DIVISION II: Ross goes deep, wins sectional crown
“Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose,” Cincinnati Christian coach Stephanie Grossmann said. “Today just happened to be not in our favor, and that’s OK. The girls gave it their all, and that’s all we ask of them.
“We just said, ‘Don’t give up.’ Our goal was to make sure we got a run on the board, and we did. We scored a run in every game we played this year. That’s something we can take away from it.”
Fayetteville, the No. 7 seed, got a monster performance from junior Paige Vilvens. She threw four innings of one-hit, six-strikeout ball to get the win in the circle while going 4-for-4 — a double, two triples, a home run and a walk — with nine RBIs.
The Rockets (14-7) are headed to the district finals for the first time since 2001 and will meet DeGraff Riverside at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Eaton.
“They’ve been growing together as a team big time,” said Fayetteville coach Joe Vilvens, who had four freshmen in his starting lineup. “Our goal was to get to Eaton, and now we’re there. Now we want to make it to the next step.”
Vilvens admitted he wasn’t expecting a 10-spot right out of the gate. Monk struggled with her control in the circle, but the Rockets were smoking whenever the ball did hit the strike zone.
“Honestly, it was going to be one way or the other,” Vilvens said. “When we’re on, we’re hard to stop top to bottom. And when we struggle, we really struggle.
“To come out and lay it down in the first inning like that was just great for us. It was no one individual today. I’m proud of all of them.”
Rachel Laney and Taryn Smucker drove in two runs apiece for Fayetteville, the second-place team in the small-school division of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference.
Adams, who will continue her softball career at Asbury University, said she could tell Cincinnati Christian wasn’t ready to play Tuesday.
“On the bus, it was just kind of dead quiet. I could just tell we weren’t in our element,” Adams said. “We saw that pitcher warm up and she was faster than what we’ve seen a lot of the season, and I heard them all whispering. I’m like, ‘We’ve hit harder than this,’ but it didn’t matter because they had already mentally checked out. We came out playing in fear rather than playing the way we know how to play.”
And the Cougars’ season as a whole?
“I wouldn’t have believed it before the season,” Adams said. “Our first practice, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re in for a season.’ But we came out and pulled it together and made something out of nothing.”
CCS, the Miami Valley Conference Scarlet Division champion, will only lose Adams and Abby Baker to graduation.
“I was expecting to have a pretty decent season, but it’s always hard to tell how you’re going to do before the season starts,” Grossmann said. “We hardly got any practice outside. We had three or four girls that never played ball before come out this year, and we taught them to catch and throw and bat, and they were like little sponges and soaked it up.
“This has been one of the best hitting teams we’ve had. They always found a way to get the bat on the ball and they hit it hard most of the time, so we couldn’t be prouder of them. And next year should be promising.”
Cincinnati Christian 100-00—1-1-5
WP – Paige Vilvens (9-5); LP – Jenna Monk (9-3); HR – F: Vilvens Records: F 14-7, C 13-5