DAYTON – The Greenville Lady Wave stole the lead late in the game earning a trip to the Regional Championship game with a 6-1 win over the Cleves Taylor Lady Yellow Jackets but not before two heart stopping defensive stands late in the game played at Wright State University.
“What a great day for Lady Wave Softball,” said Greenville coach, Jerrod Newland. “What a great atmosphere, 2-hour and 20-minute game, 9-innings – just a great day for Lady Wave Softball.”
The Lady Wave took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth with junior leftfielder Mahayla Cook crushing an inside the park homerun down the left field line and sliding safely into home. Cook could be heard saying, “I’ve never run so fast in my life,” as she returned to the Greenville dugout.
“I wasn’t stopping her,” Newland said. “I should have stopped her at third.”
Taylor plated a single run in the bottom of the fifth knotting the score a 1-1 where the score would stay through eight-innings of play but not before the Lady Wave had to claw its way out of two major bases loaded jams, the first coming in the bottom of the sixth with Coach Newland giving Taylor’s Camrynn Linneman an intentional walk loading the bases with Lady Yellow Jackets with one out.
Escape No. 2 came in the bottom of the eighth with Greenville dodging its second bullet of the night with a no out bases loaded jam, again with Coach Newland intentionally walking Linneman sending the game to the ninth-inning tied at 1-1.
“Everybody is down there on egg shells, you’re mad, they’re mad I’m walking them,” Coach Newland stated. “Just no doubt about it, we’re playing defense and doing what we do and I wasn’t letting their best player beat us and bottom line Greenville wins and moves on to the Elite 8 Friday here at Wright State.”
Linneman came into the game with a .617 batting average with 11 home runs on the season.
“I just wasn’t going to let Cam beat us,” said Newland. “They are a good team and Cam is a one man show. A player isn’t going to beat a program – we harped that this week pretty good. We skated on water, we made some plays, we’re moving on.”
Greenville broke the game open in the top of the ninth-inning beginning with an Alaina Baughn leadoff single and a steal of second, a Kendall Cromwell groundout back to the pitcher moving Baughn to third bringing a visit to the mound by the Taylor coach.
Next player up – Addie Burke drilled a RBI single scoring Baughn with the go ahead run. Burke quickly stole second. Pinch hitter Ella McLear coaxed a walk after staying alive fouling off pitches putting runners on first and second for the Lady Wave.
Cook clubbed a RBI single, her third hit of the night scoring Burke with Cook sliding safely into third and Birke gliding into second standing giving the Lady Wave a 3-1 lead.
Greenville’s speedy right fielder, Skylar Fletcher crushed a 2-RBI triple to the fence upping LWSB’s lead to 5-1 and pushed its lead to 6-1 with a Kylar Arnett run-scoring groundout.
“I knew we would start hitting the ball that third time through,” said Newland. “I knew we would be tough enough and disciplined enough and better than them to win this game – and the ‘program’ wins.”
With the Lady Yellow Jackets 7-8-9 hitters coming to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, the Lady Wave wasted no time putting the game away setting Taylor down in order – back-to-back Zoey Burns strikeouts and a 3-to-4 groundout – Burke to Arnett punching the Lady Wave’s ticket to the Elite 8.
Burns went the distance on the mound for the Lady Wave allowing no earned runs, 2-hits, 6-walks (4-intentional) while striking out sixteen.
“ZB (Burns) is a stud – she’s good,” Newland stated. “You don’t K 16 in the regionals and she K’d 16 today, we played defense around her – it’s just grinding. ZB did great – so proud of the kids and the program and the fans.”
“Cam is a stud, Zoey is a stud,” Coach Newland said of the game’s two pitchers. “They play on the same summer team, they are two of the best players in the state.”
Linneman (0.62 season ERA) pitched a complete game throwing 150 pitches for the Lady Yellow Jackets allowing 6-runs on 8-hits while striking out nine.
“We made her work,” Newland noted. “We pushed it as long as would could and blew up in the ninth.”
Cook paced Greenville at the plate going 3-4 including a homerun, 2-RBIs and 2-runs scored. Fletcher went 2-3 including a triple, 2-RBIs and a run; Burke 2-4, 1-RBI, 1-run; Baughn 1-4, 1-run; McLear 1-run; Arnett 1-RBI.
The Lady Wave were perfect running the bases on the day going 8-for-8 in steals.
We’re going to play Kenton Ridge Friday,” Coach Newland said. “They have knocked us out two of the last five years – its ‘Regional Finals Friday’.”
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