10 to Comprehend: Power Surge

10 to Comprehend: Power Surge


10 to Comprehend: Power Surge


Unioto's Jordyn Pierce, left, attempts to tag out Chillicothe's Tori Bettendorf in a game earlier this season. Pierce and her teammate, Emily Ward, have been anchors in the middle of the Shermans’ lineup.

Unioto’s Jordyn Pierce, left, attempts to tag out Chillicothe’s Tori Bettendorf in a game earlier this season. Pierce and her teammate, Emily Ward, have been anchors in the middle of the Shermans’ lineup.

We’re now past the half way point in the 2015 spring sports season — proving once again that yes, time does fly.

While destiny sorts out who wins and who loses each day’s contests, the area’s power hitters continue to rake in extra base hits and RBIs.

This week’s “10 to Comprehend” focuses on the cream of the crop in the middle of area teams’ lineups.

In my mind, one of the most pleasant surprises of the season has been the play of the Adena Warriors’ softball team. The Warriors have put together an overall record of 6-4 and right in the middle of that has been the play of senior Natalee Jones. Through ten games this season, Adena’s three hole hitter is batting .375 (12-32) and leads the club in runs batted in with 12. As long as Adena’s top two hitters can continue to find their way on base, Jones will be a threat to opposing teams.

I’ve got a hunch that when Zane Trace’s Drew Barr goes to a local steakhouse, he orders a ribeye. And on the baseball field, he serves them up. Barr leads the area in RBIs with a grand total of 21. He’s accumulated those through 24 hits — 15 singles, eight doubles and a bomb — in 54 at bats or a .444 average. When ducks are on the pond, Barr is extremely dangerous. The Pioneers are a mediocre 7-8 this season, but don’t be surprised if they go on a postseason run with Barr serving as the protagonist in that plot.

After a bit of a slow start to the year, Unioto shortstop Jordyn Pierce is 7-13 in her last four games — a tear that has raised her average to a cool .375. Pierce has the benefit of hitting cleanup in a Shermans’ lineup that boasts Gina Wright, Brooke Blevins and Emily Ward in the top three spots. The junior infielder has taken advantage of the opportunity in the recent past and has the tools to continue to do so in the near future.

Huntington, as a team, has scored a total of 78 runs this year. Cleanup hitter Logan Carroll has played some part in 23 of those — by far the most on the Huntsmen’ roster. A shoe in for All-SVC honors, Carroll has been extremely efficient knocking in a total of 14 runs on 17 hits. While the Hunstmen continue their roller coaster ride that’s made up all of 2015, Carroll has been consistent in keeping his batting average above .300.

Chillicothe has the advantage of penciling in two lineup spots with the name Hayley (or Haylee). Leadoff hitter, Haylee Jo Large, and cleanup spot, Hayley Woodbridge, have been two pillars in the batting box all season long. While Large’s antics have been well documented, Woodbridge certainly compares with her numbers. The Cavaliers’ shortstop is hitting .578 — not a typo — logging 26 hits in 45 at bats. To go along with the best batting average in the area, she has also driven in 15 runs on two round trippers and four doubles. There’s not much more I can say, her numbers speak for themselves.

Unioto’s baseball team is 0-4 out of conference play this season, but they’re 6-3 inside the SVC. That mark has been powered by timely hitting from Gavin Ogan, who leads the team in multiple offensive categories including runs batted in, doubles, triples and home runs. Ogan has time and time again proven his worth to the Tanks as he’s responsible for multiple game tying or lead changing base knocks. The purple and gold will look to him to be a leader heading into the postseason.

Senior Spotlight: There’s not many high school athletes that are more likable than that of Paint Valley’s Clay Archer. The Bearcat senior excels on the football field, the basketball court and the baseball field but his biggest strength doesn’t come within a field of play. Clay is an upstanding young man with a bright future ahead of him. And with his mannerisms, personality and eagerness to succeed, it’s not hard to tell that he’s been raised the right way. Kudos to him.

Performance of the Week: In Friday night’s 13-0 drubbing of Adena, Unioto’s Emily Ward had a career night at the dish. “Lefty” finished 4-4 with a bat in hand with all four hits being doubles in outfield gaps. She only crossed the plate herself one time but was responsible for knocking in six different Unioto’ runs.

SVC Baseball Player of the Year Watch: With Adena a perfect 9-0 in SVC competition, the Warriors’ Jonathan Thomas still tops the list. Paint Valley’s Teagan McFadden and his .537 batting average sits in second while Unioto’s Gavin Ogan overtakes the number three spot, making his first appearance on this year’s watch.

SVC Softball Player of the Year Watch: Much like last week, Piketon’s Adrien Dunn is still the Player of the Year to me. Unioto’s Brooke Blevins still holds on to the second spot while Huntington’s Alayna Lytle wanders her way back into the top three.

NOTE: Look for the area’s statistical leaders in Tuesday’s edition of the Chillicothe Gazette or at chillicothegazette.com, Monday night.

Derrick Webb is a Gazette sportswriter and can be reached at dwebb@chillicothegazette.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dw1509.

Power Rankings

Baseball: Adena (13-1), Paint Valley (11-3), Unioto (6-7), Piketon (5-9), Zane Trace (8-9), Waverly (8-9), Chillicothe (5-7), Southeastern (5-7), Huntington (7-8) and Westfall (6-11)

Softball: Westfall (12-4), Piketon (8-3), Waverly (5-2), Unioto (10-4), Huntington (9-5), Zane Trace (7-6), Adena (6-4), Chillicothe (3-11), Paint Valley (2-10) and Southeastern (1-10)


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