Clinton-Massie goes from the frying pan to the fire Saturday in the Division II Region 8 championship game at Mason High School.
Greenville provided Clinton-Massie an obstacle last year and this year in the semifinal round. The Lady Falcons lost last season 14-4 then came back to defeat the Wave 11-4 Wednesday to move on the title game.
Greenville had been to four straight regional tournaments but has not been able to advance to the state in that time.
Clinton-Massie’s next opponent – Plain City Jonathan Alder – has taken that next step.
The Lady Pioneers, who defeated Kenton Ridge in the semifinal on Wednesday, were state runnersup in 2014 and a state semifinalist last season. Alder defeated Greenville in the regional championship game a year ago.
“You can tell that this is a team that has been to where they are the past couple years,” CM coach Anthony Lauer said of Jonathan Alder. “They have that experience. You can tell by the way they carry themselves on the field.”
The first pitch for the Massie-Alder game Saturday is set for Noon at MHS.
“They are a pretty solid team,” said Lauer. “They hit the ball well. They executed bunts pretty well. They are fundamentally sound from what I saw when they played Kenton Ridge.”
Lauer said Katelyn Perkins is strong in the circle and will give Massie much more speed to face than the Greenville pitching. Lauer said Jillian Jakse, a sophomore, is strong offensively.
“She’s a solid player; she hits the ball hard,” said Lauer.
Lauer said is not expecting a letdown by his squad after clearing the Greenville hurdle. Instead, he believes the win over the Wave only provided a confidence boost that should erase any doubts about what his Lady Falcons are capable of doing.
“I think that (win) is going to give us the drive that we need,” said Lauer. “We were fired up. We were ready to go. Our intensity was there. We saw what we were capable of. With our 10th man, our fans really showed up. Our enthusiasm was there. We were feeding off our fans and when you do that, the sky’s the limit.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports