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Austintown Fitch Secures 1st Ever Softball State Title; Downs Anthony Wayne 6-1


Pregame Festivities ahead of the Division 1 State Championship Game.


Akron, OH - There's a first time for everything. First steps, first words, the list goes on and on. For the Austintown Fitch Falcons, June 3, 2023 will be etched in the memory of Falcons fans' minds for generations to come.


The State Championship Trophy


On a hot and sunny afternoon from Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio, the Falcons put their undefeated record for the season on the line for the grandest prize of all in OHSAA Division 1 softball. The only thing standing in their way was the 28-5 Anthony Wayne Generals, from Whitehouse, OH in Lucas County (Greater Toledo Area). The Falcons turned to their ace, sophomore Sydnie Watts, as they have for the majority of the season to get them to this point.


The Generals would get on the board first, with Megan Sumner getting a single and bringing lead-off hitter Abby Kennelly, who led the bottom of the 1st off with a walk, home. It would be the only blemish on the day for Watts and the Falcons.


They tied the game in the top half of the 3rd, when freshman Kylie Folkwein snuck a single through the right side of the infield into right field with runners on 1st and 2nd. The game would remain deadlocked at 1 as the game entered the 5th.


On the first pitch of the inning, Falcon lead-off hitter Ayla Ray sent a moonshot to right, clearing the fence with ease. Ray raised her right hand to the sky as she began her trot, knowing she had just broken the tie with the dinger. The scoring wouldn't stop there for the Mahoning County school. With a runner on third, it was Folkwein again coming through, this time with a 3-bagger. A few moments later, Folkwein took full advantage of a rattled Generals team when the toss back to the pitcher was mishandled and trickled towards short, making the score 4-1.


The misfortune wouldn't stop there for the team from Northwest Ohio, as Sam Severn would scamper home on a wild pitch that sailed high to the backstop, giving the Falcons a comfortable 5-1 lead heading to the bottom half of the 5th. The Falcons would tack on another insurance run in the 7th, but Watts wouldn't need it.


The Falcons await the Trophy Presentation.


On the afternoon, Watts allowed only 2 hits while striking out 12. She did issue 4 free passes and ended the game with 131 pitches. In the school's second Finals appearance (they came up just short in 1993).


A team photo following the Trophy Presentation.




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