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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Dixie Fastpitch – Tough Season Winding Down.
J. C. Tilton

A tough season for the Dixie fastpitch team is closing shortly. To date, the team has eeked out one victory. But injuries have put a limit on the teams success this season. Senior pitcher Bethany Patterson missing a good part of April due to injury. Another player had a bad concussion and is lost for the season. One bright spot is that the team is sending a player to the next level at Wilmington College.

The coach talked about the seniors, “Carrie Ynnucci is a first year varsity player and this is her second year in fast pitch. She was the heart of the team, she keeps a positive attitude. Definitely one of our senior leaders. Bethany Patterson is our star pitcher, this is her third year of pitching varsity. She had shoulder tendonitis and was out the last 2 ½ weeks. So we are glad to have her back, she is a solid player.”

“The other part of our battery is Amber Neaves, catcher. She is a tough kid. She seems to be dialed in. She is probably overall our best athlete. She has been batting .479 with a slugging percentage over 700. She is an amazing athlete – as long as she keeps her eye on the prize. She was 2 for 3 today against Belvo, who is a tough pitcher. Against Hannah Kendrick of Madison, she has batted over .500 against her. And against Greenville the number 1 ranked team in Division 2 in the state, she had another 2 for 3 day. The better the pitcher, the better she seems to be. She will be playing college ball for Wilmington, she is definitely ready for that.”

“Nikki Harris, our third baseman and team captain. Another player like Carrie who is the heart and soul of the team. She is like having another coach on the field. She keeps the girls on task. She has had to play several different positions this year.”

He went on to talk about the teams most severe injury, “One of our better players was a sophomore, Courtney Hawk, and she had a play at second. A girl went into her with her helmet to her head and gave her a grade 3 concussion. It ended her season, and she is not even allowed to go to school. She is an amazing ball player and plays on a traveling team. Softball is the last thing I worry about for that kid, I just want her to get healthy. It has really opened up my eyes to concussions. We also had a kid get one in basketball and it affected her drastically. So we have just been snake bit this year.”

This week the team lost to Preble Shawnee, ending league play, and also Bethel. The team next faces a tough state ranked West Liberty Salem team in the state playoffs. It has been a tough season for the Greyhounds and it doesn’t get any easier. Comments:
Dixie Over Shawnee.
J. C. Tilton

Dixie prevailed over fellow South Western Buckeye Conference foe Preble Shawnee. The victory was due to solid relief pitching and scoring that was primed by the Hayes brothers. After tacking on some insurance runs late in the 7th inning, Dixie would win 5-1.

Both teams threatened early, putting runners on base in the first couple of innings. But then, starting pitcher Ethan Hayes got into trouble – loading the bases with Arrow runners. The score was 0-0, but Shawnee looked ready to break the game open. Coach Bingham made the decision to pull his starter, he would later relate that Hayes just didn’t have good stuff for this game. Then relief pitcher Wes Smith was called upon to put out the fire.

He coolly dispatched the next three batters – not allowing a single run. In the game, he would have three consecutive innings where the batters were sent down 1-2-3. Shawnee did score a run on a sacrifice fly. But the Hayes brothers – Ryan and Ethan would provide some offense, scoring first for Dixie and putting them ahead.

Coach Bingham commented on Smith’s relief work, “He came in with bases loaded and nobody out and got out of it clean. That was a big situation. He has thrown good all year, this puts him at 6 and 2. He has been a solid pitcher for us.”

Next he was asked about Dixie scoring, “Ryan Hayes reached on a walk and scored on a passed ball. Ethan Hayes singled to drive in a run. In the sixth inning we touched them up for a couple of hits. They walked Ryan Hayes, sacrificed him to second, and Ethan Hayes drove him in. The brothers have done a great job. Tyler Harris singled to drive in Ethan Hayes. Then in the seventh we touched them up again. Mike Hall reached first on a hit by pitch. We did a hit and run – Luke Bowling singled to right field scoring him. Garret Moore then singled and drove him in. Aaron Worley drove in the games final run.”

The team would later play Middletown Fenwick where they would play close until late in the game when Fenwick broke the game wide open and would double up the Greyhounds 14-7. This would put the teams record at 17-8 and third place in the league. The last league game is against rival Brookville and then Dixie will begin tournament play as a number two seed. Comments: