By Chris Chaney
A season-long back-and-forth battle ended in a shared Southern Buckeye Conference National Division Championship for the Felicity-Franklin Lady Cardinals and the Williamsburg Lady Wildcats.
A season split in the head-to-head series left both squads at 9-1 in the SBC-National and earned them top seeds in the sectional tournament.
The Lady Wildcats, garnering the No. 1 overall seed in the Division III sectional tournament, dispatched of their first-round opponent, No. 12 seed Shroder, on Monday in impressive fashion.
In just five short innings, Williamsburg racked up 18 runs and shut out the Lady Jaguars to earn a berth in the sectional final. An advantageous bracket set up for Williamsburg to settle into a first-round bye and sectional semifinal matchup against the second lowest seed in the section.
The Lady Wildcats’ victory was paced by sophomore Morgan Gullett (4-4), seniors Kelsey Burnett (3-4) and Hannah Klein (2-3), junior Shelby Shaffer (2-2) and freshman Kacey Smith (2-2).
Burg advances to play the winner of Roger Bacon and Taylor on Monday, May 19 at Deer Park for the right to advance into the district round.
Felicity-Franklin, playing in Division IV, also received the No. 1 overall seed and hosted No. 6 seed New Miami on Tuesday, May 13. A win would advance them to a sectional semifinal on Thursday, May 15 against Cedarville.
The Lady Cardinals concluded their regular season with a 1-0 win over Clermont Northeastern on Monday, May 12. Felicity enters tournament play having won six of their last seven games and coming off their fourth league title in the last five years.
Elsewhere in the sectional tournament, Bethel-Tate, competing in the Division III upper bracket, defeated first-round opponent St. Bernard 15-0 in the five innings.
The Lady Tigers were led by Julia Weber and Maddi Lannigan, both of whom went 2-2 from the plate. Bethel advanced to play No. 4 seed Cincinnati Christian on Wednesday, May 14 at Waterworks Park for the right to play in the sectional final.
In Division II, No. 6 seed Clermont Northeastern, the fifth-place finisher in the SBC-National, faced conference foe Goshen, the No. 7 seed and runners-up in the SBC-American, on Tuesday, May 13.
Batavia, the No. 5 seed, also played on May 13 against No. 10 Wyoming.
New Richmond, the No. 9 seed in the upper bracket, took a first-round bye and will play the winner of Northwest (4) and Indian Hill (8) on Thursday, May 15.
As a result of the publishing schedule of The Clermont Sun, final scores from games contested on Tuesday, May 13 and Wednesday, May 14 were unavailable when this edition went to print.