Clay softball coach Brenda Radabaugh was optimistic before the season began. She had reason to be.
The 2013 Three Rivers Athletic Conference champions returned 10 letter winners, including Three Rivers Athletic Conference player of the year Honnah Susor, a Division I honorable mention All-Ohio selection.
This year, the senior outfielder is first team All-Ohio after batting .592 (58 for 98) with 58 hits, 62 runs, seven home runs, 46 RBIs, and 36 stolen bases. Susor was voted the Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Slugger of the Year in voting by 10 area coaches and four media members.
Also getting votes for the All-Press top offensive honor were Eastwood senior first baseman Cassidy Rolf, a Division II All-Ohio second team selection, Northwood senior Alyson Siebert, and Cardinal Stritch junior Drew Fancher, but Susor got 10 of 14 nods in open voting.
Susor is joined on the All-Ohio team by classmate Brooke Gallaher, a second team all-state senior pitcher who went 16-2 with a 2.23 ERA, who is also first team All-Press.
The Eagles not only defended their TRAC championship, they went on to post a 28-3 overall record and were a perfect 14-0 in the league.
Radabaugh, who has a record of 291-98 in 14 years at Clay, and 444-156 overall, saw her team lose a regional semifinal to Elyria, 8-6, in extra innings. She is the Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Co-Coach of the Year, tying in voting with Eastwood coach Joe Wyant.
Eastwood finished 21-2 and defeated Elmwood in what became the Northern Buckeye Conference championship game at the end of the season. It’s pretty much been the Eagles and Royals at the top of league action for the past six years, dating back to the Suburban Lakes League days.
The Eagles won league titles in 2014, 2012 and '09 while the Royals have claimed the top spot in '10, '11 and '13 with Eastwood finishing second all three times.
Finishing close behind Radabaugh and Wyant in All-Press COY voting was Oak Harbor coach Chris Rawski, and Gibsonburg coach Marty Brown and Woodmore coach Aaron Clouse also got votes.
All-Press Pitcher of the Year honors went to another first team All-Ohio pick, Woodmore senior Madeline Phillips.
Phillips, in 154.2 innings, struck out 212 batters and gave up just 26 earned runs while posting a 1.18 ERA. She got exactly 50 percent of the votes.
Splitting the other 50 percent were Gallaher, Fancher, and Eastwood senior Sam Shirling.
This is the first year that coaches were allowed to vote for the All-Press teams in baseball and softball. Previously, honors were carried over from league awards, but coaches told The Press that voting would present a more realistic representation of which players really deserve to be honored.