Ontario wins 2-1 at Mid-Ohio Spring Classic


ONTARIO – John Davis could rest easy Friday night, and not because his fitness app informed him earlier in the day that he had walked 21,000 steps and climbed 28 flights of stairs.

For the first time in three years, the Mid-Ohio Spring Classic ran smoothly and Davis, the event organizer, couldn't have been happier.

“I slept well because I knew all the games were going to be played,” Davis said on a cool and breezy – and, most importantly, dry – Saturday morning. “This is the first time since 2021 that games have been played on Saturday.”

The tournament, formerly known as the Wendy's Spring Classic and played on the natural courts at Brookside Park and Brookside West in Ashland for the past 30 years, was moved to the artificial turf surfaces at Marshall Park this year.

A handful of games were played at the Ontario high school field on Saturday and the Warriors, who were 2-1 and placed fifth in the eight-team Red Pool, served as the host school.

“I graduated from Bucyrus High School and I remember we were excited when we got the invitation to go to Wendy's,” said Jamee Burke, Ontario's first-year coach. “The fact that we have this here in Ontario is huge.

“It’s exciting for our girls because it kind of feels like a home game and you get to see some of the best competition in the state.”

The Warriors opened the tournament on Friday with a 9-2 loss to Marlington. Ontario bounced back with a 10-6 win over Loudonville on Friday and capped its tournament with a 14-2 win over Hubbard on Saturday.

“Participating in a tournament like this will help us prepare for the postseason,” Burke said. “Even the format is similar. After the first game you don’t really know who you’re going to play against.”

Lebanon, ranked ninth in Division I in the Softball Coaches Association's first state poll, won the Red Pool with a 3-0 record. The Warriors defeated Massillon Perry 16-2 in the championship game.

Loudonville defeated Ashland 12-2 in the seventh-place Red Pool game. The Redbirds were 1-2 over the weekend while the Arrows were 0-3.

Anthony Wayne, ranked third in Division I, won the White Pool championship with a 4-0 victory over Portsmouth Notre Dame, ranked No. 4 in Division IV. Anthony Wayne, ranked No. 11 nationally, was 3-0.

Danville, ranked fifth in Division IV, was 2-1 in fifth place in White Pool. The Blue Devils missed their opener against Notre Dame but bounced back with a 9-0 win over Mathews and an 18-1 victory over Hillsdale in the fifth-place game on Saturday.

The Falcons, making their 30th appearance at the event, were 1-2. Hillsdale lost to Upper Sandusky on Friday before defeating Elyria 12-1 in the early game on Saturday.

“We always enjoy coming to the tournament because we see really good competition,” said Hillsdale coach Hannah Moore, who attended the event as a player and coach. “Not being able to play in recent years has been a big disappointment for all teams.

“Getting to play games this year was great.”

Two-time defending Division IV champion Strasburg won the four-team Blue Pool round-robin tournament. The Tigers were 3-0.