Tuesday, May 16, 2000

21 teams compete for district titles


13 baseball, 8 softball squads play this week

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Advancing 13 baseball teams to the District is a rarity. But a baker's dozen worth of Cincinnati-area teams will be competing for Regional berths starting Wednesday.

        Madeira may be the biggest surprise. Coach Jack Kuzniczci faced a rebuilding year after losing eight seniors, including six starters who carried the Mustangs to the 1999 Division III state title.

        “This is an entirely different type of team than last year,” Kuzniczci said. “We don't have a dominant pitcher like last year (Ken Fields) but we've stolen more bases and played excellent defense.”

        John Elfring is the ace of the Madeira staff with an 8-1 record and 1.20 ERA. Tim Dooley, who sat out the past two weeks with mononucleosis, is the No.2 pitcher.

        Madeira plays Dayton Oakwood at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Bellefontaine High. Blanchester and Batavia will also play at the same site.

        Elder, a team that came from behind to beat Mason and Amelia in the sectionals, plays Fairfield (3:30 p.m. Saturday at Midland Field).

        “We haven't played well in the tournament,” Elder coach Mark Thompson said. “This week we'll try to get our confidence back. Hopefully, we didn't peak too soon.”

        En route to the 1999 Division I state title, Elder played its best baseball in the tournament after struggling to a second-place finish in the Greater Catholic League.

        “This year, we played our best baseball the final week of the season,” Thompson said.

        Also in Division I, Moeller faces Lakota West, which upset second-seeded Hamilton 2-1. The teams play 4 p.m. Thursday at Midland Field.

        McNicholas, Badin, Loveland and Edgewood will play in the Division II District at the University of Dayton.

        Cincinnati Country Day and Middletown Fenwick will be at the Division IV District at Covington High.

        All of the district winners advance to next week's regional semifinals.

Softball
        Eight teams are competing for District titles.

        Two of Cincinnati's best pitchers, Beth Conner (Sycamore) and Robyn Swedersky (Northwest) go head-to-head noon Saturday in a Division I championship game.

        Fairfield opens Division I play 3 p.m. Thursday against Vandalia Butler with St. Ursula meeting West Carrollton at 10 a.m. Saturday. All three games are at Miami University.

        In Division II action, Roger Bacon plays Springfield Northwestern and Clermont Northeastern faces Springfield Shawnee at the University of Dayton.

        In Division III, Williamsburg (vs. Covington) and Fayetteville (vs. Versailles) both play at Dayton's Delco Park.

       



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