Clinton-Massie will face its toughest challenge to date Tuesday in the Division II Dayton 3 sectional championship game against Monroe.
“This game could go either way,” CM coach Anthony Lauer said. “You have two very talented teams playing and it’s going to be unfortunate but someone’s season will be ending.”
The game is scheduled for a first pitch at 5 p.m. at Springboro High School.
Monroe was the No. 1 seed in the bracket while Clinton-Massie was the No. 3 seed.
The Lady Falcons are 25-1 on the season and ranked No. 6 in Monday’s statewide softball poll. The Hornets are 22-2 and unranked in the state poll. The winner will advance to the district championship bracket at Mason High School Friday to play either Wilmington or Ross.
“Monroe is a very talented team from top to bottom,” Lauer said. “They hit the ball very well and are good at limiting their strikeouts.”
Lauer said his Clinton-Massie squad must be solid in the field when Monroe puts the bat on the ball. Also, the Lady Falcons have to score runs.
“It is going to be very important for us to continue playing excellent defense like we have done all year and bring our bats,” he said. “We must hit.”
Clinton-Massie has outscored its 26 opponents 298 to 43 this season, while Monroe has outscored its opponents 271 to 59.
Faith Hensley is the leading hitter for the Hornets, providing thunder and lightning in one player. She has a team-best 9 homeruns, 39 runs batted in, a team-best 21 stolen bases and a team-high .529 batting average.
Alexis Arnold has drive in a Monroe-best 41 runs with 19 stolen bases, a team-high 17 doubles and 7 HRs.
Alyssa Wagner is 14-1 on the mound for the Hornets. She has 112 strikeouts in 91 innings pitched.
Taylor Florea is 21-1 as a pitcher for Massie with an 0.89 earned run average. She also leads the team offensively with a .595 batting average.
But there is plenty of help throughout a balanced lineup for the Lady Falcons, who have a team batting average of .461.
Hailey Clayborn hit .493 with 26 RBI; Victoria Sivert hit .494 with 24 RBI; Claire Carruthers hit .474 with a team-high 27 RBI and Madi Newton hit .476 with 25 RBI.
Kelsey Carter also drove in 25 runs with a .391 batting average while Ashlie Miller hit .415 with 15 RBI. Lindsey Carter (.447), Kendall Anderson (.356), Lindsey Amberger (.351) and Jessica Asher (.318) round out the CM varsity squad.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports