Greenville rallies to dodge Carroll in D-II sectional final softball

There’s nothing wrong with the Greenville High School softball program, although the same can’t be said about Baylee Petry.

Now a sophomore designated hitter, Petry was an All-Ohioan as a freshman pitcher last season for the Green Wave. She was destined to join a long line of outstanding pitchers who have helped vault Greenville to the best in the area and state since coach Jerrod Newland took over 16 seasons ago.

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And then it happened.

“I stepped wrong and it just pulled,” Petry said of an early season hip injury that has prevented her from pitching this season. “We still don’t know what’s wrong. We’re going to get an MRI done and hopefully I’ll be back (healed) for next season.”

Petry is still making an impact as a designated hitter. Her run-scoring single ignited a 4-run fifth inning as Greenville rallied to dodge upstart Carroll 7-1 in a Division II sectional final at Tippecanoe on Tuesday.

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The clutch win sends Greenville (25-5) into a D-II district final against Ross at 5 p.m. Friday at Lebanon. Ross advanced by defeating Badin 4-3 in 10 innings also on Tuesday. It’ll be the 15th time in the last 16 seasons Greenville will be playing for a district championship.

Trailing 1-0, Greenville brook open a tight game in the fourth and added three more runs in the sixth. Sophomore Morgan Gilbert, senior Cassie Cromwell and Petry all scored two runs apiece for the Green Wave. That made a winner of freshman pitcher Grace Shaffer (8-1).

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Sydney Grote and Cromwell are the only two seniors for Greenville. Both have won 100-plus games in their four-year careers and both have surpassed 100 career hits.

“Softball is a big thing in Greenville,” Newland said. “I know it’s a minor sport, but for us it’s Friday Night Football. It’s small-town USA and we just love it.”

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Greenville was knocked out by Jonathan Alder in a D-II regional final last season. The Green Waves has been to three final fours under Newland, winning a state title in 2007 and placing runner-up in 2012. Newland surpassed 400 careers wins this season.

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Carroll (12-13) was on an 0-7 midseason slide and was buried in the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North. But the Patriots rallied to win eight of nine games and earn a rare sectional final spot. Sophomore Mara Beam had three hits for the Patriots.

Eaton 6, Tippecanoe 3: Annika Gels recorded her 400th career strikeout in leading the Eagles to a D-II sectional final at Dixie on Tuesday. She struck out 10. Becca Mowen had two doubles and two RBIs to lead the winners.

Eaton (15-5) takes a four-game win streak in the a D-II district final against Clinton-Massie at Mason on Friday.

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• Games that were postponed on Tuesday and rescheduled for Wednesday were Monroe vs. Franklin at Lebanon (D-II) and Kenton Ridge vs. Northwestern at Springfield Shawnee (D-II).

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