Home Notice Box Sports County HS softball previews: Ferguson, Beavercreek looking to win GWOC title

County HS softball previews: Ferguson, Beavercreek looking to win GWOC title


XENIA — What can Haley Ferguson do in her final year?

The Beavercreek senior is the standout performer heading into the 2024 season from Greene County and is one of Ohio’s best softball players. She was a first-team All-State selection last year in which she continued her dominance of the Greater Western Ohio Conference.

As a pitcher, Ferguson has led the league in earned run average and strikeouts for the last three seasons. After winning the pitching triple crown in both 2021 and 2022, she finished second in wins last year to just miss out on a three-peat. As a hitter, she finished in the top-5 in home runs and RBI as a freshman before upping her hitting average above .500 to move into the top-5 of that category as a sophomore and junior.

A career .492 hitter and .804 slugger, with a 0.92 ERA in close to 500 innings pitched with 696 strikeouts, she is an all-around player. Ferguson is committed to the University of Michigan but before she gets there next year, there’s an individual award she has yet to achieve and a team one she’ll look to lead her squad to attain.

Ferguson has yet to the win the league’s player of the year award. Beavercreek hasn’t won the league since 2008. The two achievements aren’t correlated, but one could certainly help lead to the another happening.

Other players looking to return to top form against this year include Greeneview’s Kennedy Dean and Yellow Springs’ Violet Babb who both stood out at the plate and in the circle.

Chasidy Stewart of Bellbrook and Hailey Webb of Fairborn both were amongst the top pitchers in their leagues that are coming back. While many had good seasons at the plate, it will be fun to follow if the flashy numbers put up by Carroll’s Hannah O’Connor, Cedarville’s Adyson Rodgers and Fairborn’s Taylor Shepherd can be repeated.

Here’s a look at Greene County teams heading into 2024:

(Statistics from 2023 season)


2023 Record: 18-8 (10-4 GWOC, 3rd) +110RD

Coach: Megan Tomlin

Players To Watch: Viera Barrett (Jr.), 23/65, .354AVG, 2HR, 22RBI; Haley Ferguson (Sr.), 147.1IP, 17-8W-L, 224K, 0.95ERA, 0.719WHIP, 41/76, .539AVG, 4HR, 24RBI, 17 2B; Jayden O’Neal (Sr.), 35/84, .417AVG, 11RBI, 27R, 22SB; Kate Schell (Sr.), 31/78, .397AVG, 21RBI, 23R, 11SB.

Outlook: A solid lineup surrounds Ferguson. Beavercreek won consecutive GWOC titles in ‘07 and ‘08, but are still seeking the next one since then.


2023 Record: 11-9 (8-5 SWBL, 3rd East) +50RD

Coach: Andy Shahan

Players To Watch: Sydney Burchfield (Sr.), 21/73, .288AVG, 13RBI, 20R; Reagen O’Brien (Sr.), 18/57, .316AVG, 18RBI, .989FLD%; Chasidy Stewart (Jr.), 122IP, 11-9W-L, 78K, 2.98ERA; Mackenzie Walts (So.), 29/59, .492AVG, 23RBI, 20R, 12SB.

Outlook: Shahan in his first year has a good core to build with. Stewart pitched every inning for Bellbrook last season, and Walts broke out as a freshman.


2023 Record: 11-10 (6-4 GCL Co-ed, 3rd) +66RD

Coach: Cassandra Shea

Players To Watch: Shaina Beam (Sr.), 26/53, .491AVG, 17RBI, 27R; Tatum Browning (So.), 26/66, .394AVG, 15RBI, 25R; Hannah O’Connor (Jr.), 34/63, .540AVG, 37RBI, 30R; Emma Sexton (Jr.), 31/61, .508AVG, 37RBI, 28R.

Outlook: Carroll swung the bats well, but didn’t get the same production from its pitching last year. Beam, O’Connor and Sexton all keep the line moving each time through the order.


2023 Record: 10-18 (2-14OHC, 5th South) -76RD

Coach: Haleigh Webb

Players To Watch: Mackenzie Ankeney (So.), 29/70, .414AVG, 12RBI, 20R, 13SB; Ryleigh Burnett (Sr.), 25/68, .368AVG, 13RBI, 24R; Joscelyn Evans (So.) 98IP, 6-10W-L, 1SV, 104K, 10.57ERA; Adyson Rodgers (So.), 49/81, .605AVG, 8HR, 54RBI, 40R, 14 2B, 10 3B, 11SB.

Outlook: Cedarville broke out in 2023. Taking the next step this year will occur if they get improved pitching and fielding.


2023 Record: 19-5 (16-2 MVL, 1st Valley) +133RD

Coach: Tim Duncan

Players To Watch: Kyleigh Cook (Sr.), 31/83, .373AVG, 2HR, 16RBI, 37R, 18SB; Rose McReynolds (Sr.), 32/78, .410AVG, 1HR, 13RBI, 29R; Taylor Shepherd (Sr.), 36/79, .456AVG, 7HR, 40RBI, 25R; Hailey Webb (Sr.), 115IP, 16-4W-L, 149K, 2.68ERA.

Outlook: Fairborn ran through its opponents last season with a lineup that didn’t stop hitting. Enough return to keep them in title contention.


2023 Record: 12-9 (8-7 OHC, 2nd South) +53RD

Coach: Chris Reno

Players To Watch: Alexa Climie (Sr.), 23/64, .359AVG, 16RBI, 20R, 10SB; Kennedy Dean (Sr.), 96.1IP, 9-5W-L, 1SV, 109K, 5.60ERA, 37/78, .474AVG, 10RBI, 30R; Madison Lesile (Jr.), 29/64, .453AVG, 24RBI, 26R; Mya Simpson (So.), 36/65, .554AVG, 23RBI, 38R, 14SB.

Outlook: The Rams can mash the ball. Consistent pitching performers will make them an OHC title contender.


2023 Record: 6-8 (1-3 MBC, 3rd) -35RD

Coach: Shauna Kinsel

Players To Watch: Concetta Augustine (Sr.), 22/52, .423AVG, 1HR, 10RBI, 23R, 28SB; Esther Augustine (Jr.), 13/41, .317AVG, 1HR, 8RBI, 21R, 28SB; Olivia Augustine (Sr.), 15/50, .300AVG, 2HR, 4RBI, 14R, 18SB; Hadassah Oliver (Sr.), 18/51, .353AVG, 8RBI, 19R, 19SB.

Outlook: LCA won six of nine to close last season. Many shoot outs will keep results up in the air.


2023 Record: 7-18 (5-13 MVL, 3rd Valley) -87RD

Coach: John Miner

Players To Watch: Micah Hardin (So.), 2/27, .074AVG, 5RBI; Mariah Smith (Jr.), 14/59, .237AVG, 13RBI, 12R; Dakota Wagner (Sr.), 26/69, .377AVG, 1HR, 20RBI, 20R; Macie Wright (So.), 7/51, .137AVG, 5RBI.

Outlook: The Bucs lose a lot from last year and have a young roster. Pitching is the biggest question mark.


2023 Record: 7-7 (2-2 MBC, 2nd) +7RD

Coach: Jim Delong

Players To Watch: Violet Babb (Sr.), 39/58, .672AVG, 6HR, 51RBI, 30R, 28SB; Chloe Bayard (Sr.), 14/41, .341AVG, 17RBI, 16R; Ella Laws (Sr.), 17/39, .436AVG, 14RBI, 17R, 19SB; Adeline Zinger (Jr.), 18/33, .545AVG, 16RBI, 16R.

Outlook: Babb was unstoppable for most of last season at the plate. Not allowing so many free passes to the opposition can help keep them in games.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.