The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


April 8, 2014

A Don McCormack column: County 9’s have same goal in mind



2000 — Led by three future Division I college athletes — freshman pitcher Adrian Tuttle, junior shortstop Char Kudlock and junior second baseman Jessica Olmstead — coach Clyde Laughlin’s Conneaut Spartans win the Division II state championship.

The Spartans edged Springfield Northwestern, 1-0, in the semifinals behind Tuttle’s brilliant, 1-hit shutout, 13-strikeout effort, then knocked off Lima Bath in the state title game, 3-1.

With the win, the Spartans became the first — and only — Ashtabula County or Northeastern Conference girls team to win a state championship.

2006 — Coach Shelley Monas, led by freshman phenom hurler Megan Dragon and the future Division I college double-play duo of Trisha Dreslinski (Hofstra) and Katie McMellen (Saint Francis) and speed-demon outfielder Lauren Childs, reach the Division II state semifinals in Ashland, only to be knocked off by eventual state champion LaGrange Keystone, 5-0.


State baseball tournaments have been staged in Ohio since 1928.

From that spring through 1970, the tournament was divided into two classifications, based on enrollment.

From 1928 through 1956, it was Class A for the larger school and Class B for the smaller ones. For some reason, though the categories remained the same, the names were changed to Class AA (bigger) and Class A (smaller) in 1957 and they remained that way through the 1970 season.

In 1971, another division was added, making it three classes — Class AAA, Class AA and Class A.

Two decades later, a fourth classification was added and the names were changed to Division I (big-school schools), Division II, Division III and Division IV, the system that is still in use.

A side note, from 1928 through 1931, the state championship games were nine-inning contests.

In 1932, the year Rock Creek became the first county team to reach the state tournament, the championship games were shortened to its present-day 7 innings.

As mentioned previous, softball faced a 50-year deficit in terms of being permitted to stage a state tournament, the first one taking place in the spring of 1978.

From that season through 2000, a three-category system was in place. From ‘’78 through 1989, the divisions were classified as Class AAA (big-school squads), Class AA and Class A. In 1990, the same system was utilized, but the names were changed to Division I (large school), Division II and Division III.

In 2001, a fourth division was added, where it still stands today.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at

Text Only
  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • valor A valiant effort

    Paralympians from all over the United States experienced three days of competition, education and fun during the Valor Games Gold Medal Camp at Spire this weekend.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • swim SUMMER SWIM

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anthony From player to coach

    When former Lakeside offensive lineman Anthony Colucci went down with a broken leg in Week 6 of his senior year at Capital University, he got a peak into what his future in football looks like.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

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