FAIRBORN — We’re a group of small-town newspapers. As such, we’re a small newspaper staff as well.
In fact, this article is being written by the entire Greene County Newspapers sports department …. (me).
My Time Machine is still in the shop for repairs. And because I’ve yet to get my Honda to reach a level of speed to propel myself and said car into a space-time continuum (I’ve come close, though) — where I can somehow cover a zillion sporting events at once, while the real me sits home and eats pizza — I usually try to limit my local sports coverage to varsity high school sports.
But every once in a while, an area Middle School’s athletic program turns heads. The 2018 Baker Middle School softball team has produced one of those whiles.
The story first came to my attention, because it was announced on Facebook that the Baker Skyhawks’ undefeated season was the “first time, ever” for the school. Facebook never lies, so I almost ran with the story. Then I decided to ask Athletic Director Kevin Alexander for some details.
As it turns out, the Facebook claim of being the first and only undefeated team in Baker Middle School history was (gasp) fake news! Alexander believes the 2018 team is likely to be the third such Baker Middle School softball contingent to turn the feat.
“When talking middle school sports, middle school softball went 16-0 in 1987. In 2008, middle school softball again went undefeated, although we are not sure exactly how many wins they had,” Alexander tells me.
Even so, the 2018 team’s accomplishment, and how they did it, deserves recognition.
Not only did the Baker kids go 16-0 during the regular season, they also went out and won the 13-team Greater Western Ohio Conference Gold Bracket middle school tournament this past May 4-5 in West Carrollton.
That puts their season’s record at an astounding 19-0.
But there’s more!
According to Alexander, the Baker Middle School team not only won 19 games to finish the season undefeated, but they won 17 of those games by run-rule!
They were like the Iron Mike Tyson of middle school softball, knocking out their opponents by 10 runs or more in the early innings a total of seventeen times!
In a very sporting gesture, the Fairborn school district arranged to have the Fairborn Police and Fire Departments escort the team’s bus back home to Baker after their GWOC Gold Bracket tournament victory. Lights flashing and sirens blaring. Really cool.
By the way, GWOC records go back as far as 2011, and this is the first time a Baker Middle School team has won the tournament during that time.
In past years, Fairborn had fielded two middle school teams in the tourneys. This year, they’ve shown that divided they fall; united everyone else does.
Earlier in the high school softball season, Fairborn High School varsity coach Tim Duncan got this wild eyed look on his head, and I swear he might’ve been salivating a little bit, as he was telling me about the talented kids he had who would be joining the team from the middle school ranks next season. I thought he’d maybe breathed in a bit too much infield dust, but now I know the reason for his excitement.
Tim hasn’t lost any brain cells. He’s fine. He was all frothy for good reason: He’s got a bunch of freshman sluggers coming up!
Keep these names in your memory for the next, oh 3-4 years or so:
Shaley Clay; Katie Heider; Abby Jamison; Karagan Milby; Alexis North; Mackenzie Phillips; Abigail Walters; Bailee Walters; Mallorie Ferguson; Kaelyn Offill; and Reagan Winn. These girls can play softball. They were coached by Chris Becraft, who at this continued rate could have a bronze bust of himself in a softball Hall of Fame somewhere.
I’m still working on acquiring a shipment of Plutonium fuel rods for my Time Machine, … or maybe the Honda. Hopefully in the years ahead, I’ll be able to watch the Baker Girls continue to climb through the high school ranks, and still cover the rest of Greene County … while eating pizza.
To go ‘19 and 0’ the way they did? They deserve plenty of recognition.
At least 17 other run-ruled losers would probably agree.