Arrows’ standout junior packs a big wallop

Tecumseh High School softball slugger Ashley Fite leads the Arrows in every major offensive category, including a league-high .683 batting average. Of all her numbers the most impressive is this: in 60 at-bats the junior has yet to strike out.

“She has a good read on the pitch,” Tecumseh coach Christi Leggett said. “She picks out the one that’s going be her pitch. She kind of waits back for those pitches to come to her.”

Listed at 5 feet, 3 inches, Fite doesn’t bring intimidating size to the plate. She does bring a big stick. The three-year varsity starter leads the Arrows in batting average, runs scored (39), hits (41), doubles (9), triples (5), home runs (7), RBIs (34) and stolen bases (14).

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She’s also Tecumseh’s top pitcher with a 10-5 record and 3.76 ERA. She’s struck out 85 batters in 93 innings.

On Monday she did damage on both sides of the plate going 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in Tecumseh’s 10-0, 5-inning defeat of West Carrollton (3-21) in the Division I sectional. She picked up the win with her fourth shutout, allowing three hits and striking out seven.

Tecumseh (13-7), seeded No. 10 in the tournament, travels to No. 8 Xenia (13-10) for the second round at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Tecumseh swept Xenia in a doubleheader 20-5 and 13-5 in the regular season.

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Of Fite’s 147 career hits, 72 have been for extra bases. And while she grabs a pitcher’s attention when she steps in the box, she’s not the only Arrow creating offense.

Sophomore shortstop Logan Markstrom is hitting .458 (5 homers, 30 runs scored). Junior first baseman/pitcher Abby O’Bryant and junior catcher Mackenzie Drews (25 runs) are both hitting .435, sophomore Zoe Dean .333, sophomore centerfielder Erica Thornhill .303 and freshman first baseman Paige Hale .302.

“We have some really good athletes,” Fite said. “I think we can do well in the tournament if we stick together. Sometimes we have one or two innings where teams hit the ball and it gets through the infield. But I think we can be really good if we stick together and keep it up. … We have drama just like everyone else but we like each other. We have fun.”

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The Arrows are young with one senior in Karissa Duff. Five juniors, five sophomores and two freshman fill out the rest of the roster. Junior left fielder Shelby Stacy, sophomore second baseman Anna Dewitt and freshman right fielder Bailey Drews have provided solid defense.

“They’re a great group of girls. We call (this season) working the grind because we’ve been stuck inside so much,” Leggett said of staying focused and working hard despite what seemed like endless indoor practices because of the weather. “We tell them to work the grind so that when we get in a tough game we can work the grind and keep going. They have great spirit.”

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As for Fite, she’s been lifting the Arrows since her freshman season. She’s led Tecumseh in batting average, hits, doubles, triples, home runs and RBIs all three seasons. She’s led them in wins and strikeouts the past two seasons.

There’s one offensive category Fite hates leading the team in: walks.

“Yeah, sometimes they walk me,” Fite said, grimacing. “It happens. It’s the most annoying thing ever. It’s just one of those things where I got on base but you didn’t even give me a chance.”

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