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Cardington Pirates High School Athletics



Cardington Back at Firestone

Cardington is making a second straight appearance in the division three state tournament and their goal is to bring the trophy home this time.

They lost to Wheelersburg (10-1) in the semis last year.

On Friday, the Lady Pirates (25-3) play Lore City Buckeye Trail (24-3) in a semifinal game.

Coach Tod Brininger says the experience they gained last year should help them on Friday. “We talked to the girls after the regional final game and earlier this week and they say they feel a lot more comfortable this year than they did last year because they have had that experience. So, hopefully it develops into a little longer run for us this year. We are not going to be so anxious and nervous when we get up there because we know what to expect,” he said.

Playing in the state softball tournament is unlike playing anywhere else, even the regional. Brininger says they now know what it is all about. “The crowds that show up at Firestone for these semifinal games are unbelievable. You have other teams watching you and you have other fans just hanging out, plus your own community, at least ours, really supports you. I am guessing Buckeye Trail is going to travel well as well, so I think it will be a packed house. Every pitch is cheered or commiserated over and every play is magnified. It is definitely a different experience for us and one we have been to, so if definitely helps the kids that have been there,” said Brininger.

Buckeye Trail beat Wheelersburg (4-3) in eight innings in a regional semi and then beat Byesville Meadowbrook (10-0) in the final. Brininger says they are lead by their pitching and defense. “I know they have a pretty good pitcher. They have a lot of seniors. They have had a heck of a run. They knocked off Wheelersburg, who was the number two team in the state, in a regional semifinal. Wheelersburg always puts out great teams,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “They have a number of kids that can hit home runs. Their pitcher is what everything revolves around. She has a little bit of a unique motion that we are going to have to contend with, but they are a very solid team up and down the order. They play pretty good defense. I saw a couple of plays by their leftfielder and centerfielder where they ran down balls that was pretty impressive.”

Published 5/31/18

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Cardington Plays Well When the Pressure is on

Cardington, the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference champion, faces Galion, of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, in the softball division three regional semifinals at Findlay High School on Wednesday evening.

The Lady Pirates have been one of the best programs in North Central Ohio in recent years and coach Tod Brininger says they have high expectations and so far they have been able to accomplish those. “The expectations with our kids have built over the last several years. We have been taking it step by step and the girls have been leading us this year, the seniors and the junior class. They have great expectations and we some really good sophomores mixed in. Casey Bertke, our pitcher, is a stud. Kierson George and Baylee Adams are studs and they support our seniors in Rylie Partlow and Brooklyn Whitt, and Ally Moore. They are just a bunch of really good players and they work extremely hard. We talked to them about our expectations at the beginning of the year. Their expectations are the same to get back to where we were last year,” said Brininger.

Cardington (22-3) beat Utica (7-6) in eight innings on Friday to win the district title. Brininger says his kids have responded well to adversity this spring. “We have had a couple of games this year that have been full of pain and agony for us it seems like. We have had a lot of adversity. We went up to Danville a couple of weeks ago and we had to win the game to win the league. We were in the top of the tenth tied. Another team in our league who was hoping we would lose was there cheering against us. We ended up playing four more innings and ended up winning it in the top of the 13 th inning with a couple of big hits,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday night, “The kids were smiling, they enjoy it. We try to put as much pressure on them in practice as we possibly can with the drills we do. There is always a cost of something if you don’t succeed. We challenge each other in the weight room and everyday in practice. I give all of the credit to them for enjoying the adversity and not running from it.”

Cardington advanced to the state semifinals last year before losing to Wheelersburg.

Galion (16-6) emerged from a tough district, beating Crestview (4-1) last Thursday.

Brininger says they have great respect for the Lady Tigers and they know they are going to have to play well. “Galion is a very good team. We played them last year and kind of beat up on them a little bit, but this year you can tell they are greatly improved. They are well coached. These kids have bought in to what he is trying to teach them I think. They improved greatly from last year to this year. We talked about them Friday night and we talked about them again (Monday) night. We are definitely not over confident with them. We know what they can do. We know they have gotten better over the last couple of weeks since we played them. So, we are just going to have to be on their “A” game to knock them off. It should be a heck of a game,” he said.

Published 5/22/18

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