High School softball: Late rally lifts top-ranked Greenville past Shawnee

Shawnee High School senior pitcher Hannah Beers motions to the plate during their game against Greenville on Thursday afternoon at Mason High School. Beers struck nine batters, but the Braves fell to the Green Wave 2-0. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER
Shawnee High School senior pitcher Hannah Beers motions to the plate during their game against Greenville on Thursday afternoon at Mason High School. Beers struck nine batters, but the Braves fell to the Green Wave 2-0. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

MASON — The Shawnee High School softball team’s postseason run came to an end in heartbreaking fashion.

Greenville junior Bri Fellers hit a two-run double in the sixth inning to lift the Green Wave past the Braves 2-0 in a Division II regional semifinal game on Thursday afternoon at Mason High School.

“It’s a long game,” said Greenville coach Jerrod Newland. “There’s 21 outs. (Shawnee) is a good program, good school and good team over there. It just didn’t hop our way for awhile. Good teams find ways and we were able to outhit them. … We’re just excited to get a win and move on to Saturday.”

Senior Tori Huxley and junior Dani Ross each had hits for Shawnee, which finished its season 21-5. Braves senior Hannah Beers allowed just five hits in seven innings with nine strikeouts and no walks.

“It was a great game,” said Shawnee coach Chris Roberts. “I thought we played as well as we could play. Hannah Beers was dominating in the circle. Our defense was fantastic. We had a couple opportunities early, just couldn’t cash in. We just couldn’t get that one big hit. We put the ball in play and hit it hard all day long, but we hit it right at them. Sometimes that just happens.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Roberts said. “I thought we really played well enough to win here today and unfortunately, we just didn’t get it done.”

Greenville pitcher Grace Shaffer allowed two hits in seven innings with two strikeouts. Newland compared Shaffer to former Braves pitcher Greg Maddux.

“We pitch it, play defense, grind it around and make plays,” Newland said. “I feel like our outfield is extremely talented and fast. We’ve got some young kids running around the infield. We’re just goofy and young and we’re playing at noon on Saturday. We’re 31-1. We’re rolling.”

Greenville High School's Bri Fellers throws the ball in from left field during their game against Shawnee on Thursday afternoon at Mason High School. The Green Wave beat the Braves 2-0. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER
Greenville High School's Bri Fellers throws the ball in from left field during their game against Shawnee on Thursday afternoon at Mason High School. The Green Wave beat the Braves 2-0. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

Shawnee threatened in the bottom of the first inning after Huxley and Ross each singled, but the Braves couldn’t get a runner home.

The Green Wave threatened in the fifth inning. Greenville’s Savannah Leach led off the inning with a single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Ashlynn Zimmer. The next batter Keira Beavins singled to left field, but Leach was thrown out at home by Braves left fielder Ella McCloskey.

“The kids weren’t intimidated at all, which I was glad to see,” Roberts said. “The girls didn’t flinch. I couldn’t be more proud of them for playing a solid softball game.”

Greenville finally broke through in the sixth inning. Sophomore Alaina Baughn singled with one out and moved to second base when Skylar Fletcher was hit by a pitch. One pitch later, Fellers doubled to center field, scoring both runners.

“It was really the only solid hit they had all day,” Roberts said. “Give credit to her, she made a good swing on the ball and got those two runs in.”

Shaffer retired Shawnee in order in the sixth and seventh to seal Greenville’s 10th regional final appearance. They’ll play the winner of Hebron Lakewood and New Richmond at noon Saturday at Mason.

Newland, a Shawnee grad, praised his alma mater for the toughness they showed throughout the game.

“That’s a good team,” Newland said. “The Beers girl throws well. They’ve got some studs. (Roberts) does a great job with the program. It’s a neat school and just a good game here today. All year they found a way with their seniors. The game is never over until it’s over. We found a way today and made it work.”

Shawnee finished its season with 20 wins, a district title and a berth in the regional semifinals. They’ll graduate six seniors — Huxley, Beers, Taylor Cox, Alise Moneypenny, Reagan Simpson and Hannah Haddix — who persevered despite missing all of last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to them for stepping up and getting it done in their senior season,” Roberts said. “Seniors seasons can sometimes go either way. They’re seniors, they’ve got their mind on college and graduating and everything else. These girls stayed focused all season. It’s a credit to them. They really wanted it and they played that way.”