By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
Editor’s Note: This story will appear in Wednesday’s Miami Valley Today
Edison State Community College (7.90 avg.) claimed its highest finish in school history in OCCAC All-Sports competition, coming in at No. 2 thanks to a top-4 placement in all five sports. Charger men’s basketball and baseball were conference runner-ups while women’s basketball and softball cracked the top-3.
“This year’s student-athletes had a lot of athletic talent but also remained focused on getting good grades and excelling in the classroom,” Edison State Athletic Director Nate Cole said. “I want to congratulate each and every Edison State student-athlete and coach on a job well-done. I look forward to seeing what 2019-20 brings,.”
The award is tallied by issuing points to schools based on their place of finish in each OCCAC-sponsored sport and dividing that total by the number of sports at each respective school.
Conference champions earn 10 points, second place earns nine and so on. Ties are divided (i.e. – a two-way tie for second place would result in both schools receiving 8.5 points; a three-way tie for second would give each team 8.0 points).
Sophomore Layne Riley, of Dayton was named First Team All-OCCAC for Edison State.
Riley, a 6-foot-3-inch pitcher/infielder, had a 3.24 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 50 innings pitched for the Chargers.
He hit .345 and struck out only five times in 116 at-bats.
“Layne is a top tier talent both in the field and on the mound,” Edison State baseball coach Tyler Koch said. “He started at second base, pitched in the fall, and transitioned into a dominant third baseman–and was statistically our best arm.
“Layne set the single-season record at Edison State for most wins in a season with six and most strikeouts in a single season with 80.”
Riley was also named OCCAC Pitcher of the Week during the season and was the recipient of a humanitarian award for helping a disabled gentleman at the Lorain County game.
Representing the women’s softball team, Wendy Hawk, of Washington Court House, Lexi Romine, of Enon, and Mackenzie Smith, of St. Paris, were all named to the All-OCCAC Team.
The Lady Chargers were three of 14 members named to the team.
Wendy Hawk, a 5-foot-6-inch sophomore, maintained a .383 batting average with hit five home runs, 30 RBIs, 30 runs scored, and seven stolen bases with the Lady Chargers.
“Wendy stepped right in and made us better because of her versatility,” said former Edison State softball coach Dan Cain. “She played numerous positions but spent about three-quarters of the season at third base. She was a threat hitting the ball and led the team in home runs. Wendy was a great teammate who everyone loved to be around.”
Lexi Romine, a 5-foot-8-inch right-handed pitcher, maintained a 4.35 ERA and had 74 strikeout in 19 appearances during her sophomore season at Edison State.
“Lexi was the top go-getter. She has been a two-year starter for us, and this season she was healthy all year which made a big difference,” said Cain.
“She played multiple positions and was our number-one pitcher. We could always count on her to do a good job. The way she treated her teammates along with her versatility will be missed next season.”
Mackenzie Smith, a 5-foot-1-inch catcher for the Lady Chargers was also named to the All-Conference Team.
In 32 games played, Smith maintained a .362 batting average with one home run, 18 RBIs, 23 runs scored, and six stolen bases.
“Mackenzie was the first softball recruit at Edison State,” said Cain. “She always gave her all on the field as catcher and our leadoff hitter. Other coaches and umpires often noticed and complimented the way she did things.”
“We’ll have holes to fill next year without these three as well as the other sophomores. They were all a huge part of tripling our wins in the second year of the program. They’re good kids who are goal oriented. They will do well in life.”
Edison State Community College had 27 athletes who were honored as All-OCCAC Academic for the spring quarter.
“Performing well on the court or field and in the classroom is not an easy task,” Cole said. “But, this group proved they were up to the challenge. I congratulate each of them.”
They included the following:
Baseball: Jacob Clements, Cooper Denney, Chase Humphrey, Casey Jones, Joey Pryor, Dylan Welch, Kolby Wooten.
Men’s Basketball: Jaedyn Carter.
Women’s Basketball: Lauryn Gray, Brogan McIver, Rebekah New, Sarah Pothast, Emily Powell, Kennadie Reese, Marin Reis, Clair Schmitmeyer, Kayla Tullis.
Softball: Chelsea Gill, Wendy Hawk, Sophia Mueller, Alexis Romine, Victoria Smith, Hallie Snyder, Maddison Weaver, Madison White.
Volleyball: Leah Herdman, Whitney Pleiman.