XENIA — Hostilities rose during the Xenia softball home game on Monday against Butler.
A collision at first base between Bucs’ junior Kynnydy Lewis and senior Jada McAvene after a pop out by Lewis turned into a small argument between Butler first baseman Ari Wade, Xenia players and umpires. Lewis ran into and knocked down McAvene while trying to avoid Wade, both of whom were on the base as Lewis ran out the play.
Jeering occurred from Butler players on the field and Xenia players in the dugout.
Lewis was ejected from the game for what the umpires deemed to be a push of Wade during the play. She is likely to be suspended by the MVL. There was no other physical altercations after the play.
McAvene remained on the ground for several minutes while she was treated by trainers and coaches. Wade was moved by her coaches from first base to left field for the remainder of the game until she was later removed.
“Unfortunately I think they missed a call and three people collided with each other,” Xenia head coach John Miner said, believing an infield fly rule should have been called. “She supposedly stuck her arm out and he thought it was forceful, but I think she was trying to stop herself.”
During McAvene’s at-bat one hitter prior, she hit a single but tripped over Wade while rounding first base. Umpires warned Wade regarding baserunning interference after an appeal was requested by Miner.
McAvene would stay in the game and continued to pitch in the next inning, but was removed after pitching to a few batters after teammate Tori McPherson met with her in the circle and requested to Miner she be replaced. McAvene was treated for dizziness in the dugout.
The injury and ejection caused Xenia to use two new pitchers for the first time this season, as McAvene and Lewis had thrown every pitch for the team up to that point. Aaliyah Grooms and Megan Bradley saw their first action this season in the circle and finished the game.
Miner said the blame for the play can’t be put on any one individual or official.
“They’re out here to do a job and if that’s their findings in what they do for a job, whether I like it or I don’t, the game has to keep going on and we have to make adjustments,” he said.
After the game ended, coaches from both teams agreed not to go through a traditional handshake line and instead immediately exited.
Butler won 16-5 to split the season series with Xenia.
Xenia bats struggling to find runs
The Xenia baseball team lost 11-0 to Butler on Monday.
It was the second straight game the Bucs allowed a six-run first inning to the Aviators, and was also another time out its bats have gone cold.
Since the start of April, the Bucs have only scored at least five runs twice. It has caused the team to have only led after three of its last 57 innings played.
“Back to the basics, right?” Salyers said. “You just have to. Sometimes when you’re struggling, I told some of the guys you can’t go out there looking for a walk. You have to hit your way out of a slump. So you just need to keep that same approach that got you to that point and make adjustments.”
Xenia is averaging 3.17 runs per game, the lowest average in the MVL. After a 5-2 start in the MVL, the team has lost eight of nine, but remains in second-place in the Valley Division.