Three-peat! Cruisers win third straight OCC softball championship

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Messenger photos by Rick Palsgrove
The Groveport Madison High School varsity softball team won its third straight Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division championship with an 11-4 victory over Newark in Groveport on April 29. The game featured home runs by Gabby Adams and Kendyll Cahill. Pictured here, from left to right, is the team celebrating their third consecutive title after the game: (first row) Lanie White, Kenzie Maddy, Ally Maddy, Taylor Hill, Lexi Wright; (second row) Assistant Coach Myron Kern, Daryion Smith, Milan Caldwell, Gabby Adams, Mikala Mullins, Macie Sporleder, Kendyll Cahill, and Head Coach Chris Downing.

It’s three championships in a row for the Groveport Madison Cruisers varsity softball team.

On April 29, the team won its third straight Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division title with an 11-4 win over Newark in Groveport. The win was reflective of the team’s season long success that features powerful and explosive hitting as well as potent pitching.

“It feels terrific,” said Cruiser head varsity softball coach Chris Downing after the game. “I told the players at the start of the season that Newark was the team to beat and we did it.”

When asked what propelled the Cruisers to the title, Downing said, “We outhit people and our pitching from Ally Maddy and Kendyll Cahill is precise. This team is resilient, relaxed, and the players are hard working.”

Cruiser rightfielder Taylor Hill runs down and catches a long fly ball hit by a Newark player.

Downing added the team’s hitting and offense, where the Cruisers scored in the double digits in runs in many games this season, is enhanced by the individual attention the players get in batting instruction from the team’s coaches, especially Assistant Coach Myron Kern.

Senior shortstop Lanie White, who is a team leader in batting average and home runs, said accumulating championships is the teams goal.

“It’s so exciting,” said White. “We’ve been looking forward to this since the beginning of the season. Three championships is so much better.”

Cruiser pitcher Ally Maddy concentrates as she fires in a pitch.
Cruisers’ third baseman Macie Sporleder (left) and shortstop Lanie White track down a ground ball.
Cruiser third baseman Macie Sporleder firing the ball to first baseman Milan Caldwell for a put out.
Cruiser first baseman Milan Caldwell gets ready to field a ground ball.
Cruiser second baseman Kenzie Maddy gets ready to make a play on a ground ball.
Cruiser Lanie White, one of the team’s leading hitters for average and home runs, at bat against Newark.
During pre-game batting practice prior to the game against Newark, Cruiser Lanie White tosses the ball in the air as teammate Lexi Wright prepares to swing and make contact.

White said the team has a strong work ethic and the older players help the younger players.

“Everyone on the team does what they need to do to win,” said White. “Everyone is clutch.”

The team now looks ahead to the upcoming Central District tournament.

More photos below.

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