Devils always aim high, even in new district
McDONALD — The McDonald Blue Devils have been on a mission to win a district championship, and they made a step toward reaching that goal with a 10-0 win over Jackson-Milton Wednesday at Woodland Park in a sectional bracket final of the Division IV Jackson-Milton District.
“It’s our goal at the beginning of the season to get to districts,” McDonald shortstop Megan Ward said.
The Blue Devils (15-4) have played in the Warren District in recent seasons, but have been placed in the Jackson-Milton District this year where they are seeded second behind Lisbon.
Hitting came in abundance for McDonald as it jumped on Jackson-Milton early by putting up four runs in the first inning. Ward was a key player in McDonald’s offensive attack, as she had two singles, a walk, and an RBI.
She was trying to be aggressive at the plate.
“I think we were all looking for our pitch, we all like different pitches, some like inside, some like outside,” Ward said. “For me personally, I was looking for the outside pitch, low and outside, to drive it to the middle-left side of the field.”
Bri Callow was stellar in the circle, as she recorded 10 strikeouts and carried a no-hitter into the top of the fifth inning.
“I was just trying to make sure I did everything good,” she said, “and make sure my spins were good, that way I could move our team onto the next round.”
Callow believes that hard work allows her to have success on gameday.
“Practice is (when) you put in the work, gameday you have to apply it, and as long as you do that then you’re fine.”
Blue Devils coach Michelle Titus knew her team was excited for the tournament.
“The girls were ready to play, they came out ready to play, they played hard the whole time. I was very impressed with them, they did a very good job.”
Titus also sees a connection between her team’s offensive performance and Callow’s solid outing.
“They feel very comfortable with her (Callow) in the circle, that’s a security for them,” she said. “They all have a job to do, and they do it.”
Jackson Milton (9-14) coach Tricia Bettura was disappointed that her team’s season ended, but was proud of the way her team battled this season.
“The seniors (Jordan Stratton and Taylor Sahli) worked hard for us all year long, they were great leaders on and off the field. I couldn’t ask for two better seniors.
“They played awesome this season.” Bettura said. “They worked hard, we were in games with teams that never was expected, and they played awesome. I can’t really ask for much more effort.”
Ward knows that things won’t be easier moving further into the tournament.
“No game is going to be easy, we have to work for it and play good defense every single game and just play every game hard.”
McDonald will take on East Palestine next Monday at Jackson-Milton Elementary.
Titus will have her team ready.
“I always tell the girls, it’s not about who you’re playing, it’s about you playing the best that you can, and you can beat any team out there,” she said. “It doesn’t matter who we play, you just have to give it everything you have.”