Lady Big Red hungry for more

Logan Greszler • May 25, 2016 at 11:09 PM

PLYMOUTH — For the second straight season and second time in school history, the Plymouth softball team has earned a chance to play in the Division IV regional semi-final game.

On Friday, the Lady Big Red, the top seed at the Shelby district, defeated Lucas 3-1 in a hard-fought district final in order to advance to the regional tournament.

They are heading back to Kent State University and will face Lisbon David Anderson at 5 p.m. Thursday in the regional semifinal.

Bristoville Bristol (15-9) took on Hillsdale (22-3) Wednesday in the regional semifinal.

The winners will go back to Kent for the regional final at noon Saturday with a trip to the state tournament on the line.

Plymouth, which had a 17-11 mark last year, suffered a 12-2 loss in six innings to Cuyahoga Heights at the same point.

However, now there’s a clean slate.

This time around, first-year head coach Tracy Arnold has led the Lady Red to a 21-4 record, including a Firelands Conference title — its first since 2003.

“We’re really excited,” Arnold said. “We have to stick to our game-plan and play our ‘Big Red Ball’ as we’ve always talked about. The girls have stayed even-keeled throughout this ride and we just need to keep humble and play our game, believe in each other, pick each other up and just know that we can do this.”

One major reason Plymouth has reached back-to-back regional tournaments is pitcher Addyson Horne.

Horne has amassed an outstanding 254 strikeouts while allowing just 53 runs, including 24 earned.

“Last year we came in and it was a huge surprise to us,” Horne said. “We didn’t expect it at all. We never had gotten that far before, but we knew this year we were even better and that we definitely could do it again. That’s what we’ve been striving for all season. We know we have to fight for it.”

Leading the the Lady Red at the plate this season is Tristen Wiley, who sports a .478 batting average.

Also making her presence known is Callie Jones, who leads the team will five home runs, including a two-run shot in the district final that proved to be the game-winner.

Jones was also a late-comer to the team and has only played in only 13 games.

“I’m really excited,” Jones said. “I know that I need to stay relaxed in order to do my job at the plate. We need to stay hungry and just keep our focus the way we have all season.”

Lisbon David Anderson, the top seed in the Berlin Center district, defeated Wellsville 7-1, Jackson-Milton 5-4 and Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas 4-2 to reach the regional.

“This team is amazing when it comes to having each other’s backs and playing as a family,’’ Horne said. “When one seemed to go down, there was always someone there to pick them up. All in all, I can’t be more proud of this team.”

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