XENIA — Whether its the ability to swing a bat just at that split millisecond to connect for a base hit, or whether it’s that ability to repeat as the Greene County area’s high school softball batting champion, timing is everything.
Bellbrook’s Kaley Clark successfully timed a lot of pitches — 35 to be exact — during the regular season to repeat as the champ with a .700 batting average.
To put that in perspective, she stepped to the plate 50 times and hit the ball all but 15 times.
According to the MaxPreps.com website’s numbers, Clark’s .700 average would have put her third among all high school softball players in Ohio during the regular season.
She helped her team quite a bit as well. Clark either led or shared the lead in nearly every Bellbrook offensive statistical category this season. She had the most hits, runs (27), doubles (11), triples (4), tied teammate Sami Seubert for the lead in home runs (2), led in runs batted in (27), on-base percentage (.714) and even tied teammate Abbie Hess for the team lead in stolen bases with seven.
Of the 120 runs Bellbrook scored this season, Clark had a hand in either scoring or driving in nearly half of them.
Clark was named the Player of the Year for the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Southwest division, and was a first-team All-SWBL selection.
Perhaps her best contributing achievement would be how the team fared this season. The SWBL website’s records go back as far as 2013, when the league created the site. In that time, Bellbrook’s 11-8 overall record and 7-5 mark in league play is the first time since 2013 that the Golden Eagles have finished a season with a winning record.
The Greene County News, which features daily newspapers the Xenia Daily Gazette and the Fairborn Daily Herald, along with the weekly Beavercreek News-Current, created the Greene County Batting Championship for both softball and baseball as a way to bring more attention to the area’s softball and baseball talent, while recognizing the top batters with a fun contest.
Pizza Hut, located on 354 W. Main St. in Xenia, sponsored the event for the second straight year and plans to do so in 2019 as well. General Manager Brandon Beatty presented Clark with $50 in Pizza Hut gift cards, and it was a good thing. Clark, who won the inaugural softball batting title in 2018, had just used the last few dollars on her gift cards from last season just last week.
Whether it’s hitting a softball, or snagging $50 bucks worth of delicious pizza right when your last gift card had run out, timing truly is everything.
Area high schools Bellbrook, Beavercreek, Fairborn, Xenia, Greeneview, Carroll, Cedarville, Legacy Christian and Yellow Springs were involved in the season-long batting competitions. Batters had to average at least twice as many at bats throughout the 2019 season as games played by their respective high school teams.
Greene County News will announce its 2019 Greene County Area High School Baseball batting champion on Saturday.