It’s not over, it’s just getting started.
As the Tinora Lady Rams saw their season come to an end in the Regionals against powerhouse Cardington-Lincoln, that’s the first thing that entered my mind as the Lady Rams post-game huddle started in shallow right field, led by first-year coach Tony Fairchild starting the post-game message.
After a promising 2021 season, 14-7 overall, 6-1 GMC, the Lady Rams looked to make a mark in the 2022 season, and what a mark they would wind up making.
Did anyone think the Lady Rams would end up in the Sweet 16, playing in the DIV III Regional Semifinals? Probably not, but what a ride it was in 2022 for the Tinora lady Rams softball team.
In a season full of highlights, the Lady Rams journey began back on February 21 as the season’s official start began. The weather would be the worst enemy of the Lady Rams early on, as they spent most of their days inside practicing, just waiting for a decent day to hit the field.
After a season opening loss at Bowling Green, the Lady Rams rebounded to get their first win of the season, a 13-0 shutout at Patrick Henry over the Patriots. Sophomore Scylea Zolman would pick up the first of her 18 wins on the season, Zolman would also throw the first no-hitter of the season in the Lady Rams 13-0 win. The win was the first for coach Fairchild.
Game three saw the lone Tinora senior, Quinn Horn, hit a ninth inning game winning homerun at Elmwood, giving Tinora a 4-3 win.
A rematch with Lexi North and the Otsego Knights waited the Lady Rams in game four. Last season, the Knights knocked Tinora from the OHSAA tournament. This season, coach Fairchild would use this as a gauge as to where his Lady Rams stood against the upper tier competition. After a tight first three innings, North and the Knights would leave Tinora with a 10-0 win. Would the Lady Rams get a rematch?
As the GMC season started in game six, the Lady Rams hosted a long time nemesis, the Fairview Apaches, to kickoff conference play. Last season, the Lady Rams lone conference loss was to the eventual OHSAA State Champion Apaches. This time around, Tinora looked to turn the tables in their favor. On a spectacular Tuesday at THS, the Lady Rams would defeat Fairview, 3-0. Scylea Zolman would fire a one hitter against the Lady Apaches, ending their 33 game conference winning streak.
This win would give this young Tinora club the confidence they could play and beat anyone.
As the conference race was heating up, Tinora looked to stay in front of the pack as they head across the river to take on the Lady Pilots. Devona Holmes and Quinn Horn supplied Tinora with a four run third inning, sending the Lady Rams back home with a 4-0 win and a 9-2 overall record, a 4-0 GMC mark. Zolman with 17 K’s and her eight win in the River Rivalry victory.
A trip to Paulding was in store for the Lady Rams late April. With the Lady Rams still leading the GMC race, Tinora and Paulding were scoreless as Logan McQuillin headed to the plate in the top of the sixth inning. McQuillin sent a deep drive over the fence, giving the Lady Rams a 1-0 win.
After the game, the Lady Rams would find out Wayne Trace, who was in the running for the GMC title, lost to Antwerp. The combination sent the Tinora home with the 2022 GMC Championship, their first since 2018.
The Lady Rams ended the regular season at 13-3 as they were awarded the #3 seed in their district.
Tinora opened up the postseason with a 8-2 home win over Swanton.
Up next in the Sectional Finals was the Genoa Comets. The Lady Rams eliminated the Comets last season in the postseason. Sophomore Scylea Zolman was again in the mix of the action. In a scoreless game, Zolman headed to the plate in the bottom of the fifth. Scylea sent a towering blast over the left field fence, giving the Lady Rams the lead, Zolman would pick up the win as the Lady Rams advanced to the Districts.
Up first was Eastwood for Tinora in the District Semifinals. In a déjà vu moment, Zolman again stepped up to the plate, this time Tinora trailed 1-0 in the fifth. Zolman erased the deficit, and the Lady Rams moved on to the District Finals with a 3-1 win.
Otsego was up next for the Lady Rams in the District Finals. Otsego knocked the Lady Rams out of the tourney last season, as well as defeated Tinora 10-0 earlier in the season.
In an epic battle, Otsego’s Lexi North and the Lady Rams Zolman both battled to the 10th inning. With the score tied at 1, Anna Frazier knocked in Quinn Horn with the winning run as the Lady Rams advanced to the Regional Semifinals with a 2-1 win.
Cardington-Lincoln would be up next for the Lady Rams in the Regional Finals. The powerhouse Lady Pirates came away with the win, but the Lady Rams realized what it takes to get to the next level.
Although the Lady Rams season ended on a sunny Tuesday in Elida in late May, the girls had a heck of a season. The Tinora Lady Rams finished at 19-5, 7-0 in the GMC, and had great a ride, proving they can play with almost anyone in the area.
The Lady Rams first year coach Tony Fairchild certainly deserves a look for coach of the year honors, while pitcher Scylea Zolman should receive a good share of votes for Player of the Year in the area.
While most of the Lady Rams will return, one senior will move on to better things. The Lone Tinora senior Quinn Horn will graduate and become a freshman at Muskingum University. Quinn supplied the Lady Rams with leadership and so much more this season, she will truly be missed by all when the 2023 season rolls around.
A few season highlights below:
A few of the notable team related items the girls accomplished:
Tied for most wins in a season in Tinora history (19)
Undisputed GMC Champs (7-0)
Hit 30 home runs as a team
Ranked 15th in state for most home runs in a season as a team
Pitching leader: Scylea – 18 wins, 226 K’s
Average leader: Devona Holmes .478
RBI leader Devona – 31 RBI
Home Runs – Devona – 8
Steals – Anna Frazier – 26
The lone senior—Quinn Horn .460 Average, 6 HR, 23 RBI
We’ll miss you, Quinn.
It was an honor to cover you girls this season, keep getting better this summer and come back stronger in 2023.
Thanks to all our sponsors, and a special thanks to AJ for all the great help.
FINAL 2022 Standings
Listen back to the games below:
Check out the season’s articles below: