MASON — There weren’t any six inning scoreless ties this time around. Nor were there any late-inning heroics.
No, Friday at Mason High School in the Division II Mason I District Championship softball game, Clinton-Massie dismantled Ross with diamond-cutter’s precision right from the start and rolled to a 20-5 victory.
“I think we made a statement today that we are a good team, no doubt about it,” CM coach Anthony Lauer said.
The Lady Falcons will move on to the Division II Southwest Regional semifinal against either Western Brown or Greenville. Those two teams will meet at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mason High School in a district championship game.
The regional tournament game is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Mason High School.
Clinton-Massie (27-1) had a hit, two walks, a sacrifice and left the bases loaded in the first inning. But a Ross error allowed Victoria Sivert to score the first run of the game for a 1-0 CM lead.
Hitter Taylor Florea doubled home a couple more runs for a 3-0 lead. That seemed good enough for pitcher Taylor Florea who retired the first eight Lady Rams with ease. She did run in to two-out trouble in the third before stranding a pair of runners.
So Massie took a 3-0 lead to the bottom of the third, an inning that started innocently enough with a walk and a flyout. A single and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for the No. 9 batter Ashlie Miller.
Miller ripped one into outfield gap that cleared the bases and put the Lady Falcons in control at 6-0.
“She’s carried us,” Lauer said. “She was struggling a bit right before the tournament. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Sivert brought Miller in then Ross booted two balls and the floodgates opened. Kelsey Carter singled home two, then Madilyn Newton stroked a two-run single and it was 11-0. Following Lindsey Carter’s run-producing hit, Miller returned to the plate — still in the bottom of the third — and collected two more RBI. She finished with six RBI for the game. Sivert’s triple plated the final run of the inning and it was 15-0. Sivert totaled four RBI in the win.
With at least two more innings to go, this one was a far cry from last year’s 0-0 score through six. The Rams won that game on a seventh inning grand slam 4-0. While the Ross program has been one of the measuring sticks for fast-pitch softball in Southwest Ohio the past 25 years, Clinton-Massie wasn’t going to back down. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.
“Last year was a disappointing loss for us,” Lauer said. “We circled the (2017) district championship on the calendar. That was our goal. We kept our fingers crossed because you can’t predict what will happen (in the tournament) but we wanted Ross.”
Though Ross put up a fight in the fifth inning — the Lady Rams scored five runs — it was far too little, far too late.
And while this 15-run win over a heated rival may be the biggest victory in school history, Clinton-Massie will be focused on whoever its next opponent is in the regional tournament.
“There are four things we talk about having every day … attitude, desire, effort, hustle,” said Lauer. “These girls have all four. That will allow them to show up on Wednesday ready to go.
“The desire that these girls have … now that they have tasted it, I think they are going to want more. There won’t be any problem getting them fired up. These girls … no, I’m not going to have any problems.”
May 19, 2017
@Mason High School
Division II District Championship
Clinton-Massie 20 Ross 5
(5) ROSS (ab-r-h-rbi) Foster 3-1-2-1 Emenacker 3-1-1-0 Poling 4-1-1-2 Ivey 3-0-1-2 Arno 3-0-1-0 Grau 3-1-1-0 Meyer 2-0-0-0 Gleason 2-0-0-0 Ohmer 0-1-0-0. TOTALS 22-5-7-5
(20) CLINTON-MASSIE (ab-r-h-rbi) Sivert 4-3-3-4 Florea 5-1-2-2 Anderson 1-2-1-1 Amberger 1-2-0-0 K. Carter 4-2-2-2 Clayborn 2-1-0-0 Newton 4-2-1-2 Carruthers 3-2-1-0 L. Carter 2-2-2-1 Miller 3-4-3-6. TOTALS 29-20-15-18
2B: R-Ivey; CM-Florea
3B: CM-Sivert, Miller
SB: R-Foster, Ohmer
SAC: CM-Amberger 2, Miller
Meyer (L) 4-15-20-12-5-1
Florea (W) 5-7-5-5-2-5
CLAYBORN: Hello, can I order a pizza for pick-up?
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports