swing for the Swing” – to gather money for a new handicap access slide at TVS. The team was successful in raising over $800 for a good cause, but not so successful on the field. Ali Robertson had a tough outing and was finally pulled and freshman Hailee Bright took over. She slowed the onslaught but South had dug too deep a hole and lost 9-1.
After the game coach Robinson commented, “Looking back, I probably should have switched them out sooner. Hailee's pitching speed is just slower enough, that it sometimes keeps good hitters off balance. A slower pitcher is not necessarily a bad thing, especially when she throws strikes like Hailee does. Honestly, we played a great game. We had no errors and had 7 hits. We just couldn't seem to drive home the base runners. We made good contact all night at the plate, but National Trail kept coming up with great plays, defensively. They are a far better team than their record indicates.”
South finally got rewarded for their efforts with a win against Mississinewa Valley. But they had to play from behind to get the win. Spotting the Blackhawks a 3 run lead in the early going. But in the last half of the game, South found their groove at the plate and caught up, then passed the Blackhawks. Sophie Cottingim had a big triple to get South’s scoring started. The Blackhawks attempted a rally late, but South held the rally to just one run to shut them down for a 6-4 win. Lacy Emerick came back to the game after missing the first portion of the game to take over catching duties and she and Ali Robertson had to work out a critical 7th inning with runners in scoring position. The duo got the last outs of the night to close the door on the Blackhawks.
Coach Robinson was elated with the victory, “This was a pretty exciting game for us, and it was good to finally come away from one with a win. This was the second game in a row that we played errorless defense. Everyone seems to be stepping up at their position right now. Our outfielders (Shelby Denlinger, Ashley Robertson, Hailee Bright) are seeing a lot of action lately, so they're getting a lot more confidence in their ability to go hard after a ball. We started the game with back-up catcher, Kelsie Shafer, behind the plate. She did a great job until Lacey Emrick was able to get to the game”
She continued, “I'm so happy for our entire team with this victory, but especially for Ali. She pitched the best game of her career on Tuesday, against Miami East, but couldn't come away with a victory. Tonight, she stepped up huge in that last inning to help ensure the win. I also give a lot of credit to our hitters tonight. I know they would have all liked to have swung the bat more when they came to the plate, but they stayed focused and disciplined, and stayed with our strategy for the game. All the girls have been working so hard to get better in every area of the game; I'm just glad they some of their hard work is beginning to pay off.”
South ended their busy week Saturday with a game against Oakwood a member of the big school division of the SWBL. Coach Robinson admitted later that she was a bit nervous going into the game – they had just won and seemed really pumped up. But South seemed to have channeled the 1927 New York Yankee’s for at least one game as they erupted for 25 runs and sent the Lumber Jills home early.
Freshman Kelsie Shafer almost hit for the cycle with a double, triple, and home run. But the home run was a grand slam! Ashley Robertson had 4 RBI’s as did Sarah Bingham. Ali Robertson was also the pitcher of record for the win.
Coach Robinson commented afterwards, “It was a great game to get everyone on the team a lot of playing time. Ali and Lacey did another great job, shutting down their offense. This was Ali's first shutout of her career. Offensively, Kelsie Shafer had the hottest bat. This was our third game in a row with no errors. Everyone, both infield and outfield are really starting to click. Jayla Taylor has been doing a great job at first base; Sophie Cottingim continues to play solid at second; Sarah Bingham has made tremendous improvement at shortstop, and Kelsie Shafer is starting to settle in as our third baseman when Ali is on the mound.”
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Spring weather can be a roll of the dice, but this weekend’s TVS Invitational had wonderful weather. The fans responded by packing the stands, and the athletes performed well - making for a successful meet. South swept 1st place among the 16 team field with both the boys and girls teams winning. Other local teams finished as follows: Girls – Eaton 9th; Brookville 11th, TCN 12th, Dixie 13th, Shawnee 14th, Trail 15th. Boys – Dixie 2nd; Eaton 3rd; Brookville 4th; TCN 9th, Trail and Shawnee tie 14th.
Top finishers: 4X800 TVS girls 1st (Madison Wright, Megan Wright, Grace Stewart, Abby Creech) 10:08.75 – meet record. 4X800 TVS boys 1st (JJ Utz, Sammy Shockey,Ethan Wells, Matt Hemmelgarn) 8:33.57. 100m hurdles 1st Hailey Thies TCN 16.84. 110m hurdles 1st Seth Reynolds 15.15. 100m dash 1st Mylan Crews 13.08. 100m dash Clayton Washington 1st 11.51; Isaiah Pritchard 2nd. 4X200m relay 1st TVS (Abby Beneke, Delany Adams, Grace Stewart, Mylan Crews). 4X200m relay 1st TCN (Garrett Woodyard, Austin Johnson, Billy Daughterty, Trey Summers).
4X100m relay Dixie 1st (Zach Roberts, Clayton Washington, Ethan Arnett, Isaiah Pritchard), 300m hurdles 1st Seth Reynolds Eaton 42.48. 800m run Madison Wright 1st 2:26.25. 800m run TVS JJ Utz 1st 2:06.76; Sammy Shockey TVS 2nd. 200m dash Dixie Clayton Washington 23.54. 3200m run Taylor Broermann 1st Eaton 12:04.42. Discus TVS Aaron Deaton 1st 139’9”. High jump TCN Hailey Theis 1st 5’4”. High jump Eaton Seth Reynolds 1st 6’. Long jump TVS Jared Kirkpatrick 1st 21’4”. Shotput TVS Aaron Deaton 1st 49’5”; Tristen Sizemore TVS 2nd.
Coach Livingston of Dixie had a few of dinged up athletes when I was able to catch up to her. One had taken a tumble on the track and had a skinned up shoulder, one had to drop out of the mile due to a stress injury, and yet another was icing a sore knee. So not quite a mash unit, but the coach felt that all would be ready for the next meet. “It has been a good meet for us, Madison Swigart came within a second of the school record in the 400m dash.
“We don’t have a very large team this year, and we are young but still talented. We just got back from spring break, and are just getting back into the swing of things. We have relay teams that can improve as well as some individual performers. Cassidy Shell scored points for us in the discus and shotput. Sydnee Reynolds had a personal best in the discus. Madison Swigart also placed in the 100, so she is having a good meet. Unfortunately our pole vaulter, Adrianna Parker, is out for the year.”
“It’s been a good season for us so far,” stated coach Hughes, the New Lebanon boys track coach, “we took first place in the Franklin Monroe relays. We graduated some distance kids last year, but other than that we have pretty much everyone back from last season. We were also at the Anna meet against some tough MAC completion and got 5th place there – but that’s the best we ever finished. We had a good meet at the Eaton relays – finishing behind Dunbar, which always has a really good team by 5 points. We have some kids that I think can compete at regionals and maybe even state.
Nick Adams is having a good year, he is the school record holder in the pole vault. Clayton Washington and Isiah Pritchard finished 1-2 in the 100 meter dash and Pritchard was also 2nd in the long jump with Washington 3rd. So both of them are having a good meet. Dakota Grise is only a freshman but he has been clearing 5’ 9” and today he cleared 5’10” for 3rd place.
The TVS girls won the Fred Durkle Invitational for the first time since it was started in 2002. Coach Mabry had this to say about the meet, “It started with the 4X800m relay team – they set the tone for the meet right off the bat. They broke the meet record and once we got started, we gathered momentum from there. Mylan Crews had a good night, winning the 100 meter and just getting beat out in the 200 meter, she was also on the 4X200m relay which won, and lead off the 4X100m relay which got 4th. So it was a good performance by a freshman in her first really big meet. She stepped up and handled the pressure well.”
He continued, “Abbey Beneke placed well in both hurdle events. Madison Wright placed in both the 400m and 800m runs. Megan Wright scored in both the 1600m and the 3200m runs. All 4 of our relays placed. Abbey Creech did nice the high jump. We also got some points from the discus (Haily Keener) and the pole vault (Emily Hutchings, Delany Adams). It may have been just a few points here and there, but last year the district meet came down to the last event – every point that we can get matters.”
Next he was asked how the season has gone from the beginning to now, “We won a quad meet at Dixie, we next went to the National Trail relay meet and won that. We next had a dual meet against North which allowed everyone to get on the track and to see what we have. But overall I have been pleased with what all we have done and their work ethic. We have some depth – every event this last weekend, we had someone in the top 5. There have been years where we have been strong in sprints or strong in distance, but this year we seem to have it all.”
South’s coach Faber was the last coach up, “I thought things went fairly well, this was one of our goals this year – to win our invitational. Our 4X800m relay team set a personal best for the season. Both our hurdlers (Luke Stoner, Josh Chapman) ran well – Chapman had a personal best in the 300m hurdles. Jared Kirkpatrick had a personal best in the long jump – 21’4”. Aaron Deaton and Tristen Sizemore were 1st and 2nd in the shot put and had personal bests. JJ Utz finished 1st in the 800m and was on the 4X800m team that won.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
The Brookville Blue Devils focused on stopping one player - Wes Cole. Cole, who had been fighting illness coming into the game, was held to just 5 points - and South could not find anyone else to score against Brookville's box and one defense. The defense was effective in that the chaser kept Cole from touching the ball from most of the night, and the box kept South from driving to the basket.
Finally South, with the exception of the 2nd quarter, had problems shooting from the outside. South’ defense, which had been playing with more vigor as of late, couldn’t keep Brookville from scoring. And Brookville’s taller lineup did a fair job on the boards as well.
As has been the case in several of the last few games, South got out to a slow start offensively. Brookville had a nice run to start the game, and South was forced to play catch up trailing 8-2. In the second quarter, South’s offense got on track and they actually outscored Brookville with 5 players nailing treys during the frame and at the half they were down by 4, 25-21. Cole provided momentum going into the locker room with a steal and layup right before the buzzer.
But that momentum did not carry far, Cole would not score the rest of the night and South was having problems hitting shots from outside again. With no one else stepping up, South was struggling to find any offense. The third quarter was a wash with both teams scoring just 6 points each. Brookville had another nice run to start the 4th quarter and went into a slowdown at the midway point. South responded with a trapping defense. Both teams were giving bonus, but Brookville was an impressive 18 of 20 on the night, while South only made 2 of 10. With the Blue Devils acing shots at the foul line, South could not make up any ground and finally fell 51-39.
Still South had a good season – an undersized but scrappy team that utilized intensity on defense and physicality on the boards to compete against taller teams. They could strike from outside, but were proficient in driving to the basket. Again using strength and quickness to drive to the basket for scores. They were also a hard luck team. Almost all their losses were by a basket or less. So they very easily could have had several more wins and only lost to the number one ranked team in the state by a last second basket.
“It was hard to prepare for this game with Wes Cole being sick,” stated coach Augspurger afterwards, “We considered the possibility that they might do something special against Wes. But with him being out, we got ready with what we already knew. We wanted our defense to keep them from being able to score, and I thought our effort was there. Brad Cox had one of his best nights ever for them. We held down their main two scorers, but he came thru for them in a big way. They outplayed us tonight – and they shot much, much better from the free throw line.”
He went on about the season, “I really enjoyed this team; this team played basketball the way that Twin Valley South basketball should be played. They played tough, they played hard and with intensity. I was disappointed that we could not continue on for them. Our 5 seniors will be tough to replace. Wes Cole has been a very good athlete for us. Anthony Augspurger was a hard nosed defender, Jacob and Jason helped quite a bit too. They were good, they will be missed.”