The Versailles Republican Sports
July 19, 2007

Undefeated thru '07 season, Hopewell Baptist team claims
Ohio Rod Coed Church Softball League and Playoff Championship

Gary Franklin - Sports Editor
The Ohio Rod sponsored coed summer church softball league ended on Saturday, July 14, with the Hopewell Baptist team collecting the first place hardware for both the league and the playoffs. This year's league was under the direction of Ryan Detmer, both as the league manager for Ohio Rod and handling the home plate umpire duties for the games.
The league, consisting of seven teams, played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and wound up their double elimination playoff tournament over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday action, July 12-14.
Saturday's final championship contest proved to be an exciting conclusion to the season, as by a score of 5-4 the Hopewell Baptist team claimed the title over the Dabney Baptist team.
The game remained scoreless through four innings, but Thom Conover hit a solo home run to put Hopewell in the scoring column. The team rallied to add three more runs before being retired in the bottom of the fifth.
Dabney responded in the top of the sixth inning with a rally for four runs to tie the game. On Hopewell's next at bat, Thom Conover struck again to put the Hopewell team back on top at 5-4, which was the back breaker and the final score at game's end.
Beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, Dabney defeated Olean 12-2, then Ohio Rod 12-1 working themselves into the championship game from the loser's bracket. (Hopewell had put them there on Friday night's opener at 5:30 p.m. by a score of 14-3.) At 7:30, Dabney defeated Zenas, to keep their hopes alive for a championship game run.
Addressing the championship game play, Dabney Coach Ray Tucker stated, "Excellent plays were made throughout the contest by various players from both teams, including a home run robbing catch by Jake Sipples as he pulled a Brad Samples over the fence hit back into the field for a long out." "Dave Sipples also covered the third base needs for Dabney with expertise, as did Chris Buchanan at short stop." "Pitching by Hopewell behind Jason Hughes was hard to get a handle on early and the defensive efforts of Brad Samples at short stop among others was a sight to watch." "I found it to be one of the best games I have ever watched," added Tucker.
Final results of the tournament were: Hopewell Baptist - 1st, Dabney Baptist - 2nd, Ohio Rod - 3rd, Olean Lutheran - 4th, Friends of Faith - 5th, Zenas Baptist - 6th and West Fork Baptist - 7th.
Final league standings were: Hopewell Baptist - 1st, Olean Lutheran - 2nd, Ohio Rod - 3rd, Dabney Baptist - 4th, Zenas Baptist - 5th, Friends of Faith - 6th and West Fork Baptist - 7th.

The '07 Ohio Rod Summer Coed Church Softball League and Playoff Champion Hopewell Baptist team is pictured above, front from left: Josh Schmidt, Darren Speer, Justin Beach, Lori Samples, Alyssa Habart, Kristi Moore and Robert Adams. Standing: Dave Osborne, Tim Mills, Steve Franklin, Ryan Lauber, Jason Hughes, Matt McNew, Thom Conover and Brad Samples. Not pictured are Kayla Franklin, Taylor Shivers, Preston Harrell and Renee Adams.