BEAVERCREEK — There may be a bit of a youth movement going on with Beavercreek High School’s softball team, but the Beavers showed lots of veteran patience in run-ruling visiting Stebbins, 16-2, April 26 at Rotary Park.
Beavercreek has plenty of new faces on its roster this season, after graduating five regular fixtures from the Beavers lineup last year. Coach Paul Martin says that, while his team has seen its share of inconsistencies in the early going, the Beavers are finally coming together as a solid unit.
“We’ve got a trio of seniors (Tabatha Koetter, Natasha Price and Danielle Young) who are leading this team by their example, but we’ve got several players like Maddie Neibert, who’s a talented sophomore with a little bit of experience. Overall, we’re still pretty young,” Martin said.
“…But I’ll tell you what, for the last four or five games, we’ve started to really play some good defense. We’ve had games early on this season where we’d take routine plays and drop the ball and throw it all over the place. But yeah, probably 4-5 games ago we started playing some pretty good defense.”
Beavercreek (7-7, 3-5 Greater Western Ohio Conference National East) did not commit an error in Thursday’s five-inning run-ruled affair, while Stebbins (2-12, 1-8 GWOC American South) committed at least three.
Starting pitcher Alyssa Lewis can often be found playing shortstop for Beavercreek, but she limited Stebbins’ batters to five hits in four innings of work. Lewis and Mariah Crawford led the team with two hits apiece. Price celebrated her 18th birthday by drawing three walks, hitting a second-inning single, and scoring four runs.
Every Beavercreek starter got on base at least once. And the young team showed plenty of patience at the plate. Beavercreek batters walked 10 times, including four consecutive times in the five-run fifth inning, and three other times in the six-run sixth.
At least one bright spot in the Indians lineup is that of junior shortstop Korina Murphy, who collected three of Stebbins’ five hits in the game. Murphy was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate to raise her season batting average to .571. That would put her fourth in the entire Greater Western Ohio Conference.
“She is the best player we have on our team. I can put her anywhere in the field and I know that she’ll do the job,” Stebbins coach Sean Cahill said.
Both teams are back in GWOC play on Friday, April 27. Stebbins will host Sidney for a 5 p.m. game, while Beavercreek will host Lebanon — a team ranked No. 1 in the latest Ohio High School Softball Coaches Association poll — at 5 p.m. at Rotary Park.