The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

May 25, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Eagles join elite

How special is the magic-carpet ride the Geneva Eagles are on this spring on softball fields across the region?

Consider, this season marks the 36th campaign the Ohio High School Athletic Association has conducted a state tournament and what coach Eleshia Pitcher and her Eagles have accomplished in winning the Jefferson Division II district championship has happened only once before in the history of the Geneva program.

In 1993, the late Bob Herpy led Geneva, paced by the likes of Tiffany Leonard, Kara Anderson, Shawn Novak and Tara Leonard, to a Division I district crown and it hadn’t happened since... until now, that is.

All of which makes Geneva one of 16 Division II teams still standing in the Buckeye State.

And the 21 wins ties the school record for conquests in a single season, matching the mark set by, you guessed it, Herpy’s aforementioned 1993 squad.

Friday’s 5-3 planting of top-seeded Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin (22-8) makes Geneva the 12th Ashtabula County team to win a district championship, the first since coach Andy Gray’s Pymatuning Valley Lakers won a Division III district title in 2008.

Here’s a list of Ashtabula County’s district-championship softball squads:

  • 1979 — Grand Valley.
  • 1982 — Grand Valley.
  • 1988 — Grand Valley.
  • 1989 — Grand Valley.
  • 1991 — Jefferson.
  • 1993 — Geneva.
  • 1997 — Grand Valley.
  • 2000 — Conneaut.
  • 2003 — Edgewood.
  • 2006 — Edgewood.
  • 2008 — Pymatuning Valley.
  • 2013 — Geneva.

A closer look at that dozen makes what Geneva has done this spring even more impressive.

Consider, half of the above-mentioned teams reached the Sweet 16 in smaller-school divisions — the five GV teams and the one PV squad.

From the first year the OHSAA began holding state tournaments (1978) through the 1989 season, there were three divsions for softball — Class A, Class AA and Class AAA.

The four GV teams, all coached by Cyndy Thomas, reached the regional tournament in Class A.

Before the 1990 season, the OHSAA went to its still-in-use four-classification setup — Division I, Division II, Division III and Division IV — and GV made it in Division III in 1997, as did PV in 2008.

By virtue of their tremendous performance this season, the 2013 Eagles make Geneva one of only three Ashtabula County teams to fly to a district title more than once, joining GV (5 times) and Edgewood (2 times).

This spring, led by senior southpaw hurler Amy Pitcher and the run and gun offensive attack paced by twins Becky and Sarah Depp, Alyssa Donato, Amy Pitcher and Kylie Hansen, the Eagles have proven to be the best team in the Premier Athletic Conference, the best team in Ashtabula County and now, the best team in the district.

And now, one of the best softball teams in the history of this county.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at donmac@suite224.net.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Sam Going strong!

    Back on track... and still alive and kicking, er, hitting!

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 18U Outlaws split first two

    A stirring rally in their last at-bat allowed the Ohio Outlaws 18-and-under squad to prevail in its first game at the Eastern National Tournament on Thursday in Sterling, Va.

    August 1, 2014

  • UMC rolls to church title

    The Andover United Methodist Church co-ed softball team capped a successful season by applying the basics. Timely hitting and solid defense both came into play as they polished off the losers’ bracket winner, New Life Fire of Geneva, 10-4, to claim the Ashtabula Church Co-ed Softball League — Thursday Massucci Division championship.

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians Mariners sink Tribe

    Another difficult day on the trade front ended with a disappointing loss for the Cleveland Indians.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Taylor Outlaws edged by a run

    The slimmest of margins proved to be the difference in determining the outcome of a clash between the Ohio Outlaws Gold and the Virginia Shamrocks in the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals on Wednesday in Salem, Va.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Olivia-smile A Don McCormack column: Holt right at home at Mount

    When a young person from this area goes off to college and continues to play sports at the next level, we do feature stories on them.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Twin State Night at Raceway 7 next

    This week is the annual Twin State Club night at Raceway 7. Regular racing will be presented in all five divisions. With the points races nearing their conclusion the racing will be hot as August weather Friday night.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tribe Kluber twirls gem

    “The ace is gone. Long live the ace.” That’s how Indians fans might be looking at matters today.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SB1 Let’s play another

    It pays to have the right hitters at the plate at the right time.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Outlaws roll again

    They may be Outlaws by name, but the Northeast Ohio-based Ohio Outlaws Gold are certainly running with the in crowd at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va.

    July 30, 2014

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video