‘We’ve found our stride’ — Madison cruises by Seven Hills for postseason victory


By Michael Marts, The Report

CINCINNATI — “When the dugout is loud, we tend to play better,” stated senior catcher Morgan Priest as the Madison Mohawks took an 11-0 victory over the Seven Hill Stingers on Wednesday night at Indian Hill.

With the win, the Mohawks move on in the OHSAA Division III state tournament for the first time since 2021.

Priest is happy for her club for advancing, but she said she wants more.

“It’s been a season of ups and downs,” Priest said, ‘but we’ve finally found our stride. This is the first postseason run we’ve made since my freshman year, and I’ve got a good feeling about it.”

The Mohawks were led by senior pitcher Baylee Constance, who threw a no-hitter in Wednesday’s contest and reached base three times.

“To be honest, going into the game, I was pretty nervous just because they’re such a big school,” Constance said. “After the first couple batters, I relaxed and got comfortable. There were a couple batters I knew were big hitters, and I threw them outside making them hit bloopers that we fielded easily.”

Before Wednesday’s contest, Seven Hills was winners of its last six and allowed five runs in that stretch. Constance believes Madison’s aggression helped the offense succeed.

“I think we confused them right off the bat as they probably saw their stats were better than ours and assumed the worst of us, only for us to come out aggressive,” Constance said. “According to their coach, tonight was the fastest pitching they’d face, so I’m sure they definitely threw them for a loop. We’re in two completely different leagues, and I really don’t think they expected us to jump on them the way we did, and it might’ve shaken their defense up.”

The first two innings in yesterday’s contest were going at an extreme pace, as Seven Hills pitcher Annie Katuska was going toe-to-toe with Constance.

First-year Madison head coach Jordyn Worley said Katuska’s speed was fooling the Mohawks.

“Annie Katuska is a great pitcher,” Worley said. “She has a nasty changeup that definitely gave us a run for our money. We had seven strikeouts as a team, and a good chunk of those was off a changeup. Her speed was inconsistent, and I think that threw us off tremendously. Once we went through the lineup one time, I think we started catching on and became super aggressive. When we have an aggressive mentality at the plate, we crush the ball.”

Despite going 7-11 in the regular season, Worley said Madison can keep it rolling.

“Carry the winning mentality and momentum with them as they move forward, survive and advance,” the coach said. “This is a special team to me. My first year, these seniors’ first time winning a tournament game since their freshman year and just a tremendous group of girls.

“I am honored to be their coach and look forward to Monday. If we stay aggressive and want the ball, want to win, they will do big things for Madison.”

The Mohawks will travel to second-seed Williamsburg on Monday to take on the Wildcats for a right to move on to the district championship.

Baylee has confidence her team’s momentum will carry over.

“Tonight’s game for sure made a huge impact moving forward to Williamsburg,” Constance said. “We really needed this win, and I think we’ll carry the energy and hard work we showed tonight into next week. Hopefully, we can stay on this high and get another win.”

Michael Marts is an Edgewood High School senior and a reporter for The Report.

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