Caldwell unloads on River in OVAC 2A softball final
ELM GROVE — River was looking for its first Ohio Valley Athletic Conference softball championship. The Pilots are still in search of that elusive crown.
Saturday afternoon under ideal weather conditions, second-seeded River (17-4) couldn’t get its bats going or its fielding — at times — in dropping a 10-0 decision in five innings to No. 4 seed Caldwell in the Tom Bechtel Class A title tilt on Ben’s Field at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Sports Complex.
The Redskins’ Madi Mumaw faced the minimum number of Pilots in tossing a no-hitter. The only Pilot to reach was Josie Reed, who drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the first. Reed, however, was doubled up when Mumaw made a diving catch of an attempted sacrifice bunt by Lindsay Huffman and then relayed to first baseman Jaden Haught.
Caldwell scored three times in sending eight batters to the plate in the top of the first. Josie Lori gave Mumaw all the run support she would need with an RBI single. Reagan Shocklingás two-out, two-strike single to right-center plated the other two runs.
Sydney Saling and Reagan Wheeldin each singled in runs in the Redskinás third-inning uprising, while Reagan Wheeler doubled in two more. Mumaw scored the final tally in the fourth as part of a double steal.
River also had a baserunner, albeit momentarily, in the bottom of the fifth when Katie Rufener reached on an error. However, after touching the first base bag she made a turn towards second and was tagged out.
The championship was the first for Caldwell, which starts five freshmen and a pair of sophomores, including Mumaw. In fact, the Redskins had never played in an OVAC Tournament game in program history until earlier in the week when they took out top-seeded Toronto.
The victory also allowed the Redskins to avenge a 7-4 reversal earlier in the campaign.
Meanwhile, River is left to pick up the pieces after only hitting one ball out of the infield. That came when Reed flied out to centerfield.
“It was a beautiful day to play for a championship on a field named after a gentleman who was a big proponent of fastpitch softball. He was also my coach at one time,” veteran River head coach Dave Wright said of Ben Taylor. “Maybe one day River can find a head coach that is able to win a championship on this field.”
River hosts Magnolia on Monday.