Bobbi Jones compared it to winning a state title, which shows the second-year coach of the Northridge High School softball team has learned the importance of the rivalry with Johnstown-Monroe.
Although the Vikings already had clinched their third MBC title in four seasons, they received a one-hit, nine-strikeout performance from senior Kassi Davison in a 1-0 victory over the visiting Johnnies on May 7.
Johnstown handed the Vikings their only league loss through 13 games, 11-3 on April 22.
"(The win over Johnstown) was big even though we had already won the league title," said Jones, whose team was 20-5 overall and 12-1 in the MBC before playing Centerburg on May 10. "Johnstown beat our butts the first time we played and anytime you can beat a rival, it's a pretty big deal. I felt like we won the state title."
Senior Taylor Mann (OF) doubled in freshman Savannah Legg (SS) with two outs in the fifth inning for the game's only run. Mikaela Pankuch (INF) had a triple for the Vikings.
"(The Johnnies) didn't see Kassi (pitch) in the first game," Jones said. "She pitched well and both teams played great defense in front of a huge crowd. It was just a great game."
Northridge is seeded third in the Division III district tournament and has a first-round bye. It opens in the second round Wednesday, May 15, at home against 16th-seeded Ready, which also has a first-round bye.
The Silver Knights were 6-13 before playing Olentangy on May 10. They defeated Northridge 9-8 on May 4.
"I'm sure they saw us and went right after us, especially since we didn't play well against them," Jones said. "We didn't pitch Kassi against them, and we usually play well behind her."
The winner plays fourth-seeded Liberty Union, 13th-seeded East Knox or 18th-seeded Fredericktown in a district semifinal May 20 at Pickerington North.
Last season, the Vikings reached a Division III district final, losing to Fairbanks 6-4. The Vikings defeated Centerburg 1-0 in the first round, West Jefferson 5-3 in the second round and Mount Gilead 6-1 in a district semifinal.
Baseball team gears for postseason run
The baseball team was 14-9 overall before playing Centerburg on May 10 in its MBC finale.
The Vikings were tied with Fredericktown for first in the league at 11-2 before May 10, when the Freddies played Danville.
Northridge is seeded fifth in the Division III district tournament and has a first-round bye. It opens at home against eighth-seeded Marion Pleasant or 16th-seeded Madison Plains in the second round Thursday, May 16. The Vikings did not play Madison Plains this season, but faced Pleasant on April 1. That game called after four innings with the Spartans leading 11-7.
"That was one of our worst games of the year, and I'm sure (Pleasant) remembered that and jumped on us (at the draw)," coach Jeff Wilson said. "We had eight errors and really played poorly. We have to make sure we don't have a repeat of that."
The winner plays third-seeded Liberty Union, 11th-seeded Berne Union or 18th-seeded North Union in a district semifinal May 21 at New Albany.
Last season, the Vikings reached their first Division III district semifinal since 2005, but lost to Galion Northmor 6-3. They defeated Amanda-Clearcreek 12-5 in the second round after an opening-round bye.
Northridge swept Johnstown this season with a 10-2 win May 7. The Vikings also won 7-4 on April 22.
Sophomore Brad Wilson had seven strikeouts in five innings to get the victory in the rematch, and he also had three hits and drove in a pair of runs. Senior Ross Wilson (1B) had two hits and two RBI, and sophomore Greg Wilson (INF) had two hits.
Track and field teams prep for league meet
The track and field teams will compete Tuesday, May 14, in the MBC meet at Loudonville.
Last season, the girls finished fifth (61) in the league meet behind Johnstown (149), Loudonville (123), host Fredericktown (118) and Danville (73) and ahead of Centerburg (57) and East Knox and Utica (both 31).
The boys finished last (15) behind Loudonville (133.75), Utica (112), Centerburg (102), East Knox (88.75), Johnstown (82), Fredericktown (74.5) and Danville (47).
The Vikings had several athletes excel in the Licking County Honor Roll Meet on May 8 at Granville, which pits the top eight performers in each event from throughout the county. No team scores were kept.
Junior Haley Menix was second in the long jump (15 feet, 4 1/4 inches) and high jump (5-2 1/4), and sophomore Ellie Shedloski was third in the long jump (15-3 3/4) and eighth in the 100 meters (13.44 seconds).
Senior Caitlyn Tulloss was fourth in the long jump (15-3) and fifth in the 400 (1:02.09). Senior Hannah Shank was sixth in the 300 hurdles (49.64) and eighth in the 100 hurdles (17.94). The 400 relay of Shedloski, Shank, Tulloss and Menix was fourth in 52.11.
Sophomore Belinda Marcum was seventh in the discus (72-3) and senior Taylor Rose was eighth in the shot put (26-9 3/4).
Seniors Alex Shedloski (high jump; 5-6) and Tony Shore (100; 11.66) led the boys team with fifth-place finishes.
The 3,200 relay of Shedloski, senior Nathan Wigal, senior Kyle Wilbur and freshman Collin Remy was eighth in 9:49.71.