Playing for its second consecutive Division III district title, the Johnstown-Monroe High School softball team could not hold off second-seeded Cardington.
The sixth-seeded Johnnies took a one-run lead in the top of the seventh, but the Pirates answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning for a 3-2 victory in a district final May 20 at Pickerington Central.
In the top of the seventh, sophomore Haylee Frost doubled with two outs and scored on a single by senior Abby Schaffer to give Johnstown a 2-1 lead. But in the bottom of the inning, Brooklynn Whitt doubled and scored on a two-out single by Makenna McClure, who later scored the winning run on a single by Baylee Adams.
“We thought that when we scored a run in the seventh that we had the momentum,” said coach Ed Schaffer, whose team finished 17-8 overall. “They could hit up and down their lineup, and that last out is always the toughest to get.”
Senior Jordan Dingess and Abby Schaffer both had two singles for Johnstown, while senior pitcher Sydney Stefanick struck out five and allowed 12 hits, one walk and two earned runs.
The Johnnies had a first-round bye before defeating seventh-seeded Fredericktown 8-2 on May 11 at home. They then defeated 15th-seeded Fairbanks 5-0 in a district semifinal May 16 at Pickerington North.
Johnstown finished second (9-4) in the LCL-Cardinal Division behind Utica (10-3).
Stefanick, a Western Michigan signee, was second-team all-state, first-team all-district and league Player of the Year. She batted .506 with one home run, 23 RBI and 21 runs, and was 16-6 with a 1.06 ERA and 189 strikeouts in 132 1/3 innings.
Abby Schaffer (2B; second-team all-district, first-team all-league) batted .465 with 10 RBI and 23 runs, and Dingess (1B; second-team all-league) batted .269 with 13 RBI and 14 runs.
Ali Arter (INF), Madi Layman (OF; .253, 15 RBI, 9 runs) and Marilyn Piper (OF) rounded out the senior class.
“The seniors have had some good seasons and were a big part of the state semifinal run from last season,” coach Schaffer said. “They have gone through a lot and they kept working to get better and win games.”
Frost (OF; .329, 2 home runs, 14 RBI, 20 runs) and sophomore Alisha Slone (C; .280, 13 RBI, 13 runs) were second-team all-league. Sophomore Ashley McConnell (OF; .269, 11 RBI, 20 runs) was honorable mention all-league.
Sophomore Lauren Layman (designated player/INF) batted .300.
Boys team advances
three to regional
The boys track and field team will be represented by three athletes in the Division II regional meet May 25 and 27 at Lexington.
The top four finishers in each event advance to state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
In the district meet that concluded May 20 at Westerville South, Nathaniel Taylor tied Marion Pleasant’s Jed Charpie for second in the high jump (5 feet, 10 inches), Alexander Jenney placed third in the 300-meter hurdles (42.56 seconds) and Daniel Rose was fourth in the discus (136-5).
The top four in each event advanced to regional.
Johnstown finished eighth (33 points) of 21 teams behind champion Eastmoor Academy (89).
The girls team did not have any regional qualifiers. The Johnnies tied Horizon Science for 21st (1) of 22 teams behind champion Caledonia River Valley (92).