The Tartan Pride softball team is sitting at a 27-8 record. The team has a staggering batting average of .418, 30 home runs, and 303 runs scored for the year.
Unfortunately, half of their losses are at the hands of their conference rivals, Owens, who leads the conference at 9-1.
Owens beat the Pride both times with identical scores of 8-6, one of which went into extra innings.
They play Owens two more times on May 24, but it is already too late to come out on top of the conference. The best they can do right now is 8-4 and even if they do win both games, Owens will be sitting at 9-3.
Even still, pitcher Kaila Sturgell earned the OCCAC Pitcher of the Week Award on April 20. According to Sinclairathletics.com, Sturgell went 1-0 over 9.2 innings last week while allowing 12 hits, five runs, and six walks with nine strikeouts.
Currently, she has five wins with no losses, an ERA of 4.13 with 39 innings pitched. She also leads the team with 54 strikeouts for the year.
In the month of April, the Pride are 12-4, averaging eight and a half runs while only giving up three runs. They certainly know how to put up runs, having only been shut out once and scoring double digits in six of their 12 wins.
This past week was one of the biggest weeks of the season for the Pride.
They had eight conference games to play, four of them on the road.
Catcher Keenan Carter has been battling a thumb injury and could not play in any of those games. The bullpen may also have been stretched a bit thin.
And of course, finals week is coming up so they are studying just as hard as the rest of us.
Through all of that, they swept both four-game series between Owens and Lakeland, clinching a share of the OCCAC title.
The Pride traveled to Perrysburg to play Owens, a team that they had previously swept four games earlier in the year. Though the scores suggest that the Pride won fairly easily (8-3, 6-0, 11-1, 4-3), three of those four games were pretty close throughout most of the game.
In their 6-0 victory, the Pride had not scored until an RBI single from Jimmy White put them out in front. The same thing happened in the 8-3 victory as well; outfielder Tyler Cowles pushed across two runs on a double.
Jimmy White singled in the sixth inning, scoring two more runs in what would turn out to be a six-run inning for the Pride.
Pitcher Johnny Crawford pitched the final game of the series for the Pride, lasting four innings with five strikeouts, four hits, and one earned run.
Owens struck first in the second inning but the Pride scored four unanswered runs going into the seventh. Owens did make a slight comeback, but fell short, losing 4-3.
Crawford has been steadily improving as the season progresses. When he was at Bowling Green, he did not pitch a whole lot as a freshman and did not throw too much during the off season.
“It has been a process with him. We felt like even some of his starts he was not having a lot of success as far as numbers go, but he was on the verge of being good. He has good stuff. His strikeout numbers are good. He has swing and miss stuff,” said Coach Dintaman.
Crawford pitched four innings of scoreless baseball against Indiana Tech and only allowed one run against Owens. Some of his starts have been cut short because Dintaman did not want to wear him out and Ditaman wanted to at least have him somewhat fresh as these long games continue.
Lakeland suffered the same fate as Owens, as they got outscored 41-14 in their four-game series with the Pride.
Before the game, Dintaman explained that if they win five of their eight games with Lakeland then the conference is theirs. The Pride traveled up to Kirtland to finish out four games with them.
Going into these conference games, the Pride have not felt a lot of pressure. They have mostly dominated their games, though they have been down a few times. Coach Dintaman says the players should keep cool. “Every group is different. They have been down some games and they always respond. I don’t think this group has to worry about it. They are confident and talented,” said Dintaman.
The Pride set a school record last year with a 46-11 record and are currently sitting at 38-5 with 10 games remaining.
They have four games remaining with Lakeland, four more with Cuyahoga, who they beat three out of four times this year, and two games with Miami University-Hamilton.
The Sinclairs baseball team’s games were delayed due to the large amount of rain the region received in the past week.
It cancelled out every game, and with that, Coach Dintaman gave his guys a bit of a break. Typically, they get Mondays off, but he gave them a couple of days more, just to relax and get caught up on school work just like the rest of us are probably doing.
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Sometimes if you are at work in a meeting, you might hear the phrase, “we are doing good, but we can do better.” That should not be something that the Tartan Pride should be hearing because they are sitting at a 27-5 record, being 7-1 in the conference. The team has an awesome .341 average, averaging almost 10 runs a game, only giving up about 3 runs a game, and many of their players are starting to find their stride.
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Like the baseball team, the Tartan Pride softball team is making plenty of noise as well. The Pride have won 16 of their last 17 games, 12 of their victories have been by at least 5 runs. In the beginning of the season they started out 4-4 and were a bit rough, but since have dominated on all sides of the field.
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The Tartan Pride swept their conference rival Owens CC behind solid pitching, but snapped their 14-game winning streak as Vincennes University handed them their first loss since March 14 against Kellogg CC.
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