Russia and Parkway will play for the second time in less than three weeks on Wednesday. This time, there’s a lot more on the line.
The Raiders and Panthers will meet in a Division IV regional semifinal at 5 p.m. at Northmont High School. SCORES, the Shelby County Online Radio Entertainment System, will broadcast the game. Airtime is scheduled for 4:30. Bryant Billing and Casey Matteson will be on the call.
Russia (18-7) was ranked No. 9 in Division IV in the final state coaches association poll of the season. The Raiders won their third consecutive district title in thrilling fashion on Friday, knocking off Southeastern 4-3 in extra innings.
Parkway (19-5) knocked off Midwest Athletic Conference rival Minster 6-2 on Thursday to advance. The Panthers lost a regular-season matchup 10-2 on April 11 to the Wildcats, which finished ranked No. 2 in the final state coaches association poll.
Parkway has four players with a batting average over .400. Paige Stephenson leads the squad with a .524 average and has 28 RBIs to her credit. Madison Louth has a .500 average and 20 RBIs and Brittyn Bruns has a .433 average. Meg Henkle has a .467 average with a team-high 40 RBIs and 42 runs.
Henkle is the team’s pitcher. She has a 3.10 ERA in the circle with 80 strikeouts in 97 innings of work.
Henkle pitched a complete game in Thursday’s win over Minster and gave up one earned run on five hits and six walks while striking out two batters. Stephenson was 3 for 4 at the plate while Adria Miller was 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs and two walks. Third baseman Emmery Temple, the team’s No. 9 hitter, blasted a two-run home run to center field in the fourth.
Russia senior pitcher Makena Hoying has an ERA of about 2.50. She has struck out over 120 batters in about 140 innings of work.
Hoying has a .355 batting average and .435 on-base percentage. Leadoff hitter Reese Goubeaux, a senior outfielder, has a .391 average. Senior infielder Cece Borchers has a .344 average and .449 on-base percentage. Saige Hoying, a sophomore infielder, has a team-best .421 average and .471 on-base percentage.
Hoying gave up one earned run in eight innings on seven hits and one walk on Friday against Southeastern. She was 2 for 4 at the plate with one double.
Russia and Parkway played a back-and-forth game in Rockford on May 5 until the sixth. The Raiders trailed 7-6 entering the inning but exploded for eight runs on five hits; they were helped by Henkle hitting two batters in the inning, and by Parkway committing two errors.
Riverside (15-10) is scheduled to face Three Rivers Conference rival Covington (27-4) in the first regional semifinal on Wednesday at Northmont. The Pirates and Buccaneers are scheduled to play at 2 p.m. The winner will advance to play the Russia/Parkway winner in a regional final at 5 p.m. on Friday at Northmont.
ScoresBroadcast.com carried Russia’s district final win over Southeastern on Friday and also broadcast the school’s baseball team on Monday. Russia’s baseball squad rallied in the seventh to earn a thrilling 6-5 victory over Newton in a district semifinal. The baseball squad is scheduled to face Miami Valley Christian Academy at Miamisburg High School in a game that is also scheduled for a 5 p.m. start.
Attempts were made to switch the starting times to allow Russia fans to attend both, but the school district said in a Tweet a participating school vetoed the time change.
Matteson will be calling his first game for SCORES on Wednesday. He co-owned a sports website and streaming service along with Billing in Clark and Champaign County from 2012 and 2016 and broadcast hundreds of events, including Springfield Kenton Ridge’s 2013 state softball run.
Matteson, a Marion Pleasant graduate, played baseball at Wright State from 1992 to 1995. He was a graduate assistant at Urbana University and has worked as an assistant and head coach of high school and middle school teams in several school districts, including Kettering City Schools, where he currently teaches.