Division IV Regional Softball

WHEN: Wednesday, 2 p.m.

WHERE: Findlay’s Marathon Diamonds

MATCHUP: North Baltimore (16-5) vs. Gibsonburg (15-5)

DISTRICT FINAL: Saturday, noon

LEADING OFF: North Baltimore is back in the regional tournament for the first time since the 2011 season. That year, the Tigers dropped a 14-13 slugfest to eventual state runner up Convoy Crestview in the regional semifinal. Gibsonburg, meanwhile, is making its fourth straight regional tournament appearance under fifth-year coach Marty Brown after winning its eighth straight Toledo Area Athletic Conference championship. The Golden Bears have a long and rich softball tradition that includes four regional championships and three straight state titles from 2001-03.

Gibsonburg reached the regional by pounding Old Fort 19-4 in the district semifinal, In that game, the Golden Bears batted around twice and scored 15 runs in the fifth inning. A familiar face to NB fans, Jasmine McNett, an all-Blanchard Valley Conference selection for the Tigers last season, tripled and homered in the inning for Gibsonburg. She has played a key role in the Golden Bears’ success since transferring from North Baltimore to Gibsonburg, which enters the contest with a seven-game winning streak.

The Golden Bears also feature returning first team all-Ohio pitcher Aubrey Fleming and another all-Ohioan in the field in second baseman Libby Henderson.

North Baltimore has shown plenty of offensive punch as well with four players hitting .500 or better and seven over .400. Senior Katelyn Werinandy leads the team in batting average (44-for-73, .603), doubles (11) and stolen bases (18). She has smacked five home runs and driven in 33 runs. Weinandy is also the ace of the pitching staff with a 15-4 record, a 2.22 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 120 innings.

Sophomore infielder Simone Thompson is hitting .500 and leads the Tigers in home runs (7) and RBI (36). Senior outfielders Paige Hyatt (.556, 2 HR, 20 RBI) and Makenna Ray (.525, 1 HR, 13 RBI) are both hitting over .500, while junior infielders Chloe Hopple (.482, 11 RBI) and Hannah Lord (.442, 14 RBI) aren’t far behind. Freshman catcher Mia McCartney is hitting .434 with three homers and 16 RBI. Sophomore utility player Jordan Baker has a .377 average and has driven is 13 runs.

In addition to Weinandy, McCartney (13 stolen bases), Ray (12), Baker (8) and Hopple (8) give the Tigers good speed on the base paths.

FLIP SIDE: In the other semifinal of the Findlay Regional, Ada will make its first regional tournament appearance and will take on Tinora in a 5 p.m. game.

 

Division IV Regional Softball

WHEN: Wednesday, 5 p.m.

WHERE: Findlay’s Marathon Diamonds

MATCHUP: Ada (17-8) vs. Tinora (15-6)

DISTRICT FINAL: Saturday, noon

LEADING OFF: Ada will be making its first regional softball appearance in school history when the Bulldogs take on Tinora in a Division IV regional semifinal at the Marathon Diamonds.

Ada knocked off Columbus Grove 8-2 in Saturday’s district final at Elida to reach the Division IV Sweet 16. Freshman Leona Dalton picked up the complete-game victory in the circle. She went seven innings, giving up two runs, both earned, on seven hits. She struck out eight and walked two. Senior Madisyn Gossard homered and doubled driving in four runs to lead the Bulldogs’ 10-hit effort in the district final. Gossard and senior Sydney Newland led Ada at the plate this season as both were first-team all-Northwest Conference selections. Classmates Olivia Alexander and Kaiti Newland were also all-conference.

Tinora edged Ayersville 6-5 to win the school’s first-ever district title after reaching the district semifinals each of the past three seasons. The Rams have won the last three Green Meadows Conference championships under fourth-year coach Garry Rodenberger. Ashton Helmke, one of four seniors on the roster, is the top pitcher for Tinora. Quinn Slattman homered and Aubrey Reineke and Tristen Norden both added a pair of hits in Tinora’s district final win over Ayersville.

FLIP SIDE: North Baltimore and Gibsonburg square off in the 2 p.m. regional semifinal contest at the Marathon Diamonds.

 

Division IV Regional Softball

WHEN: Thursday, 5 p.m.

WHERE: Akron Firestone Stadium

MATCHUP: Mohawk (18-7) vs. East Canton (20-5)

DISTRICT FINAL: Saturday, 3 p.m.

LEADING OFF: Mohawk is headed east to the Akron Firestone Regional where the Warriors will try and secure the school’s first state tournament appearance since 2005 when they captured a state title. Mohawk also won regional titles in 2003, 1994 and 1988. The Warriors, who are coached by MHS grad and first-year head coach Mindy Walton, got up on defending regional champion Lucas early and held on for a 7-5 win in the district final.

Mohawk’s Hannah Jordan does it all at the plate and in the pitcher’s circle for the Warriors. The Rio Grande College signee has a .529 average with two home runs and 22 RBIs. As a pitcher, she’s 13-6 with an 0.82 ERA and has more than 50 career wins.

Madi Chester is hitting a team-best .549 with two home runs and 23 RBIs while Tess Weinandy has blasted seven home runs to go along with her .440 batting average. The Warriors enter the contest riding a 10-game win streak.

East Canton rode a Harley into its regional tournament appearance. With their district final game against Columbiana knotted at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh,Harley Mason stepped to the plate and delivered a walk-off grand slam over the centerfield fence to give the Hornets a 5-1 win.

FLIP SIDE: Jeromesville Hillsdale plays Bristolville Bristol in the other regional semifinal at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

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