District Champs Trifecta
For the Lakewood Lady Lancers, it was their fourth straight district title and eighth in the last nine years. The Lady Lancers, who won back-to-back Division III state championships the last two years, moved up to Division II this year. Lakewood held their two district opponents – Olentangy and Canal Winchester – scoreless, while amassing 18 runs.
The Lady Lancers were ranked No. 4 in the final state poll and will face No. 3 LaGrange Keystone in a regional semi-final at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 27 at Bucyrus High School. The regional final is set for noon on Saturday, May 29 at Bucyrus High School.
A district championship is still familiar territory for the Lakewood Lancers, but last Wednesday’s win was their first district championship since 2005. The 25-4 Lancers defeated Licking Heights, Sparta Highland and Olentangy to win the district title.
The unranked Lancers head to Zanesville’s Gant Memorial Stadium to take on Richmond Edison in a regional semifinal at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 27. No. 4 Zanesville is playing in the other game in Lakewood’s bracket. The regional championship is set for 5 p.m. on Friday, May 28 in Zanesville.
Last week’s most significant win had to be Liberty Union Lady Lions’ heart attackinducing 4-3 win over No. 1 ranked Richwood North Union for a Division III district title. The win sends the unranked Lady Lions to a regional semifinal for the first time since 1987. The game was scoreless until the fifth inning. The Lions took a 1-0 lead on a two-out single by Jayce Born in the top of the fifth. North Union got that run back in their half of the inning for a 1-1 tie. The Lady Lions exploded for three more runs in the sixth inning on a double by Megan Van Almsick, a sacrifice fly by Leana Bachman, a single by Sam Mowery and some excellent base running. North Union got a run in their half, cutting the Lion lead to 4-2. The Lions didn’t score in their last at bat and the Ladycats had runners on first and second with just one out in their final at bat. Bachman caught a tough line drive for the second out. A single by the Ladycats clean-up hitter scored one run, but the Lions caught a runner in a rundown between second and third for the final out. Lions starter sophomore Sarah Klopfer recorded seven strikeouts including two against North Union’s clean-up hitter.
The Lady Lions face No. 2 ranked Piketon in a regional semi-final at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26 at Lancaster High School. The regional championship is set for noon on Saturday, May 29 at Lancaster High School.
Two other lake-area teams made it to their District finals. Sheridan’s Lady Generals fell 9-7 to Gallipolis Gallia Academy. Sheridan overcame a slow start to the season to a strong tournament run with victories over Greenfield McClain and Chillicothe. The Lady Generals finished the season with a 13-12 record.
In Division IV, the Millersport Lady Lakers made it to the district final with tournament wins over Harvest Prep, Worthington Christian and Newark Catholic. They lead early, but fell 8-4 to Danville. The Lady Blue Devils were ranked No. 9 in the state and won their fifth straight district title. The Lakers finished with a 16-15 record.
Liberty Union Lions made it to the district semifinals before falling to Marion Pleasant and eventual district champion by a 2-1 score. The eighth seeded Lions defeated Galion Northmor to reach the semi-final. The Sheridan Generals reached the district quarter-finals. The eventual district champion, Circleville Logan Elm, beat the Generals 15-3. Sheridan beat Fairfield Union 3-2 to reach the quarter finals. Danville bested the Millersport Lakers 16-2 in the first round of the playoffs.