Softball: KR postseason run ends in D-II regional final

FAIRBORN — The Kenton Ridge High School softball team fell one win short of the Division II state tournament for the second straight season.

Cougars freshman Brenna Fyffe went 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI and senior Kirsten Wright went 2-for-3 as Kenton Ridge fell to Greenville 5-2 in a D-II regional final game on Friday night at Wright State University.

“We were a little bit disappointed with the overall outcome, but the kids played hard,” said Cougars coach Sarah Schalnat. “They gave it their all and they just came up short this time.”

The Cougars finished the season 23-7, winning a second straight D-II district title and claiming the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division title for the first time since 2018.

Kenton Ridge was seeking its first trip to the state tournament since 2013 and the seventh appearance in program history.

“We just fell short of our ultimate goal, but we hit those milestones along the way,” Schalnat said.

Greenville (29-4), coached by Shawnee grad Jerrod Newland, won its 20th straight game and advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 2012. The Green Wave advanced to play Tallmadge in a D-II state semifinal game at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

“We had a lot of hard hit balls yesterday,” Schalnat said. “They were just right at people instead of into the gaps where we’ve had a little bit of luck in the other games. We just hit it right at them.”

Greenville took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Green Wave senior Alaina Baughn led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior Addie Burke. Baughn scored on a groundout to second base to give them the early lead.

“We had some mistakes and we just weren’t able to capitalize on some of the opportunities we did have,” Schalnat said. “We had some mistakes we hadn’t made all postseason and we just couldn’t come back from them.”

The Cougars tied the score in the fourth inning when Fyffe doubled to left field, scoring Wright from first base.

The Green Wave took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning after senior Skylar Fletcher was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. They made it 3-1 on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Zoey Burns.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Cougars loaded the bases on three straight singles by Wright, Fyffe and sophomore Kylie Schnitzler. KR sophomore Annie Fincham brought a run in with a ground ball to third base to make it 3-2.

In the top of the seventh inning, Burns hit a two-run home run to give the Green Wave a 5-2 lead.

“It kind of just let the wind out of the sail a little bit on the comeback,” Schalnat said.

The Cougars will graduate five seniors, including Wright, Kylie Ropp, Jacee Hamilton, Journey Armstrong and Mia Simpson. The group won 57 games over the last three years.

“They’ve worked hard all three years,” Schalnat said. “We missed their freshman year with COVID, but they’ve had a great career at Kenton Ridge.”

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