Softball: Edgewood overpowers Middies behind Davis’ no-hitter

Cloey Westerfield would like to extend her senior season with Edgewood High School’s softball team.

The Cougars have high hopes for the Division I postseason and kicked off Dayton sectional play Monday by run-ruling visiting Middletown 10-0.

“We’ve said all year, ‘Play like it’s your last game, play like it’s your last game,’ ” Westerfield said. “Now we really have to do that, especially the seniors. If we play together and to the best of our ability, it’ll be good. This is definitely one of the best teams I’ve ever played with.”

PHOTOS: Nick Graham’s gallery from the game

Westerfield (two hits, three RBIs) and Madison Asher (three hits, three RBIs) paced the offense and Sam Davis fired a no-hitter for fifth-seeded Edgewood, the Southwest Ohio Conference champion.

The Cougars (17-5) will host No. 10 Hamilton (13-13) in a sectional semifinal Wednesday at 5 p.m. EHS beat Big Blue 5-4 last month.

“Our game is pitching and defense and let’s get some runs,” Edgewood coach Wayne Asher said. “Sometimes we’re really good offensively, and sometimes we’ve got to do the blue-collar thing. You’re always feeling pretty good when you get a couple runs with Sammi out there.”

Davis, a junior right-hander, struck out four and was one batter away from a perfect game. Victorie Clifton reached base on a two-out infield error in the top of the fifth.

“Good start,” Davis said. “I was very nervous, though. I knew we had to come out here and give it our all because you never know. We all knew we had some pressure on us because they’re not the best team, but they’re good hitters and they can come around. Anything can happen.”

No. 20 Middletown (7-18) didn’t hit the ball hard against Davis, but the visitors did force the Cougars to make some plays in the field.

Tyler Callahan’s game plan was to throw three pitchers and try to keep Edgewood off balance. Hailey Ingram, Eboney Sinclair and Taylor Underhill had the Cougars scratching their heads at times with their not-so-hard deliveries, but that only works for so long.

Edgewood pulled away with seven runs in its last two at-bats. Morgan McKnight’s sacrifice fly ended it in the bottom of the fifth.

“I was told on the scouting report that they’re not going to time up the pitchers very well if you mix it up, and all three of our girls are different,” Callahan said. “We thought that would work best, and I wouldn’t change that.

“Here’s the thing: We’ve played with better teams all year, but one thing happens and then another thing happens, and it just keeps going that way. We’re a very young team. We have had as many as five freshmen play varsity this year. They’ve definitely gotten better later in the season.”

Davis and Sarah Schiavone had two hits apiece for Edgewood. Hailey Jackson and Schiavone added RBIs.

“We really haven’t practiced or played for literally almost a week,” Wayne Asher said. “It took us a little time to start playing ball, but I was pretty impressed with us after about the third inning.”

Westerfield, the Cougars’ No. 8 batter, brought a .242 average into the contest and drove in four runs through the first 21 games.

“It’s very difficult to time up the kind of pitching we saw today,” Westerfield said. “I’ve struggled throughout the whole season waiting on the ball and driving it for hard hits. But I’ve worked really hard, and I think that showed on the field today.”

Davis was excited to throw a tournament no-no, but said a loud celebration wasn’t needed.

“We’ve got to keep going and stay humble,” she said. “I think we can go pretty far in the tournament. We were a little shaky earlier in the year, but we’ve all come together, and we’re picking each other up. It’s nice to have all these girls with me. We just need to keep believing in each other.”

Middletown will close its season Tuesday with a Greater Miami Conference home game against Fairfield.

Callahan, in his second year at the helm, believes the Middies are on the rise.

“Our junior high program is unbelievable,” he said. “We’ve got some game changers coming up. You are definitely going to see us compete here in the next couple years.”

Middletown 000-00—0-0-2

Edgewood 012-43—10-12-1

WP — Sam Davis (16-4); LP — Hailey Ingram (1-4). Records: M 7-18, E 17-5

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