Shots in the Darke

Jerrod Newland’s Lady Wave softball team returns to the Division II State Final Four for the fourth time since 2007 on the strength of a 5-2 regional win over Kenton Ridge. A testament to what motivation, talent, fundamentals, and tradition provide, the trip to Akron will see a large contingent from Greenville as well as Darke County make the drive to northeast Ohio to support the Green and White as they face Tallmadge in the state semifinals. Follow all of the action Thursday at 5:30 on WTGR and read Gaylen Blosser’s coverage here on mycountylink.com. Good luck to the girls as they seek the second state title in school history! 

Darke County and other area schools will be well represented this Friday and Saturday at  the state track and field championships to be held at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus. D-I  contenders include: Tipp’s Stanley Clyne in the long jump and freshman Landon Kimmel in the  3200; Sidney’s Garrett Gunther, the regional champion in the pole vault; and Troy’s Devon  Strobel in the disc while the Lady Trojans are represented by Leah Harnish in the 400 and  Hannah Duff in the pole vault. 

In D-II Milton-Union will send Payton Mayfield in the 200 and Blake Brumbaugh in the long jump. In girls competition Versailles Lady Tigers making the trip to Columbus include Alexis  Magoto in the 400, the 4×400 relay team, Heidi Stammen in the pole vault, and Tori Tyo in the  shot put. 

In D-III Colton Reese of Versailles was a double regional winner in the 110 and 300 hurdles; the Tigers also qualified their 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams. Twin Valley South sends Colton Bishop in the 100 and as the 200 champion while Wyatt Lakes in the 300 hurdles and the 4×400 relay team go for the Panthers. 

Ansonia qualified Matthew Lee in the 1600 and Garrett Stammen in the disc while Colleen Steinmetz makes it in the pole vault for the Lady Tigers. They must be doing a lot of work in the weight room in Arcanum as Trojan Eain Parks and Lady Trojan Faith Wooten both finished in the top four in the shot put. 

Tri-Village Lady Patriots heading east are Adalynn Hines in the long jump and Loren Metzcar in both the disc and shot. Asher Long will wear the black and white of Covington in the boys 3200 while Carlie Besecker represents the Lady Buccs in the 400. Finally Tri-County North sends Clint Barnes in the high jump and Jonathan Landis in the pole vault while Franklin Monroe’s Nate Good also goes in the pole vault. Here’s hoping for personal records this weekend for all participating! Did you notice that six of the athletes are competing in the pole vault? Must be something about training in the barn near Ansonia that hosts Ultimate Air.  Steve Shellhaas has developed many strong vaulters over the years and this year is no exception!! 

Here’s today’s trivia question—with the season a third over, Tampa Bay, on the strength of a  13-0 start, leads the majors with 39 wins. Who has the second most wins thus far this year? 

I saw two rather unusual things take place Sunday—first was late fourth round leader Emiliano Grillo in the Charles Schwab Challenge hitting his tee shot on the 18th hole into a shallow concrete drainage ditch, watching helplessly as the ball floated backwards towards the tee before coming to a halt. Taking relief (and a penalty stroke) Grillo hit his third shot off of a concrete cart path settling for a double bogey and being forced into a playoff. Fortunately for the Argentinian he was able to birdie the second playoff hole to win for the second time in eight years on the PGA Tour. 

Secondly, the Reds were the culprits in a major base running blunder in the ninth inning against the Cubs. With runners on second and third and one out a grounder was hit to the  right side of the infield; Nick Senzel was caught in a rundown between third and home while  Kevin Newman moved from second to third. With both eventually standing on third base Newman was called out for advancing to an occupied base; Senzel, seeing the out signal and thinking it was called on him, then left the base and was tagged out completing the double play! Fortunately, the Reds completed the three-game sweep of the Cubbies (much to my friend Dave Julian’s chagrin) and somehow are now only four games out of first place in the embarrassingly weak NL Central with a 24-29 record! 

How about Josef Newgarden finally winning the Indy 500 Sunday in his twelfth attempt and after several high finishes. Outracing the rest of the field on the last of THREE late red flag restarts, he provided team owner Roger Penske his 19th win and first since assuming ownership of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That traditional quart of cold milk had to have been mighty satisfying! 

The second best record in the majors to date belongs to the Baltimore Orioles, owners of a 34-19 mark. The O’s have slowly been rebuilding through the draft and developing their own talent, much like the Astros have over the past six or seven years. The fans are coming back to one of the prettiest parks in baseball, Camden Yards, as the franchise seeks a return to the glory years of the past. 

Finally, I hope you had a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend, recognizing the sacrifices of those who made our country what it is today and those of our friends and family who meant so much to us. Enjoy the start of summer!