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Sports

May 18 — Bulldog Sports Round-up

Winter into spring, spring into summer, a softball sailing in an impressive arc right into an open, waiting glove — the world and everything in it inexorably marches forward, whether we want it to or not, inculcating the life lesson is that sometimes things don’t work out exactly as we might have hoped. In the case of YSHS athletes, the springs sports season didn’t end in total conference dominance, but this doesn’t make the Bulldogs’ accomplishments any less praiseworthy, or their efforts this season any less valiant. The season was full of impressive feats and shows of conscientious athleticism, which continued through some of the final games of the season.

Softball
The Yellow Springs High School softball team took on perennial state title contender Southeastern last week, hoping to emerge from the second round of the sectional tournament victorious and head straight into the sectional finals. However, call it tragedy, hubris or simply an inauspicious roll of the celestial dice, but victory was not meant to be, as the Bulldogs lost the game 10–0.

The game started off with Yellow Springs pitcher Hannah Morrison striking out the first two Southeastern hitters and ending the first inning by catching a fly ball. It looked like an evenly matched game following this auspicious start, but unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the pitching of Southeastern was too overpowering.

While Morrison only gave up two earned runs for the game, the Yellow Springs defense had one bad inning that led to eight unearned runs early in the game, creating an insurmountable lead that hexed the Bulldogs in perpetuity, or at least for the rest of game.

“Morrison really surprised them at the beginning of the game with the heat she was throwing,” said coach Jimmy DeLong. “But in the end, nerves led to uncharacteristic errors by our defense and we were unable to hit the Southeastern pitcher. The better team definitely won the day.”

Indeed, the eight runs scored by the Southeastern team in the second inning changed the complexion of the game, but the Yellow Springs offense also struggled to hit the Southeastern pitcher. Their only baserunner occurred in the fifth inning when Lauryn DeWine drew a walk.

In spite of the loss to end the season, the Bulldog team was never the less upbeat after the game as they reflected on the season.

“I told the girls that while our tournament game was a disappointment, it doesn’t take away from our regular season accomplishments,” DeLong said. “As time goes on, they will always remember what they achieved this year — MBC Champs — and to be proud of that accomplishment.”

Despite the heartbreaking loss in round two of the sectionals, the Bulldogs continued a season marked by significant accolades, as the team cleaned up at the MBC league awards.

Senior Hannah Morrison was named the MBC’s Athlete of the Year, and five girls were also named to the All MBC First Team. Morrison, Elly Kumbusky, Danny Horton, Gracie Price, Kadie Lafferty were all First Team selections. Kelsie Lemons and Kallyn Buckenmyer were named to the All MBC second team. Janine Stover received the Sportsmanship Award, and Coach Jimmy DeLong was named nothing less than MBC Coach of the Year.

Coach DeLong was pleased with the number of girls named to the All MBC teams.

“We dominated the MBC league this year so I was expecting this type of recognition for the girls on our team,” he said. “Hannah Morrison was by far the most dominant player in the league, so I’m pleased the other coaches recognized her talent. I am happy for all the girls as they now have some hardware to keep as a memory of this season.”

Track and field
Alas, at last week’s Metro Buckeye Conference championship, the YSHS girls’ track team was unable to defend its championship from a year ago. However, the team gallantly fought to a second place finish, superseded in victory only by league champion Legacy Christian.

The Bulldogs were led by Julian Roberts, who was selected as Co-Athlete of the Meet. Roberts also received the distinguished Coachability Award, an honor bestowed upon one athlete by the league coaches. Roberts was part of four first-place finishes — the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 4×1 relay and 4×4 relay.

Also earning All League honors for their first-place finishes were the girls relay squads: Roberts, Olivia Brintlinger-Conn, Christina Banks and True Hall in the 400 relay, and Roberts, Brintlinger-Conn, Hall and Kayala Brown in the 1600 relay.

Achieving second place finishes were Ayanna Madison in the 100 hurdles and Brintlinger-Conn in the 300 hurdles. Payden Kegley garnered two third-place finishes in the discus and pole vault. Hall ran to a third-place finish in the 100 hurdles and Madison placed third in the 400 meters.

The boys’ team finished in fifth out of eight teams, with James Browning winning the high jump (5´8˝) and Joe Plumer leaping to first place in the long jump (19´9˝). The boys’ 4×800 team, consisting of Levi Brown, Raven Campbell, Zach Lugo and Elliot Smithberger, ran to a season best, finishing in 9:11. Like the girls’ team, the boys achieved a number of personal bests.

Many other Bulldogs contributed to the scoring and are primed for the District Championships, taking place on Saturday at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.

A correction: the boys were listed as finishing in last place at the Bulldog Invitational last week when in reality they fared substantially better, earning fifth place.

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May 18 — Bulldog Sports Round-up

by Dylan Taylor-Lehman