By Garth Shanklin
Youth softball teams across Clermont County saw the regular season come to an end this week as the end-of-season tournaments begin.
In the 14U division, Batavia entered the final game of the regular season with an 11-1 mark, good for first place overall, a half-game ahead of the Bethel Tigers at 11-2. New Richmond, coached by Sandy Pope, placed third with an 8-5 mark.
Those three teams earned the top three seeds in the 14U tournament, which begins on Thursday, June 22 at 6 p.m. in Owensville. Batavia will face CNE, with Al Burton’s New Richmond squad taking on the Mt. Orab Force on Friday, June 23 at 6 p.m.
In the bottom half of the bracket, Pope’s New Richmond squad faces Fayetteville while Bethel takes on Withamsville. Those games are scheduled for Saturday, June 24 at 9 a.m.
The Mt. Orab Havoc earned the top seed in the 12U division with a perfect 14-0 record. The Bethel Bombers finished second at 13-1, with the Bethel Crush third at 12-2.
In the 12U Gold bracket, the Bombers and Crush face off against each other in the opening round on June 23 at 7:30. Russellville and CNE battle at 6 p.m. on the 23rd. Both games are scheduled to be played in Owensville.
Batavia and Mt. Orab face each other in the 12U silver bracket at 7:30 p.m. on June 23. New Richmond and the Russellville Lightning battle on June 22 at 7:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to take on Withamsville on Saturday at 9 a.m. in Owensville.
The Withamsville Dragons earned the top seed in the 10U division with a 10-2 mark. CNE and Felicity tied for second at 9-2, with Fayetteville and Russellville each winning seven games.
Withamsville faces the winner of Russellville and the Mt. Orab Crushers on June 23 at 7:30. CNE and Fayetteville are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. June 22, with the winner facing Felicity on June 23 at 6 p.m.
In the Silver bracket, Fayetteville drew a bye and awaits the winner of New Richmond and Batavia. The New Richmond Bats and Withamsville Lancers play at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 22 with the winner facing either the Bethel Phoenix or Lynchburg Fast & Furious on Saturday, June 24 at 10 a.m.
All 10U games are scheduled to be hosted in Owensville.
The 9U tournament began with games that did not finish before press time. The Batavia Lady Dawgs and Mt. Orab Purple Panthers faced off in the opening round in Mt. Orab on Wednesday, June 21. The winner advanced to face the Mt. Orab Dynamite.
The CNE Rockets finished the regular season undefeated in the 8U division. The Mt. Orab Diamond Divas placed second, with Batavia third.
CNE’s performance earned the team the top overall seed. They face the winner of Russellville and New Richmond on Thursday, June 22 at 6 p.m.
Batavia and the Mt. Orab Hurricanes battled in a late contest on June 21 with the winner facing the Diamond Divas on June 22 at 7:30 p.m.
In the silver bracket, the Williamsburg Blue Angles drew a bye and face either Lynchburg or the Goshen Devil Divas on June 23 at 6 p.m. The Withamsville Lightning took on the Lynchburg Lady Mustangs in a late matchup on June 21 with the winner advancing to face the Linchburg Dirty Divas on June 22 at 6 p.m. All 8U games are scheduled to be played at the Mt. Orab ballfields.
In the 7U tournament, the Withamsville Havoc faced the top-seeded Mt. Orab Jays and the Fayetteville Knockouts battled the Bethel Diamond Queens on June 21 in games that were not complete before presstime. New Richmond and Williamsburg are scheduled for a 6 p.m. start on June 23 in Mt. Orab.
In the 6U tournament at CNE, Batavia and Goshen are scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start on June 22. CNE earned a first-round bye and will face the winner of Russellville and New Richmond on June 23 at 7:30 p.m. Felicity and Lynchburg face off at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday with the winner facing Mt. Orab on June 23 at 6 p.m.
In addition to the youth leagues, the SOSLI high school rec league began on June 21. Games are scheduled for every Wednesday in New Richmond with Friday nights serving as rainout days.