Big inning sends Pioneers past Pacers


Orange, Liberty, Olentangy advance to district finals

By Ben Stroup - [email protected]



Olentangy Orange players celebrate after scoring during Tuesday’s Division I district semifinal against Delaware Hayes.

Olentangy Orange players celebrate after scoring during Tuesday’s Division I district semifinal against Delaware Hayes.


Ben Stroup | The Gazette

The Delaware Hayes softball team landed the first punch, breaking a scoreless tie with a three-run fourth, but Olentangy Orange used an eight-run fifth to deliver the knockout blow on the way to a 12-3 Division I district semifinal win Tuesday night at Pickerington North.

The 15th-seeded Pioneers added three more runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to account for the final margin.

With the teams locked in a pitcher’s duel, Olivia Nelson changed things in a hurry, putting 10th-seeded Hayes up 3-0 with a home run over the right field fence. Lauren Tompkins and Rylea Gist, who both singled earlier in the inning, came around to score on the blast.

Orange, though, didn’t take long to answer. The Pioneers scored eight runs during their very next trip to the plate, all with two outs. Kennedy Reed and Jordyn Pelles drove in the first two runs with RBI singles before Anna Wilming drew a walk to force in the game-tying run.

RBI singles from Kensi Steele and Gauri Naik made it 5-3 before Morgan Powell cleared the bases with a single to right.

With the damage done, the Pioneers added on in the sixth and seventh to seal the deal.

Wilming and Powell led Orange with three RBI each. Reed also had a big night from the plate, scoring twice and knocking in another two runs, while Riley Jestadt, Steele and Naik finished with two hits apiece.

Nelson, meanwhile, drove in all the Pacers’ runs while Gist finished a perfect 3-for-3 and Tompkins and Zee Brown had two hits apiece.

Next up, Orange will take on top-seeded Lancaster in a district final later this week at Pickerington Central.

Olentangy Liberty 5, Mount Vernon 2

Ashley Chevalier hit a walk-off, three-run homer to lift the sixth-seeded Patriots to a thrilling 5-2 Division I district semifinal win over the ninth-seeded Yellow Jackets Tuesday at Pickerington North.

With the game knotted 2-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Izzy Matteo reached on a dropped third strike before Brooke Aberle singled to set the table, putting runners at first and second with nobody out.

One batter later, Chevalier ended things with one swing.

The homer was Chevalier’s only hit, but it was a loud one on a day that didn’t have many. The teams combined for just nine hits. All but two of those were singles.

Liberty broke the scoring summary with a two-run fourth, but Mount Vernon’s Lilly Erb hit a two-run bomb in the fifth to even things back up.

Aberle backed Chevalier with a 2-f0r-2 day at the dish. Allie Jenkins was also steady, finishing with a hit and an RBI in the win.

Lindsey Leeds handled the rest from the pitcher’s circle. She allowed just two runs on four hits while striking out four in seven innings of action.

The win sets up a showdown with fourth-seeded Gahanna Lincoln in a district final set for later this week at Pickerington Central.

Olentangy 1, Teays Valley 0

The 16th-seeded Braves got the first two on in the fifth and found a way to get one in for the game’s lone run en route to a Division I district semifinal win over fifth-seeded Teays Valley Tuesday night in Lewis Center.

Jaelyn Peterson started the decisive inning with a single — Olentangy’s only hit of the game — and moved up to second when MacKenzie Condon worked a walk.

Two outs later, Payton Kilrain put a ball in play and Lexi Bidwell came around to score on an error by the third baseman.

Peterson and the defense handled things from there. Peterson went the distance, allowing three hits while striking out five. The defense, meanwhile, played errorless ball behind her.

With the win, Olentangy will take on third-seeded Marysville for a district championship later this week at Pickerington Central.

Olentangy Orange players celebrate after scoring during Tuesday’s Division I district semifinal against Delaware Hayes.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/05/web1_IMG_6018-2.jpgOlentangy Orange players celebrate after scoring during Tuesday’s Division I district semifinal against Delaware Hayes. Ben Stroup | The Gazette
Orange, Liberty, Olentangy advance to district finals

By Ben Stroup

[email protected]