of Education member Ben Studebaker handed out diplomas Saturday
after the Lave Wave
loss to LaGrange Keystone. With the seniors not
being able to attend their graduation, the graduation
came to the
seniors. CNO Photos by Dylan Knoop
seniors get diplomas early
Emotions run high
By George Starks
AKRON- It was supposed to have been a surprise but the cat was long out
of the bag.
Win or lose, there was no way the Greenville Lady Wave seniors were
going to make their graduation ceremonies. A 4 p.m. starting time in
Akron for the D-II state title in softball guaranteed they would never
get back in time.
So the next best thing happened. Board of Education member Ben
Studebaker brought the diplomas, caps and gowns to the six girls and
one boy, that being the twin brother of Paige Wolter, Storm.
Along with Wolter, Ashley Hanes, Kelly Martin, Kayla Harshbarger, Kate
McDermitt and Taylin French received their diplomas after a heart
breaking 7-2 loss to the Keystone Wildcats.
It may have been an odd place to graduate but for two seniors, it was
the perfect place.
“I really could have cared less if I walked with my class today,” said
Hanes. “This is where I wanted to be today. I live for this game and to
be honest, I would rather be married on a softball field than in a
Those sentiments were shared by Wolter.
“I agree with Ashley,” said Wolter. “We have lived for this day and the
right to play for the state championship. We grew up together dreaming
of this day and it came. We wanted to be here today. We wouldn’t have
any other way.”
Hanes also talked about her day in the circle.
“My curveball was working well for me today,” said Hanes. “I would say
it was starting to drop a little and they were going after it.”
Over the course of the season, Coach Jerrod Newland praised the ability
of his senior pitcher to move the ball around and hit her spots.
Saturday was no different.
“I am so proud of my my kids,” Newland said. “Ashley was moving the
ball well. I can’t be any more proud of her. I’m proud of the way they
pitch and catch. The 112 wins over the last four years for my senior
class is great. Bottom line, we booted the ball a couple of times, gave
them extra bases and the worse case scenario is we should have been up
2-1 going into the bottom of the sixth. We had them on the ropes.”
Going into the top of the sixth, Keystone coach Jim Piazza gave his
kids the speech to motivate them by saying, “if we don’t make the
adjustments here, it’s over.”
That was complimenting Hanes and her abilities in the circle.
That’s what good teams do,” said Newland. “Jim’s one of the best
coaches in the state and his track record speaks for itself. He’s won
300 games in 10 years. He’s done a great job. When you have an
offensive team with those batters, you better adjust and they did. The
way we saw it was, we come from small-town U.S.A. and Keystone had to
beat us. All the pressure was on them. They hadn’t lost all year. Of
the 90 minute movie I watched, 82 minutes were pretty darn good. I
can’t replay the final eight minutes and I apologize for that but we
left it on the field. Bottom line, the better team won. I’m proud of my
seniors. They’ve made it to the final four twice in four years. All
year we’ve said, ‘No Excuses’ so there are no excuses today. We lined
up, played the game and got the short end of the stick today.”
With tear filled eyes, the two seniors also talked about the Wave coach.
“I love Jerrod,” said Hanes. “A lot of people think he’s a jerk, but if
he were taking over a college program, I would go play for him.”
Newland closed by saying he had no plans to leave Greenville softball.
senior Taylin French is out at the plate, trying to score in
the second inning of the
Wave loss to Keystone in Akron. French was one
of the seven recieving diplomas Saturday.
2012 Greenville graduates in Akron from left to right are Storm and
Kate McDermitt, Kelly Martin, Taylin French, Kayla
Harshbarger and Ashley Hanes.