Written by J. Patrick Eaken
May 16, 2008
Former Clay softball player Mollie Berry helped Wright State win their league tournament in Chicago, which earned them a berth in the NCAA regional tournament in Ann Arbor.
Another Oregon girl, Alyssa Frobase (St. Ursula), plays for Kent State, which opened the same Ann Arbor NCAA regional against Notre Dame.
At the Horizon League tournament, Wright State scored single runs in the second and third innings to win their second straight Horizon League championship with a 2-0 decision over Cleveland State at the Loyola Softball Park in Chicago.
WSU scored a run in the second as, with two outs, Berry tripled to right and came in to score a pitch later as the delivery from Cleveland State pitcher Amanda Macenko went off the glove of Viking catcher Haley Keller for a passed ball. Berry, a freshman outfielder, was chosen to the All-Tournament Team.
Wright State takes a 33-24 mark into the NCAA Regionals, which will begin May 16 as the Raiders take on Michigan (48-6) at 7 p.m. at the Wilpon Softball Complex in Ann Arbor.
For the season, Berry is batting .266 (38-for-143) in her first season looking at Division I college pitching. She has eight doubles, three triples, six home runs, 18 RBI, and a slugging percentage of .490.
At Clay, Berry was a First Team Division I All-State selection as a junior and senior after being named to the Honorable Mention Team as a sophomore. She hit .495 with 34 runs scored, 35 stolen bases and 19 RBI in 2007. Clay finished 23-4, won the Toledo City League title and advanced to the district finals, and Berry was a three-time all-district, all-city and all-league performer. She holds Clay’s school records for stolen bases in a season and career (74), career hits (143) and hits in a game (5).
The Kent State softball team will continue its record-breaking season after becoming Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament champions. Kent will be making their second trip in the last three years to the University of Michigan for the NCAA Tournament’s Regional rounds.
The Golden Flashes (44-10) will take on Notre Dame (37-20-1) Friday in its opening round game. The winner of the double elimination weekend will advance to the NCAA Super Regional May 23-24.
Frobase, a sophomore first baseman, has played in 10 games, with two starts. As a freshman, she appeared in 18 games making 12 starts. She belted a three-run double in her only plate appearance of the day against UNC-Greensboro and had a perfect day at the plate going 2-for-2 with one RBI vs. Rhode Island.
Frobase recorded her first home run of her Kent State career vs. Bowling Green last season, went went 2-for-3 vs. Princeton (3/25), and finished her initial season hitting .250 with nine runs scored, five RBI and one home run in 36 at-bats.
The 2006 St. Ursula All-City and All-Ohio shortstop frequently credits her cousin, Amy Kyler, for helping her become a standout softball player. She also said her father, Joe Frobase, had a lot to do with motivating her to reach out and help others become better players.
“My dad learned the game so he could teach me,” said Frobase, whose older sister, Heather, played softball at Clay. “A lot of my inspiration is my cousin. She was an assistant coach at Bowling Green, Cleveland State, and Purdue. She helped give me lessons growing up and I looked up to her.”
Joe Frobase said he, in turn, was blessed to have a physically gifted (Alyssa is 5-foot-9) daughter who enjoys playing the game.
“She's just a really special girl,” he said. “She's always been able to run faster, she was stronger...She's a pretty driven girl and she won't take a back seat. She'll get right in there. She's done a great job.”
In high school, Frobase led the St. Ursula Academy Arrows to the 2004 Division I State Championship, smacking the game-winning hit in the sixth inning of the championship game. She was an all-state first team player as a junior, and as a freshman, she helped lead the Arrows to the Toledo City League Championship and a district runner-up finish (22-7-1). She also gained numerous accolades nationally in travel softball programs.
Owens Community College will offer area girls’ basketball players ages 8-15 the Express Girls “Summer Slam” Individual Basketball Camp, June 23-26, each day from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. in the College’s Student Health and Activities Center.
Camp instructors will include the Owens Express women’s basketball coaching staff and current players. The Express women’s basketball program is led by Head Coach Mike Llanas and completed their season with a 23-10 overall record and finished tied for second in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (10-4 record). Llanas’ squad, which was ranked No. 28 in the final NJCAA Division II poll, lost to Mott Community College in the finals of the NJCAA Region XII Championships.
Parents and coaches are invited to attend the camp to listen and observe at no additional charge. The camp fee is $75 per player, which includes a t-shirt and awards. Call 567-661-7941 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, ext. 7941.