The Prebis Memorial Classic is in its eighth year and keeps getting better with age.
This year’s edition will feature 40 games played over two days on nine fields at LaGrange Community Park and Wellington Recreation Park.
The 30-team field includes seven teams that played in the state tournament last year in Akron and seven that are ranked in the top 10 in their respective divisions in the Ohio High School Fastpitch Coaches Association poll. Included in the field are three teams ranked No. 1 — North Canton Hoover in Division I, Bloom Carroll in Division II and Vienna Mathews in Division III.
“I think we do a good job of gathering the best teams in the state and bringing them here for this event,” said Keystone coach Jim Piazza, who doubles as Prebis tournament director. “The reason they want to come is because playing this type of competition is a great test before the state tournament starts, but I would like to think the reason that teams keep coming back is because we’ve done a good job of making sure everything runs smoothly and that the community really embraces the event.”
There are seven Lorain County schools in the tournament. The host Wildcats and Elyria play today and Saturday in LaGrange while Avon, Vermilion, Columbia, Wellington and North Ridgeville all play in Wellington.
The Prebis has grown annually and Piazza said he has already had teams in Indiana and Illinois ask to be in next year’s field.
“There are so many wonderful people who help to make this happen,” Piazza said. “Mike McCarthy from the Lorain County Umpires Association gets me all of the umpires I need and Melissa Lilly from the LaGrange Parks Department makes sure the fields are in the best condition possible. With people like them on my side there is always a chance we might be able to make the field even stronger in the future.”
Rangers know how to win
It should come as no surprise to followers of the local softball scene that North Ridgeville is leading the West Shore Conference. The Rangers are 8-4 overall but undefeated through five game sin league play.
The core of this year’s team is made up of the same girls who won an OGSO championship with the North Ridgeville Lady Rangers as 11- and 12-year-olds in 2007.
Senior pitcher Kailey Demarco leads the Rangers with a 4-2 record and a 1.70 ERA. In 2007 she averaged over two strikeouts an inning to help lead her team to a 24-0 season.
Junior shortstop Marissa Carabello, who is hitting .457 and leading the Rangers with 17 stolen bases, was also a member of the 2007 Lady Rangers as were senior catcher Jenna Yost, who has a lofty .436 average this spring, and right fielder Katelyn Mohler who is hitting .421.
Sisters Brittany and Ashley Helmink also played for the Lady Rangers team that outscored its opponents 292-40 six summers ago.
This season Brittany, a senior, is hitting .367 with 13 RBIs, while Ashley, a sophomore, has a .361 batting average and a 3-2 record with a 2.10 ERA.
Midview pitcher Lexie Hamker and Columbia shortstop Emma Sullivan, a Division III honorable mention All-Ohio selection a year ago, were also on that OGSO state championship team.
For this year’s Rangers to add a WSC title to the trophy case they’ll have to get past an Avon team that is also undefeated in league play. The teams are set to meet Monday at Avon and on May 7 at North Ridgeville.
Send statistics, player of the week nominations and items for this notebook to Todd Shapiro
at (216) 233-6761 or email@example.com.
• BATTING AVERAGE: Anna Edwards, Avon, .656; Leigh Stainbrook, Vermilion, .595; Amanda Beursken, Midview, .578; Emma Sullivan, Columbia, .576; Kaylee Morton, Avon, .533; AuBree LaForce, Vermilion, .517; Lauren Farley, Amherst, .500; Regan Moitoret, Wellington, .487; Kendra Moore, North Ridgeville, .463; Marissa Caraballo, North Ridegville, .457.
• HOME RUNS: Amanda Beursken, Midview, 5; Nicolette Kunath, Columbia, 3; Regan Moitoret, Wellington, 2; Erin Reisenger, Wellington, 2; Leigh Stainbrook, Vermilion, 2.
• RBIs: Regan Moitoret, Wellington, 19; Emma Sullivan, Columbia, 19; Kaylee Morton, Avon, 18; Kate Thomas, Midview, 17; Kendra Moore, North Ridgeville, 17; Jenna Yost, North Ridgeville, 16; Leigh Stainbrook, Vermilion, 16; Amanda Beursken, Midview, 15.
• STOLEN BASES: AuBree LaForce, Vermilion, 23; Marissa Caraballo, North Ridgeville, 17; Jessi Mello, Vermilion, 14; Morgan Hamker, Midview, 8; Shelby Lantsberry, Midview, 7; Audra Clapper, Midview, 6; Erin DiFranco, Midview, 6; Madyson Harris, Amherst, 4; Brooklyn Gonzalez, Amherst 4.
• EARNED RUN AVERAGE: Dagmar Smith, Black River, 0.19; Sarah Kaya, Clearview, 0.22; Amanda Sedlock, Columbia, 0.33; Christine Lyzen, Columbia, 0.78; Anna Edwards, Avon, 0.84; Lexie Hamker, Midview, 1.24;Jessica Tucker, Vermilion, 1.27.
• STRIKEOUTS: Sarah Kaya, Clearview, 131; Dagmar Smith, Black River, 108; Rachael Poling, Avon, 42; Kailey Demarco, North Ridgeville, 34; Christine Lyzen, Columbia 32