XENIA — Despite a pesky Stebbins opponent, biting wind and even a snow flurry or two, the host Xenia Buccaneers high school softball team claimed a 10-5 win, April 2 in the team’s Greater Western Ohio Conference, American South division opener.
The two divisional foes traded the lead three times in the early innings, before Xenia took control of the game with a five-run burst in the bottom of the fifth.
Stebbins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in its top of the first; Xenia responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. The Bucs then jumped out in front 4-3 when Sydney Smith scored on a passed ball in the second.
The Indians again grabbed the lead, this time 5-4, with runs by the team’s No. 1 and 2 batters in the order, Brooke Shade and Korina Murphy, in the top half of the third, off an RBI single by Kinsey Kunz.
Xenia starter Bailey Oliver kept Stebbins hitless in the fourth inning, then Caity Moody took the mound in the fifth inning. Moody, who was an American League all-first team selection this past winter in bowling, worked a different “strike” zone in dominating fashion. The sophomore right hander didn’t give up a hit the rest of the way.
That was all the mound support the Bucs offense seemed to need.
Xenia’s Moody, Kylee West, Madyson Larson, Anne Kensinger and Julia King each scored in the fifth, with Kensinger and West driving in runs. Three of the inning’s runs were scored on either passed balls or an error.
The Buccaneers tagged on another run in the sixth, a Moody score on a wild pitch, for the final margin.
Unofficially, Moody led Xenia in hitting with two singles and a walk, she stole a base and scored three runs. Kensinger also had a pair of hits in the win.
West came in from her usual defensive position at shortstop to fill in behind the plate for injured catcher Logann Jackson, who then moved to first. Jackson had been hit by a pitch in the first inning.
“She’s one of our best gloves on the team, so it was good to be able to have her behind the plate for us today,” Xenia coach John Miner said. “We only had nine players today on our team, so everybody had to play for everybody. No excuses. We just had to go out and play hard.”
Xenia is now 2-2 overall, and 1-0 in the GWOC American South. Depending on the weather, of course, the Buccaneers are scheduled to play Stebbins (0-2, 0-1 GWOC South) again on Tuesday, April 3, but this time in Riverside. That contest is set for a 5 p.m. start.
JUNIOR VARSITY VICTORY: Minor let out a cheer from the Xenia dugout when he saw on Twitter that the Xenia junior varsity team had claimed a 19-8 run-ruled five-inning win over Stebbins, Monday in Riverside. According to the coach, this season marks the first time in 10 years Xenia has had a JV softball program. So, that win was a long time coming.
“It’s big for this program,” Minor said.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.