Greenville has just one senior – outfielder Lani Shilt – and is loaded with 10 juniors, four sophomores and a couple freshmen. All are interchangeable and productive, a must to crack this varsity roster.
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Junior outfielder Morgan Gilbert is the best hitter (.483) and owns team highs in hits (29), doubles (8) and stolen bases (9). She’s verbally committed to the University of Tennessee-Martin.
“She’s usually the best player on the field,” Newland said. “We have a lot of kids who have been through the storm. That makes this lineup tough.”
Sophomores Kennedy Fashner (7-1, 2.09 ERA) and Grace Shaffer (5-0, 2.51 ERA) team with junior Caitlin Christman (4-0, 1.78) to form a formidable pitching staff. Fashner is a lefty, the others right-handed.
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“That makes it really nice,” Newland said. “It’s three different looks with three different kids.”
Greenville (12-0) is in command in the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North after sweeping Tippecanoe (14-5, 8-3) earlier this month. The Green Wave has won 11 Division II district titles in the last 13 seasons.
Last year Clinton-Massie bumped Greenville off the tourney trail in a regional semifinal. That served as payback, because Greenville did the same to Massie in 2017.
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Another deep postseason run – and a trip to the state final four – are annual Greenville goals.
“It’s a great group of kids who have been together for a while,” Newland said. “The kids work hard and look forward for the opportunity to compete. Our goal is always to get to Akron and win a state championship.”
• The Southwestern Buckeye League Southwest Division is loaded. Brookville (14-2) and Monroe (12-2) share first place, both at 8-1. In third is Eaton (13-3, 7-3).
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Brookville swept Eaton early in the season and is at Monroe on Tuesday. Brookville junior first baseman/outfielder Jessica Brown leads the SWBL in home runs (10). Eaton senir pitcher Annika Gels is tied for first in wins (12) and is second in strikeouts (126).
• Springfield (9-7) has a legitimate shot at its first GWOC divisional title since the merger of North and South. The Wildcats are just 4-4 in the GWOC National East, but that’s good for first and a one-game lead over Fairmont and Centerville, which recently swept the Wildcats.
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Springfield junior Taryn Freer, a first baseman and pitcher, leads the GWOC in hitting (.691) and RBIs (36). She also has six home runs and a 4-2 pitching record (25 strikeouts in 24.2 innings.).
The other GWOC divisional leaders going into Saturday’s games were Xenia (11-7, 6-4) in the American South and Springboro (12-5, 7-0) in the National West.
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Piqua senior Mariah Blankenship leads the GWOC in pitching wins (14-5). Springboro senior pitcher Molly Pfiffner is first in strikeouts (119).
• Minster (17-0) is the area’s only remaining unbeaten softball team. The Wildcats (5-0) hold a one-game advantage over Versailles (7-7, 4-1) in the Midwest Athletic Conference after blanking the Tigers 6-0 on Tuesday.
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• Mandatory coaches meetings are Sunday at various locations to determine seeds and brackets for the upcoming sectionals. The postseason begins May 6 and concludes with the season-ending state tournaments at Akron from May 30 through June 1.
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