Tag Archive for: Falcons

WATTS NAMED 2024 OHIO GATORADE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

AUSTINTOWN OH- Sydnie Watts from Austintown Fitch High School just snagged the 2023-24 Gatorade Ohio Softball Player of the Year award, marking a first for the school in the award’s 39-year history.

Watts didn’t just shine on the field; she dominated. This 5-foot-8 junior right-hander led the Falcons to a 23-1 record, clinching their second straight Division 1 state championship. Her stats are jaw-dropping: a 23-1 record, a microscopic 0.53 ERA, and a staggering 279 strikeouts while giving up only 27 hits in 133.1 innings. She threw a perfect game in the state semis and followed it up with a two-hit shutout in the final, where she also went yard in both games. At the plate, she hit .479 with 13 bombs, 48 RBIs, and a slugging percentage of 1.141. No wonder she’s ranked as the No. 12 recruit in the Class of 2025 by MaxPreps.

Off the field, Watts is just as impressive. She volunteers with Someplace Safe, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, the Mahoning County Dog Pound & Adoption Center, and coaches youth softball. Her head-to-head competitor, Fred Mootz of Boardman High School, called her “the absolute best I have ever competed against,” noting her pitching prowess and her feared presence at the plate.

Watts maintains a 3.68 GPA and has verbally committed to playing softball at Georgia Tech starting in the fall of 2025.

Gatorade’s Player of the Year program honors top high school athletes across multiple sports, and Watts joins a prestigious list of past Ohio winners like Brooke Mannon, KK Mathis, Madi Ogden, and Allison Smith. Every Player of the Year also receives a grant to donate to a social impact partner, with the program having provided over $4.9 million in grants to date.

For more info on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, past winners, or to nominate athletes, check out playeroftheyear.gatorade.com. Follow Gatorade on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.

FLY IT BACK! FITCH REPEATS AS STATE CHAMPIONS

By Ty Bartell

AKRON OH- The Austintown-Fitch Falcons softball team completed another magical season,
culminating in a 4-0 victory over The Watkins-Memorial Warriors in The Division I State Championship Game!

The Falcons represented the home team at Firestone Park in Akron as Sydnie Watts and The Flawless Falcon Eight defense took the field. After striking out the leadoff batter, Fitch would need the defense early.Ohio University commit Jordyn Wycuff doubled to right-center and attempted to go for third; however, two perfect throws by Kaliana Ray and Ayla Ray followed by a tag by Morgan Roby secured the second out of the inning at third! Watts would strike the following batter out looking to end the frame.

Bottom of the first and Youngstown State University commit, The Ace of Bases, Ayla Ray crushed a homerun (15) to right-center, giving Austintown an early 1-0 advantage. Warriors pitcher and Michigan State University commit Carsyn Cassady recorded a strikeout and a flyout to end the inning.

Top of the second and The Warriors worked some runners on off a rare Falcons throwing error and a pair of walks to load the bases with two outs. But Watts showed her defensive prowess as well, making an incredible play on the infield on a tough slow roller to her left outside of the circle to get the final out of the inning!

Bottom of the second and Watts proved why she is not just a pitcher by annihilating a homerun (13) to left, her third consecutive game in the playoffs with a long ball, upping the Fitch lead 2-0. Following batter Morgan Roby reached on an error and Samantha Severn would get a bunt single to set up first and second with no outs. Cassady the next two outs off a strikeout and a sacrifice bunt by Rachel Spalding to move runners to second and third. Next batter Kaliana Ray made them pay with an RBI single to center to score Roby, Severn would then score on a throwing error to third, increasing The Falcons lead to 4-0! Cassady would follow up a walk with a strikeout to end the second inning.

Cassady would then enter a grove where she would send the next six Falcons batters down in order, doing so while striking out four more. As both elite pitchers kept the score the same as the game moved to the seventh.

With three outs to go, Watts would record the first on a slow roller back to her as she applied the tag to Gracie Gerhardt. Next batter up, Grace Whitman, Would hit a line drive right to second baseman Samantha Severn for the second out. Watts would record her tenth strikeout for the games final out, as for the second year in a row, The Falcons (23-1) season culminated in a celebration at Firestone.

FITCH ONE WIN AWAY FROM A REPEAT

By Ty Bartell

AKRON OH- The Austintown Fitch softball team surged closer to defending their state title, overwhelming Fairfield with a 10-0 victory in five innings during Friday’s OHSAA Division 1 State Semifinal at Akron Firestone Stadium.

Kaliana Ray ignited The Falcons offense, leading off with a single and scoring the opening run after Abby Toth’s double. Although Toth was tagged out at third attempting to steal, Fitch seized an early 1-0 advantage. The inning concluded with a fly out by Kylie Folkwein.

In the second inning, Fitch’s bats went quiet. In the third, Lily Stevens singled to center, but pinch runner Miauna Jorge was left stranded in scoring position after a sacrifice bunt by Rachel Spalding and a walk to Ray.

Pitcher Sydnie Watts dominated from the circle, keeping The Indians scoreless through four innings, which set up a prolific offensive burst by Fitch in the bottom of the fourth. Folkwein led off with a single and a stolen base. After Watts struck out, Morgan Roby doubled to score Folkwein, extending the lead to 2-0. Roby advanced to third on a ground out and was driven home by Stevens’ RBI single. Consecutive walks to Spalding and Ray loaded the bases, and Ayla Ray’s ground-rule double brought in two more runs, pushing the score to 5-0.

The Falcons continued to capitalize on Fairfield’s errors. Toth reached base on a right fielder’s error, and Folkwein’s double advanced her to third. Watts then sealed the game with a three-run homer over the left-field fence, solidifying a 10-0 lead and invoking the mercy rule.

Watts, on her way to a perfect game, struck out the first two batters in the fifth inning, and the defense secured the final out, giving her a sixth career perfect game and propelling The Falcons into the State Championship.

Roby was instrumental, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI. Ayla Ray contributed two doubles and two RBIs, finishing 1-for-3. Stevens added two singles and an RBI, Toth had a double and an RBI, while Folkwein recorded a double and a single. Watts clinched the game with her three-run home run and accumulated three RBIs.

In the circle, Watts, with Folkwein catching, recorded nine strikeouts over five innings. The 22-1 Lady Falcons will face Pataskala Watkins Memorial (31-1) in the State Championship Game on Saturday, June 1, with the first pitch set for 6:15 p.m. at Akron Firestone Stadium. Stay updated with Fitch Softball’s postseason journey, including live games, scores, stats, and stories, on YSN.

K QUICK ON THE SCENE

By Ty Bartell

AUSTINTOWN OH- Would it be surprising if another Ray was shining athletically at Austintown-Fitch? Well adjust expectations accordingly, because Falcon freshman phenom Kaliana Ray is creating all the buzz for local athletics.

A three-sport athlete, featured this year in volleyball, basketball and currently softball. Getting solid playing time in the volleyball and basketball prior; however, with a younger softball team, Kaliana found herself any everyday starter as Fitch’s center fielder and lead off hitter. Batting a mind boggling .743 across 22 games so far this season, Ray leads The Falcons team in batting average, as well as hits (55), runs (48), on-base percentage (.771) and tied for first in walks (9)!
Reaching base often and when she is aboard she rapidly becomes the speedy base stealer “K-Quick” who has swiped 39 bases this season on 40 attempts! Not just an offensive threat, as The Falcons center field has been renamed Kali’s Island, where she is a perfect 1.000 in her fielding percentage, totaling 15 putouts and even an assist this season!

The future is bright and it’s another Ray causing the shine, as Kaliana credits a lot of her success to her older sister, Ayla, who Kali says “set the bar of success high for her.” A rare occurrence when the two oldest Ray sisters have gotten to play with one another on the diamond, which is why Kaliana has not taken the specialness of this season for granted.

Playing her first season for the defending Division I State Champions has been no easy task, but Ray has lived up to the challenge and excelled with flying colors as Austintown-Fitch is back in the State Final Four for the second consecutive season in part to what Kaliana has been able to do in all aspects of the game.

YSNs Ty Bartell gets the chance to talk with The Fitch center fielder about her success this season, her family support, some current goals and so much more! Catch this edition of Player Profile with K-quick if you can!

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2024 SOFTBALL STATE TOURNAMENT PREVIEW

AKRON OH- For the second straight season, YSN will head down to Firestone Stadium in Akron to follow three of its teams on a quest for a state title.  Each of the three teams is making a return trip to the state semifinals, and they each had different results a season ago. In Division 1 Austintown Fitch is going for a repeat state championship. In Division 2 Canfield is looking to get themselves back in the championship game falling one win short a season ago.  In Division 3 South Range is going to try to get the program back to the title round after falling in the semifinals last season.  Everyone in the area knows what makes these three YSN teams so special, but who will be standing in their way? As the games get closer, let’s take a closer look on each team’s bracket, and their path to a state championship.

DIVISION I

Semifinal 1: Austintown Fitch (21-1) vs Fairfield (23-3) Friday 3:00.
Semifinal 2: Anthony Wayne (30-1) vs Watkins Memorial (30-1) Friday 5:30.


Teams In Fitch’s Way:

Fairfield:  Fairfield has had a solid season, against a tough list of opponents.  Their program hasn’t been to this round of the playoffs in 33 years, and it wasn’t easy to get here. Fairfield won a 1-0 nail biter against Centerville (25-5).  They were lifted by their pitcher Megan Spence who tossed a 3 hit shutout in the biggest game of her life.  The junior plays for a premier travel team in the Cincinnati area (Doom Premier Towe) and sees great competition throughout the summer.  She has pretty good velocity, but her success stems from her ability to move the ball and hit her spots well.  Fairfield has six seniors on their roster, so leadership is not an issue for the Indians. Senior  Jillian Huey is a Division 1 commit going to Rio Grande to continue her softball career.  Fellow senior Abby Stanfield is continuing her softball career at Lourdes University.  Fairfield has been known all season for their ability to make comebacks, they might not always get off to a great start, but the veteran Indians will fight until the last out.

Anthony Wayne and Watkins Memorial square off in the other Division 1 semifinal. Both teams are elite programs who were both in this situation a year ago.  Fitch beat Anthony Wayne 6-1 in last year’s state championship.  Anthony Wayne beat Watkins 2-1 to get there.  The Generals have now been to 3 final fours since 2021 and have a better record than a year ago, they lost 5 games in 2023 but just 1 game this season. They feature a pitching staff that is loaded with talent.  Kat Meyers their ace is committed to Michigan to continue her softball career, and if that wasn’t enough, junior Molly Conner is committed to play at Notre Dame.  The Generals pitchers have allowed just 2 runs through their tournament run, and they’ve scored 36.

Watkins on the other hand are just as good, they lost to Anthony Wayne 2-1 in last year’s tournament.  Their pitching is the definition of shutdown.  Their team ERA is barely above 1 at 1.27, and Michigan State commit Carson Cassady has an eye popping ERA of 0.282 and over 300 strikeouts on the season.  On the offensive side Ohio commit Jordyn Wycuff is mashing this season with a team leading average of .641 with 11 home runs and 49 RBI.  Watkins has a 5 game shutout streak going on at the moment, they haven’t allowed a run since their 9-8 loss to Miamisburg (Cassady did not pitch by the way).

DIVISION II

Semifinal 1: Canfield vs Kenton Ridge Friday 10:00am

Semifinal 2: Bryan vs Logan Elm Friday 12:30.

Teams in Canfield’s Way:  

 

Kenton Ridge (28-4) won a regional championship over the favorite in the region Granville 6-2 at Wright State.  Granville beat the Cougars in last season’s regional championship.  This is Kenton Ridge’s first regional championship in 11 seasons.  In the circle the Cougars have relied on junior Kyanne Tyson all season. Tyson is great at forcing weak contact and trusting her above average defense behind her to make a play.  She can get her strikeouts, she has 111 all season, but when compared to some of the other pitchers in the state level, Tyson is much more of a contact pitcher, and she’s good at it. Her ERA on the year is 2.36 in 139 innings pitched.  Tyson is helped by her elite sophomore catcher Brenna Fyffe who does an amazing job at managing Tyson’s game, especially for an underclassmen.

Bryan (16-4).  The Golden Bears are in the middle of their best season in program history.  The were in their programs first regional final against Lexington, and the won it 4-1.  They have been led by 1st Team All State pitcher Thea Staten who only allowed 1 run in the regional round.  In the regional semifinal she went 7 innings, and struck out 12 while only giving up 2 hits.  Bryan has two seniors that have brought nothing but glory to the entire athletics room at the school. Ella Voigt and Kailee Thiel are three sport athletes that have won 5 district titles, and led multiple sports to their longest tournament run to date.  They might be in their first state round, but these seniors have plenty of experience when it comes to doing things no one at the school has done before. Between their three varsity sports, Bryan has a .816 winning percentage in the past four years.

Logan Elm (21-8) Logan Elm is coming off a 7-3 win over Dover in the Regional Finals.  This is their first state tournament birth since 2012.  The Braves six seniors were given their diplomas before the start of Friday’s regional final. Going to state is a pretty good excuse for missing commencement.  Their six seniors are Katie Wilson, Lynsay VanHoose, Kaitlin Otterbacher, Tia Fowler, Taylor Fowler and Jaycie Clifton. Taylor Fowler brings plenty of pop to the Braves lineup, and plenty of clutch. She hit a walk off three run home run with the game tied at 5-5 in the regional semifinals against premiere program Jonathan Alder.  Other players to watch are sophomore Peyton Richendollar brings speed to the team as well as plenty of softball experience playing travel for Central Ohio Pride.  She will be someone catchers must keep their eye on when she’s on the bases.  She’s a stolen base expert.

DIVISION III

Semifinal 1: Oak Harbor vs Liberty Union Thursday 3:00

Semifinal 2: South Range vs South Webster Thursday 5:30.

Teams in South Range’s Way: 

 

South Webster (25-3). South Webster might have pulled off the biggest upset the state of Ohio has seen in a long time. They went up against two time reigning state champion in Wheelersburg.  The Pirates beat South Webster twice in the regular season, both times in run rule fashion.  The Jeeps were not intimidated in the slightest, pulling off a 4-3 victory.  The Jeeps might not have been the favorite against Wheelersburg, but then again there aren’t many teams in the whole state that would have been.  The Jeeps know how to win.  Their lineup is potent. Shawnee State commit Ashlee Spence who knocked in the game winning run against the Pirates is one of the best hitters in the Jeeps region.  She also hit a walk off home run in the district championship over Ironton.  Senior outfielder Skylar Zimmerman is one of the best outfielders in the state of Ohio.  Isabella Claxon is a strong senior leader who will continue her athletic career in volleyball at Mount Vernon Nazarene.

Oak Harbor (27-2).  Oak Harbor features a D1 athlete in the circle in senior Alyse Sorg.  Sorg, who will be a swimmer at Bowling Green has mounted an ERA of 2.11. She is a spin pitcher who makes sure that hitters don’t get solid contact off of her.  In fact she’s only given up 5 home runs this year in over 600 batters faced.  She’s also only given up 23 extra bass hits.  Their offense is led by Porter Gregory who hits .538 with 33 RBI.  Oak Harbor is a team known more for their on base percentage than their power, they’ve only hit 11 home runs on the year, but they have a team on base percentage of .456.

Liberty Union (22-6).  The Lions have won 14 of their last 16 games, and come into the state semifinals on an 11 game winning streak.  Liberty Union won a high scoring 9-7 regional final against Miami East.  They’ve scored at least 6 runs in 6 straight games.  Junior Payton Hochradel is ranked 82 in the Extra Innings top 300 for outfielders.  Like many other teams in this year’s state bracket, Liberty Union is making this trip for the first time for the players on their roster. In fact, the Lions district championship over top seeded Fairbanks gave them their first district trophy since 2011.

With this group of teams stacked against each other, YSN’s coverage of the state tournament is sure to be exciting this season.  Make sure to tune in to all of YSN’s social pages Wednesday at 8:00 for the State Softball Send Off Show which will feature coaches and players from Canfield, South Range, and Austintown Fitch.

YSN would also like to wish the best of luck to Mathews who will be representing the area in the Division IV state bracket.  If the Mathews community would like the Mustangs to be a part of the YSN family, get in contact with your AD and have them reach out to us about joining the 60 plus teams that are already signed on.

FITCH DREAMS OF A REPEAT STILL FLYING HIGH

By Ty Bartell 

YOUNGSTOWN OH- The Austintown-Fitch Falcons softball team entered their third consecutive regional final in the last three seasons, looking to repeat an appearance in the State Final Four! Battling the #9 team in the nation, The Walsh Jesuit Warriors, The Falcons made a statement in the 8-2 win, handing The Warriors their first loss of the season.

The first two innings looked like a battle between #9 vs. #10 in the country as Falcon junior and Georgia-Tech commit Sydnie Watts and Warrior senior and Minnesota commit Natalie Susa were pitching around some early baserunners to post early zeros. The first score of the game occurred in the third inning when “Sammy Buckets” Same Severn showed off her clutch gene in the playoffs once again, delivering a two-out, two-run single past a diving Brianna Wise at second base to put Fitch up 2-0.

Walsh Jesuit, looking to get a run back in the top of the fourth, had Kayla McGee at third base following a double and advancement from her with only one out. However, The Falcons defense pulled off a spectacular 1-3-2 double play to end the inning without a Warrior run scoring! Fitch would add a run to their lead in the bottom of the fourth when Morgan Roby worked a bases loaded walk to give The Falcons a 3-0 edge, before Susa would register the third out and leave the bases loaded for the second time in the game.
After a scoreless top half of the fifth inning, The Falcons would open up Pandora’s box offensively, putting a five spot in the bottom of the fifth. Starting with Vita Kelty hitting a pinch-hit single to turn the lineup over before an RBI-triple by Kaliana Ray and back-to-back blasts by Kylie Folkwein, a two-run shot, and Sydnie Watts who cam so close to hitting the famous McDonalds parking lot in left-center field at The Covelli Sports Complex.

With an emphatic 8-0 lead in the top of the seventh, Fitch saw themselves three outs away from a berth in the State Final Four at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio.However, The Warriors would not go down without a fight! Racking up three hits in the seventh after being held to just one in the previous six innings, The Warriors scratched across a couple of late-inning runs, moving the score to 8-2 Austintown.

Watts would fan her 13th batter of the ballgame for the final out, booking The Falcons ticket back to state, as they are one chapter closer to finishing the 2024 story. Interviews with impact players, Sydnie Watts, Same Severn, Kylie Folkwein and Vita Kelty as well as Fitch Head Coach Steve Ward can be found below!
Fitch (21-1) will now square-off with The Fairfield Indians (22-3) in the State Semi-Final on Friday, May 31st with a 3 p.m. first pitch at Akron Firestone Park. On the other side of the Final Four, Anthony Wayne (30-1) will battle Watkins Memorial (30-1).
Stay updated with The Austintown-Fitch Falcons softball postseason run with live games, scores, stats, stories and more on YSN!

HERALDS SEASON COMES TO END IN DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP LOSS TO HILLSDALE

Parma, OH- The St. John Heralds saw their season come to a disappointing end on Thursday, losing 16-1 to the Hillsdale Falcons in the District Championship game of the OHSAA playoff tournament.

The game started promisingly for the Heralds, with Anthony Severino singling in the first inning to give them an early 1-0 lead. However, the Falcons quickly responded in the bottom of the first, scoring two runs on an Owen Hoffman ground out, a Brady Heller single, and a Heralds error to take a 2-1 lead.

Hillsdale extended their advantage to 4-1 in the second inning thanks to RBI singles from Brock Bower and Hoffman. But the fourth inning proved disastrous for the Heralds, as the Falcons erupted for 11 runs on eight hits to blow the game wide open.

The Falcons’ fourth-inning onslaught was keyed by hits from Braylen Jarvis, Kael Lewis, Heller, Aiden Hoffman, Gavin Casdorph, Bower, Hoffman again, and Chase Clutter. When the dust settled, Hillsdale had a commanding 15-1 lead.

On the mound, Aaron Wychock took the loss for the Heralds, allowing nine hits and 10 runs (nine earned) over three innings. Casdorph earned the win for Hillsdale, surrendering just one run on five hits over five frames.

Offensively for the Heralds, Brady Cole, Bryson Vennitti, Severino, Ezra Campbell, and Will Anderson each collected one hit. But they could never string together a rally against the Falcons’ pitching.

Bower led the way for Hillsdale’s potent offense, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Jarvis, the two Hoffmans, and Casdorph also had multiple hits for the Falcons, who finished with 14 hits total. They also stole six bases and played error-free defense.

The loss ended the Heralds’ season with a final record of 16-6. While the District Championship game was a disappointment, the team should be proud of an excellent overall campaign.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

FALCONS OUTLAST THE COMETS IN INSTANT CLASSIC

By Ty Bartell

YOUNGSTOWN OH- The Austintown-Fitch Falcons softball team survived a very game Amherst Steele Comets team in the regional semi-final by a score of 2-1 in a nine inning contest! Junior Georgia Tech commit Sydnie Watts started in the circle for Fitch while freshman Karina Schuster toed the rubber for Steele.

The Falcons started with the bats as the away team, as Schuster pitched around a couple Austintown hits to post a scoreless frame, aided by catcher Isabella Thomas-Friend throwing out Kalina Ray, attempting to swipe second, but coming off the bag while the tag was applied. Watts matched Schuster by holding The Comets off the scoreboard in the bottom half of the first.

Both teams would put on an impressive pitching display, executing in different ways. Watts by way of the strikeout and Schuster by way of amazing off-speed pitches that forced weak contact on Fitch with runners in scoring position multiple times. Through seven innings, both teams were scoreless with neither pitcher or defense giving an inch!

The top of the eighth finally saw Fitch break through with a Kylie Folkwein RBI-single to right, landing directly in front of a diving Nevaeh Sadler to score Kaliana Ray, giving The Falcons a 1-0 lead. The bottom of the eighth and the bottom of the order due up with The Comets season on the line. With one out, an amazing playoff softball moment occurred, when freshman designated player Kayla Rhodes smoked a Watts pitch to left, hitting the foul pole, for her first high school home run, tying the game 1-1!

Watts would get out of the eighth with the game tied, giving Fitch an opportunity in the top of the ninth. The red hot hitting Sam Severn would line her third hit of the game into center to put the go ahead run on first. Back-to-back bunts by Austintown allowed Severn to stand 60 feet away at third, giving Falcon freshman phenom Kaliana Ray the chance to bat. With the biggest hit of her high school career, Ray would line a single to right-center, scoring Severn and putting Fitch up 2-1!

Bottom of the ninth and it was 2-3-4 due up in the Steele lineup. Forcing a pop-fly from Allie Jackson in foul territory to Ayla Ray for the first out. Emma Nagy put up an incredible at-bat against Watts, bowing out with a changeup for Syd’s 16th strikeout of the outing! With two down, Watts would force a popup to shortstop Ayla Ray for the final out of the ballgame, clinching the 2-1 victory for The Falcons!

Ending the season 20-8, The Steele Comets put together an incredible season as the Northeast 4 District winners while giving the defending state champions all they could handle and more, spearheaded by an dazzling performance by freshman Karina Schuster.

The win for Austintown-Fitch (20-1) will send them to the elite eight for the third consecutive year where they will face The Walsh Jesuit Warriors (22-0) in one of the most anticipated matchups in the state of Ohio! That game will be at The Covelli Sports Complex at YSU on Friday, May 24th with a 5 p.m. first pitch.
Interviews with Players of the Game Kaliana Ray, Kylie Folkwein and Sydnie Watts as well as Falcon Head Coach Steve Ward can be found below. Stay updated with The Fitch Falcons softball postseason run with live games, scores, stats, stories and more on YSN!

RUNNING WEDNESDAYS WITH RICK SYPERT (EP 5) FEATURING FITCH TRACK & FIELD PANEL

It’s finally time for postseason! After the conference meets got wrapped up the week prior, this episode of Running Wednesday is lining up all the big performances that we’ll see in the District round.  We have so much talent in the area, you know there’s a lot to get through. Not to worry though, our resident track expert Rick Sypert doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to having a pulse on the local scene.  From small school, to big school it seems everyone has a stake in the district rounds.

This episode also featured special guests that Coach Sypert is pretty familiar with.  We turn our glance to Austintown to meet some of the big members of their very successful program.  The panel of athletes includes Justin Sahli, Deondre Stallings, Meghan Vadas, and De’Aunee Thompson. All of them have dazzled fans this season, broken some big time records, and left their opponents in the dust. You don’t want to miss hearing from these elite athletes. All of this and more on Episode 5 of Running Wednesdays with Rick Sypert!

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FALCONS BLANKED IN SECTIONAL TITLE GAME

AUSTINTOWN, OH- The Austintown-Fitch Falcons found themselves outmatched in a tough 9-0 shutout against Glenoak Golden Eagles on Thursday, bringing their season to a close.

The Golden Eagles started scoring in the second inning with a double from Birchler that brought a runner home. They sealed their dominance in the seventh, thanks to a deep home run to left by Mazeke after a tough 6-pitch duel.

Birchler was on fire, tossing a gem from the mound with a complete game shutout, scattering just three hits and racking up eight strikeouts. John Darnley shouldered the loss for the Falcons after giving up four runs over nearly five innings of work.

Jackson Cheeks tried to spark the Falcons’ offense, picking up two hits, but the team just couldn’t capitalize on their chances. Defensively, the Falcons were sharp, turning two double plays to keep things from getting worse.

Glenoak showed strength at the plate with nine hits. Mazeke and Moff were key contributors, with Moff driving in a game-high four runs and going 2-for-4. The Golden Eagles also showed patience, working six walks to keep the pressure on all game long.

Fitch finishes the campaign at 19-8.