(6-1-21) The 2021 OHSAA D IV Softball Semifinal game between New Riegel and Bradford this Thursday looks to be a classic…one to remember.

Lininger and Miller

Two of the top D IV pitchers in Ohio will do battle in Akron, the Blue Jackets’ Kayleigh Lininger and the Railroaders’ Skipp Miller. With these two pitching the team who takes advantage of any opportunity could pick up the win. Both have handled the load in making this Final 4 appearance….both have been named the Players of the Year in their conferences.

Lininger was named the Sandusky Bay Conference River Division Most Outstanding Performer (unanimous Pick),

She was joined on the 1st team by Aubrey Bouillon (Junior Infield) and Katie Dryfues (Freshman OF)…both were unanimous Picks.

Story of Regional Final game

Huge 5-run sixth lifts Blue Jackets to regional title

The Blue Jackets struggled in their Regional Championship win over Hilltop 8-3, but like champions they did what they needed to do…thanks to a five run 6th inning.

After the game New Riegel coach Jamie Lininger told the Advertiser-Tribune

“This is a great group of kids and they were so worked up in those first few innings. I mean Kayleigh was having trouble breathing and I told them I knew the moment was big but they had to be bigger than the moment. I kind of pulled them in the dugout and told them ‘I don’t know exactly what’s going on here, you guys need to relax, take deep breaths, sing Kumbaya or something … just relax.’

“It’s just an unbelievable feeling. We thought this team all year was capable of making it to state and we fought through some hitting woes, I mean it hasn’t been that way in the last couple of games, but we’ve had great pitching, hitting and defense all year.”

Ohio University commit Skipp Miller will leave a lasting mark in Bradford softball history.

Miller this year was named the Cross County Conference Player of the Year, she was joined on the 1st team by her sister Austy Miller (Catcher) and Nylani Beireis (1B).

Story of Regional Final game

Bradford softball advances to Final Four with 1-0 win over Mechanicsburg

Miller twirled her magic in Bradford’s 1-0 win over Mechanicsburg, a team that had averaged 16 runs in the postseason and had not been shutout this season. Miller ended the win with a six-hitter, striking out eight, walking two and hitting a batter. Miller can also hit, she had 2 hits and the only RBI in the game scoring her sister for the only run in the game.

After the game Bradford coach Shon Schaffer talked about a return visit to the Final 4 after the most recent trip in 2018, he told Miamia Valley Today

“I don’t think there were any expectations (in 2018), We were just hoping to get there. There was a lot more pressure this year.”

Division IV Softball Final 4 Schedule

  • Bradford (28-2) vs. New Riegel (28-2), Thursday, 3 p.m.
  • Cuyahoga Heights (21-4) vs. Newark Catholic (17-13), Thursday, 5:30 p.m.
  • Championship Game: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Did you know…

The Cross County Conference title came down to a game between Bradford and Arcanum. The Trojans Peyton Garbig pitched a 1-0 10-inning no-hitter over the Railroaders to win the conference title.