OVAC All-Star Softball Game set for Monday at I-470 Fields
ELM GROVE – The 24th annual OVAC All-Star Softball Game doesn’t usually make exceptions for players who are taking vacations at the same time as the game. However, there is always a first, and even, a second.
As the senior players on the Ohio and West Virginia rosters were warming up for a 3-inning practice session Tuesday night on sun-splashed Lisa’s Field at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Youth Sports Complex, OVAC Softball Commissioner Tom Bechtel told of two young ladies who will be enjoying both.
“Wheeling Park’s Makiyah Strothers will be flying to Florida tomorrow and then flying back over the weekend. She will play in the game, and then fly back out to Florida,” Bechtel said. “Amazing.”
Strothers recently signed to continue her career at West Liberty.
According to ‘Bear,’ Edison’s Katie Fluharty is currently in Jamaica, but will be returning to take part in the game.”
The game, a 9-inning affair, will be played Monday at 6:30 p.m. on Ben’s Field, also at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Youth Sports Complex.
“It should turn out to be a great game,” Bechtel said. “You’ve got outstanding pitching in Kadence Pettit from John Marshall which won the W.Va. Class AAA state championship, and you could also have Steubenville’s Jules King who has Big Red in the Ohio Division II state tournament for the first time ever.
“You don’t get many things like that happen too often.”
King was absent from Tuesday’s media day and practice as she prepares for Thursday’s state semifinal against Canfield at Akron’s Firestone Stadium.
Last season’s contest had a pair of future NCAA Division I hurlers get the start in Oak Glen’s Maddie McKay (Toledo) for West Virginia and New Philadelphia’s Julia Miller (Ohio State).
“I think these two are just as good as those two were.”
The two 18-player rosters represent 23 schools, with the Buckeye State leading the way with 13. They are Bellaire, Caldwell, Conotton Valley, Edison, Frontier, Harrison Central, Indian Creek, Martins Ferry, Monroe Central, St. Clairsville, Steubenville, Union Local and Warren. The Mountain State schools include Brooke, John Marshall, Linsly, Magnolia, Morgantown, Oak Glen, Parkersburg South, Weir, Wheeling Central and Wheeling Park
“The coaches do a great job of selecting the girls,” Bechtel added.
The Ohio roster is made up of Bellaire’s Sophie Porter (2B); Caldwell’s Maddie Mumaw (P); Conotton Valley’s Daphne Stuber (2B) and Chloe Stuber (OF); Edison’s Fluharty (P); Frontier’s Jamison Schmidt (C), Harrison Central’s Maddie Butler (3B) and Lizzy Clelland (C); Indian Creek’s Abby Starkey (C) and Alexis Dawson (3B); Martins Ferry’s Taylor Bell (3B) and Kelsi Gillespie (P/2B); Monroe Central’s Kynzi Bishop (2B) and Madison Stimpert (OF); St. Clairsville’s Abby Salisbury (SS/OF); Steubenville’s King (P); Union Local’s Emily Kellaway (OF/SS); and Warren’s Kaylee Morris (1B).
Coaches are Gus DiMarzio (Steubenville); Jeremy Bleninger (Conotton Valley); Robert Gorrell Jr. (Shadyside); and Doug Pfeffer (Caldwell).
Comprising the W.Va. roster is Brooke’s Landy Bone (P); John Marshall’s Kadence Pettit (P) and Paytyn Tucker (OF); Linsly’s Baeleigh Burwell (P); Magnolia’s Bella Conner (C); Morgantown’s Abigail Herki (C); Oak Glen’s Sydney Brown (Inf), Lizzie Kell (P),Olivia Munoz (3B) and Sarah Brown (Ca); Parkersburg South’s Taylor Lamp (OF); Weir’s Sophie Aperfine (Ca) and Reagan Hoover (OF); Wheeling Central’s Jocelyn Shaw (SS); and Wheeling Park’s Lauren Nolte (2B), Hannah Sivertson (OF), Strothers (OF) and Delaney Theiss (P).
Coaches are Ed West (John Marshall); Sherrie Garner (Oak Glen); Buck Davidson (Wheeling Central) and Pat Durkin (Wheeling Park).
Despite back-to-back losses, Ohio still holds a 16-7 advantage in the all-time series.