Consider the Lady Falcons the latest version of the new kids on the block.
Wahama — led by eight different first-time selections — won the program’s first-ever outright league title while accounting for half of the 16 Ohio Valley Publishing area choices on the 2017 All-Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division softball team, as voted on by the coaches within the league.
The Lady Falcons (14-2) put together their historic title run by basically hanging tough, as the Red and White overcame a 5-2 start with nine consecutive league wins — including an all-important sweep of Eastern — en route to the program’s third overall softball crown.
WHS — which shared TVC Hocking titles with EHS in 2012 and 2013 — became the first team since Belpre in 2011 to win an outright championship in the TVC Hocking not named Eastern. The Lady Eagles had won at least a share of the last five league crowns before this past spring.
Wahama led the all-league squad with seven player selection and also had a separate award-winner in first-year skipper Mike Wolfe, who was chosen as the 2017 Coach of the Year.
Two of the seven first-time recipients for the Lady Falcons are seniors Taylor McGrew and Cynthia Hendrick, both of whom served as pitchers and utility players.
Four sophomores — Maddy VanMatre, Ashtyn Russell, Hannah Billups and Emily VanMatre — were named to the team for the first time, as was freshman Hannah Rose. Of those five, only Emily VanMatre was a non-infielder.
In the race for second place, there was a tie between Eastern and Belpre with identical 13-3 league marks. BHS came away with five selections, while the Lady Eagles had only three representatives.
EHS junior Sidney Cook and senior Katlyn Barber were both repeat selections to this year’s squad, with Cook also being named the Offensive Most Valuable Player. Cook played shortstop and Barber was an outfielder.
Eastern junior Elaina Hensley also garnered her first all-league selection as a pitcher.
Southern (9-7) came away with a fifth place effort in the final league standings and earned three selections, including a repeat honor for junior catcher Paige VanMeter.
Junior pitcher Syndey Cleland and junior third baseman Jaiden Roberts both earned their first all-league choices in softball.
South Gallia (0-16) was the lone winless team in the nine-team league, which landed the Lady Rebels only two all-league choices in pitchers Maddie Simpson and Keirsten Howell.
Simpson — a senior — is a repeat selection from a year ago, while Howell landed her first softball honor as a junior.
Fourteen of the 33 ladies chosen to the 2017 All-TVC Hocking softball team were repeat selections from a year ago.
Belpre junior Katie Osburn — one of those repeat honorees — was also named the league’s Defensive Most Valuable Player this spring.
The TVC Hocking baseball teams will be released in the Friday sports editions of the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, Point Pleasant Register and The Daily Sentinel.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
2017 All-TVC Hocking softball team
WAHAMA (14-2): Hannah Rose, Fr, SS; Maddy VanMatre, So, C; Ashtyn Russell, So, 3B; Taylor McGrew, Sr, P; Cynthia Hendrick, Sr; 1B; Hannah Billups, So, 2B; Emily VanMatre, So, CF.
EASTERN (13-3): Sidney Cook*, Jr, SS; Katlyn Barber*, Sr, OF; Elaina Hensley, Jr, P.
BELPRE (13-3): Katie Osburn*, Jr, P-SS; Lauryn Simmons*, Jr, 3B; Madison Harman*, Jr, P-OF; Bri Elkins*, Sr, 1B; Sydney Hall, Sr, C.
WATERFORD (11-5): Denise Young*, So, C-1B; Madison Ohse*, Sr, 1B-OF; Marissa Neader, Fr, SS-C; Sydney Hall, Sr, OF.
SOUTHERN (9-7): Paige VanMeter*, Jr, C; Sydney Cleland, Jr, P; Jaiden Roberts, Jr, 3B.
FEDERAL HOCKING (5-11): Tyra Mayle*, Jr, 3B-C; Skylar Hatfield*, Sr, SS-3B; Taylor Gillian, Jr, CF.
TRIMBLE (5-11): Brianna Lunsford, Jr, P; Alyssa Turley*, Jr, 1B; Rhiannon Brown, Jr, 2B.
MILLER (2-14): Josie Perani, So, 1B-C; Chloe Rine*, Jr, C; Lacey Alexander, Jr, 2B.
SOUTH GALLIA (0-16): Maddie Simpson*, Sr, P; Keirsten Howell, Jr, P.
Sidney Cook, Eastern.
Katie Osburn, Belpre.
Coach of the Year:
Mike Wolfe, Wahama.
* — indicates repeat selection from 2016 team.