April 16, 2014


Regional Softball: Columbia beats LaBrae, will make 1st trip to state


MASSILLON — Next stop: Akron. On Saturday, the Columbia softball team did what no other Raiders team had done before — won a regional championship. The Raiders (28-4) did it the same way they have been doing it all season, with solid pitching and timely hitting. Kaley Marshall’s leadoff double in the sixth inning sparked Read More…

Regional softball: Phares’ offense, Minney’s pitching sparks Elyria win


CLYDE — Elyria rolled into a regional final for the ninth straight year Thursday, aptly enough with a 9-0 victory over Cleveland St. Joseph Academy. There were odd parts of the game. For instance, even as the third-ranked Pioneers led 4-0 in the fifth inning, they were not only being outhit, they were hitless. Granted, Read More…

Regional softball: Firelands’ historic season comes to an end


BUCYRUS — There were no more come-from-behind wins or history-making moments for Firelands, just the cold hard realization that 762 schools play softball in Ohio and all but four will lose their final game. On Thursday, the Falcons became one of the 758 teams when they fell 11-0 to Granville in the Division II regional Read More…

Regional baseball: Avon Lake’s early scoring not enough against St. Ignatius


CLEVELAND — Avon Lake’s first-inning magic wasn’t enough against St. Ignatius in a Division I regional semifinal at Case Western Reserve University on Thursday. The Shoremen scored in the first inning for the fifth straight playoff game and added a run in the seventh, but the Wildcats held on for a 3-2 win to advance Read More…

Regional baseball: Keystone comes up short vs. Ursuline


MASSILLON — Two seasons ago in the Division III regional semifinals at Carl “Ducky” Schroeder Field, Youngstown Ursuline pitcher Sam Donko was tagged for five runs by Keystone in a loss. On Thursday, in the third straight regional semifinal between the Wildcats and Fighting Irish, Donko was dominant. The senior struck out the first seven Read More…

High school softball: Nicolette Kunath’s big day at the plate keeps Columbia rolling right into regional finals


MASSILLON — If Nicolette Kunath is running for office back in Columbia Township today, she’s got a lock on it. She’s probably not, but that makes her no less popular on the home front. In her first two at-bats in Columbia High’s first regional appearance in 21 years, Kunath faced an even dozen pitches and Read More…

High school softball: Family atmosphere helps Elyria overcome obstacles, make it back to regionals


When indoor softball practice began in February, there was good reason for optimism at Elyria High. The Pioneers lost only four letterwinners at graduation in June and had 11 coming back, six of them starters. These included three key seniors: southpaw catcher Haley Looney, No. 1 pitcher Caitlyn Minney and veteran third baseman-slugger Melanie Woodard. Read More…

High school baseball: Keystone’s third straight trip to regionals sparks high expectations

When most people think of Keystone spring sports, the softball team is the first one that comes to mind. Countless regional and state tournament berths, along with several state championships, have given the Wildcats softball team a legacy that has stood the test of time. Now their counterparts on the baseball diamond are building a Read More…

Pitching in to win: Columbia well-armed for regional thanks to its trio of talented hurlers

Columbia has pitching to spare this year thanks to, left to right, Kailey Minarchick, Christine Lyzen and Amanda Sedlock. All three have done their part in the circle this season to help the Raiders go 25-4 and make regionals. (CT photo by Bruce Bishop.)

Even before Columbia advanced to regionals as one of 16 Division III teams still having championship aspirations, coach Ken Lugo was in a position that would leave many of his peers envious. You see, most teams have one pitcher capable of leading her team at this point of the season. Lugo’s Raiders go into today’s Read More…

High school softball: Columbia holds off Independence, wins first district title since 1992


NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Seven years of tournament frustration ended for Columbia on Saturday in a cloud of dust. The Raiders defeated Independence in a 2-1 thriller to win a Division III district title for the first time since 1992. It was their third overall. They had lost district finals four of the previous five years Read More…