High School softball: Braves win D-II district championship

The Shawnee High School softball team beat Eaton on Friday to win a Division II district title. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED
The Shawnee High School softball team beat Eaton on Friday to win a Division II district title. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

CLAYTON — After two years of waiting, the Shawnee High School softball team are finally district champions.

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the third inning, the Braves exploded for 12 unanswered runs en route to a 13-4 victory over Eaton in a Division II district final game on Friday evening at Northmont High School.

“It was nice to advance,” said Shawnee coach Chris Roberts. “We started out a little rough. We had some uncharacteristic errors. We don’t typically do that. We booted the ball a little bit. They scored four unearned runs. We didn’t give in, fought back and kept chipping away at it. We started putting up big numbers.”

Braves junior Dani Ross went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and a double, while senior Tori Huxley went 3-for-5 with a double and senior Hannah Beers went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a double.

Senior Alise Moneypenny, junior Megan Kelly and sophomore Iris Pierson each had two hits, while seniors Taylor Cox and Reagan Simpson each added two RBIs in the victory.

The Braves tallied 18 hits in the game and scored five runs in the third, two in the fourth and five more in the fifth to clinch the district title.

“Hitting is contagious and those girls really got going,” Roberts said. “We were very aggressive on the basepaths and that really helped, too.”

Beers tossed a complete game, allowing six hits and no earned runs with three strikeouts. After allowing four runs in the first three innings, the Braves were able to regroup and take the lead with their bats and solid defense.

“I was just telling myself to calm down and just throw,” Beers said. “I had to just do what I do, have fun and get it done. I’m just super excited. I couldn’t have done it without my team.”

The victory was even sweeter for Shawnee after its 2019 season ended in a district final loss to Monroe.

“I think it lit a fire to where we said that’s never going to happen to us again,” Huxley said. “We got last season taken from us. With this group of six seniors, we said we were going to do it.”

The Braves were ready to make another run at a district title last year, but the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Two years is a long time to have to wait,” Roberts said, “but they stuck with it and it’s an awesome feeling.”

Once the final out was secured, the Braves embraced on the mound, celebrating a title two years in the making.

“I’ve wanted to do this with this team for so long because these are some of my best friends,” Huxley said.

The D-II 10th-ranked Braves (21-4) advanced to face third-ranked Greenville (30-1) in a D-II regional semifinal game at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Mason High School.

“They always have a great program,” Roberts said. “I know very little about them, only what you can gather on websites. I know they’re very good.”

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