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Softball Challenges Ursuline For Sectional Championship

Posted on: May 14, 2017

SETTING THE SCENE: The Milford High School softball team will be seeking its second sectional championship in the last three years when the Eagles take to the Lebanon Junior High School diamond against Ursuline on Monday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. The Eagles (24-2) slipped by Eastern Cincinnati Conference rival Walnut Hills by a 3-2 score in its tournament opener, while Ursuline (14-6) was a 10-7 winner over Sycamore. Like the battle with Walnut Hills, the Ursuline match-up will also serve as a regular season rematch for the Eagles as they took down the Lions by a 9-1 score on April 2.

 

A LOOK BACK: May 10 vs. Walnut Hills: Milford 3, Walnut Hills 2

It was far from pretty, but the second-seeded Milford High School softball team turned back upset-minded Walnut Hills by a 3-2 score in the Eagles’ OHSAA Tournament opener. The first two meetings of the season between the schools went the way of Milford by a combined 32-3 score, but Walnut proved up to the task before falling just one run short.

 

Milford did all of its scoring in the third inning, with the first run coming when leadoff hitter Sydnee Harris scampered home after singling and going to second on a Walnut error. Later Hannah Meenach would follow Harris’ lead by racing home on another wild offering from Walnut hurler Isabella Leisgang. Milford’s third run came on a two-out RBI single by Katelyn Rheude that plated pinch-runner Shelbi Willhoite.

 

MHS struggled to sustain any offense against Leisgang from there, ultimately striking out seven times on the afternoon. Walnut kept hanging around with single runs in the fourth and fifth frames. In the fourth, Mackenzie Rasheed singled to score Klarke Griffith to make it one-run game. The fifth inning saw Walnut inch another run closer, taking advantage of a Milford throwing error following a triple by Leisgang. But Walnut could get no closer as Valerie Thompson retired the final seven in a row to wrap up the win.

 

The Milford offense was limited to just five hits on the day, but rode the outstanding pitching of Thompson to the win. The senior southpaw yielded just four hits on the afternoon, while striking out a season-high 12 in improving to 21-2 on the season.

 

THE UPCOMING DOCKET: A look at Milford’s next OHSAA Tournament opponent:

  • Monday, May 15 vs. Ursuline (at Lebanon Jr. High), 5:00 p.m.
    • 2017 Record: 14-6, 8-2 GGCL (RV Division I area coaches’ final poll)
    • Top Hitter: Junior Sarah Mehrle (.597/5 XBH/12 RBI/20 SB)
    • Top Pitcher: Senior Kristyn Aiello (3.13 ERA/12-6 record)
    • Last Meeting: 2017; Milford 9, Ursuline 1

 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: A look at Milford’s statistical leaders through 26 games:

Batting Average: Katelyn Rheude (.531), Kelsey Seitz (.518), Katelyn Reynolds (.493)

Slugging Percentage: Kelsey Seitz (1.035), Katelyn Reynolds (.787), Katelyn Rheude (.728)

On Base Percentage: Katelyn Reynolds (.576), Kelsey Seitz (.570), Katelyn Rheude (.559)

Runs Scored: Kelsey Seitz (40), Sydnee Harris (37), Shelbi Willhoite (29)

Hits: Kelsey Seitz (44), Katelyn Rheude (43), Katelyn Reynolds (37)

RBI: Kelsey Seitz (45), Katelyn Rheude (37), Katelyn Reynolds (33)

Doubles: Katelyn Rheude (13), Sydnee Harris (12), Katelyn Reynolds (11)

Triples: Kelsey Seitz (7), Katelyn Reynolds (4), Four Tied (1)

Home Runs: Kelsey Seitz (7), Hillary Huffer/Katelyn Reynolds/Katelyn Rheude (1)

Walks: Katie Hall (23), Katelyn Reynolds (20), Sydnee Harris (16)

Stolen Bases: Sydnee Harris (13), Hannah Meenach (8), Lilly Copp (7)

Wins: Valerie Thompson (24), Hillary Huffer (3)

Saves: None

ERA: Valerie Thompson (1.06), Hillary Huffer (1.59)

Innings: Valerie Thompson (139.0), Hillary Huffer (22.0)

Opponents Batting Average: Valerie Thompson (.175), Hillary Huffer (.200)

Strikeouts: Valerie Thompson (134), Hillary Huffer (15)

 

POLL WATCH: Milford finished fourth in the final Division I area coaches’ poll of the year, released on May 1 and sponsored by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Lebanon won the poll title, earning nine of the 15 first place votes. The balance of the top-five includes Mason (three first place votes), Lakota East (two votes), the Eagles (one vote) and Lakota West. The ECC was also represented by Kings in eighth and Loveland receiving votes. The final coaches’ poll can be viewed at preps.cincinnati.com/coachespolls.

 

In the fourth Division I State Poll as voted on by the Ohio Softball Coaches Association, the Eagles are the seventh-ranked squad in the state. The Greater Cincinnati area is well represented with Lebanon ranked No. 1 and Lakota East one spot in front of Milford. The full rankings can be viewed here.

 

COLLEGE BOUND EAGLES: A trio of seniors on the 2017 Eagles’ roster have already announced their intention to continue their athletic and academic careers on the collegiate level. Kelsey Seitz will attend will attend Trevecca Nazarene University, while Valerie Thompson has signed a National Letter of Intent at Tennessee State University. Most recently, Katelyn Rheude sannounced her intention to attend Notre Dame College and compete on the college level.