MASON – Claire Carruthers home run was a tone-setter for Clinton-Massie in Wednesday’s 11-4 Region 8 semifinal win over Greenville.
She said she knew it was going to be a good day when she woke up Wednesday morning.
But a big home run?
“Oh, I was surprised,” she said after the game. “I haven’t hit a home run since my freshman year. I’ve been waiting for that.”
Wednesday was a good time to end a three-year HR drought.
ALDER NEXT: Jonathan Alder defeated Springfield Kenton Ridge in the other Region 8 semifinal game Wednesday at Mason.
The Pioneers were Region 8 champions last year before losing to Hebron Lakewood in the OHSAA state semifinals.
Alder also won the Region 8 championship in 2014 and finished as the state runnerup.
NEW WATERS: This will be Clinton-Massie’s first trip to the regional title game. The Lady Falcons lost to Greenville 14-4 in last year’s semifinal game.
“I said last year we were venturing in to uncharted territory when we got here,” CM coach Anthony Lauer said of last year’s loss to Greenville in a Region 8 semifinal. “Well, guess what? We’re venturing into uncharted territory again. This was a statement win today. You left it all on the field.
“Relish it today, but the next two days we go right back to work. It’s not going to be any easier. Every step we take, it’s only going to get harder.”
IN HER HEART: Taylor Florea was not happy with her performance in last year’s loss to Greenville. So Wednesday was a bit of revenge for the junior hurler.
Maybe she had an angel on her shoulder in the circle on Wednesday. Her travel ball coach Gary Saunders, a Blanchester High School graduate, passed away in December but certainly would have been proud of his pupil.
“That was a tough one,” Florea said of Saunders’ passing. “He would have told me to go out there and do what I can do. He knew that I could do it. He’s always in my heart.”
DEFENSE: Massie made a couple of defensive gems in the win on Wednesday.
Natalie Lay crashed into the fence in foul territory in right field to make a catch in the first inning.
Later, Lay, known for her bat, was credited with an assist when she alertly threw out a runner at first base from right field.
Kelsey Carter knocked down a rocket at shortstop to start a 6-3 double play in the sixth.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports