Softball: Grove City Greyhounds building on coach Ted Williams’ milestone victory

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Grove City softball coach Ted Williams earned his 500th career win with a 16-0, five-inning victory April 15 at New Albany. The Greyhounds are seeking their first league title since 2014 and to repeat as Division I district champions.

The Grove City softball team briefly celebrated coach Ted Williams’ 500th career win before resetting its focus on its main goals for this season. 

After the milestone win – a 16-0, five-inning victory at New Albany on April 15 – the Greyhounds won their next two games to improve to 16-0 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Ohio Division before playing Gahanna on April 22.

Grove City, which has received a balanced effort while seeking its first league title since 2014, also hopes to repeat as a Division I district champion after winning a title in 2019. 

“We kind of expected this just because in the offseason we were hitting really good and knew that our defense would be strong,” said senior outfielder Maddie Wilcox, who has committed to Ohio University. “It’s super exciting, but we have to keep the same energy and we’re expecting to win at this point. I’m not surprised just because we work so hard every day.  

“Our pitcher, Gabby (Adams), is mean. She does not want to lose, and she’ll do anything she can to win. She’s a great leader and we all have her back. It’s just awesome.” 

The Greyhounds, who saw their 2019 season end with a 2-1 loss to Westerville Central in a regional semifinal, gained some revenge by beating the Warhawks 8-7 on April 19 at home in a key early season league contest. 

The Greyhounds trailed 4-0 in the third inning before scoring three times, and they took the lead for good at 7-4 with four runs in the fourth. 

“It’s the first time we’ve been down four runs (this season) and to have to come back from a little adversity in the bottom of the inning we scored three, which was huge for us,” Williams said. “We made it a game again.” 

Sydney Sharron had four RBI and Adams added three to help lead Grove City. 

Adams, a transfer from Groveport who has led the Greyhounds in the circle, scattered 13 hits and struck out two against Central. 

“She’s going to keep us in ballgames,” Williams said. “We’re going to play defense behind her. She’s not going to strike out a ton of people. She’s not going to average a strikeout an inning. We’re going to have to play some defense. She’s going to get her three and four strikeouts. She’s going to get her pop flies. We just play defense and put some runs up.” 

Williams said his team has received solid contributions throughout the lineup, with the first four hitters helping to spark the offense. 

Wilcox has been batting leadoff, followed by Katie Gallagher, Sharron and Adams. 

“It’s somebody new every day,” Williams said. “A couple games it’s the bottom part of my order. A couple games it’s the top and it’s the middle.” 

Grove City will visit Central on April 29, followed by back-to-back league games with Pickerington North on May 1 and 3. 

Williams’ coaching career began in 1993 at Hamilton Township, guiding the Rangers for seven seasons before taking over at Grove City in 2000. He collected 74 wins at Hamilton Township, while his Grove City teams have won 10 league titles, seven district championships and three regional titles. 

He was inducted into the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015. 

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank