AKRON — Most teams don’t get the chance to defend a state championship.
But the Champion Golden Flashes have done it twice in this decade, claiming their second straight title on Saturday in a 9-4 win over Cardington-Lincoln in the Division III state title game at Firestone Stadium.
The Champion softball program now has won eight state championships, including back-to-back titles in 2011-12. The Flashes also won in 2015.
“There are no words that can describe it. Those seniors — we couldn’t have done anymore for them to make this their final, exciting goodbye. They are going to be greatly missed,” Champion coach Cheryl Weaver said.
“When you think of the seniors, then I look over here (underclassmen Emma Gumont, Cassidy Shaffer and Allison Smith were to the right of Weaver), they played a heck of a game. We have a bright look even though we are losing some key players.”
The Flashes (31-0) blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ahead 2-1 and with one out, Abbi Grace singled, Megan Turner walked and then Shaffer singled in Grace for a 3-1 lead.
Abby White then singled to load the bases. Gumont unloaded the bases on a 1-0 pitch that she sent over the left-center field wall for a grand slam. Champion led 7-1 after five innings.
The All-American Conference is an OHSAA-sanctioned league, created in 2008 as the result of the merger between the Trumbull Athletic Conference and the Metro Athletic Conference in Ohio. The league has 21 different member schools, with 17 sports offered throughout fall, winter and spring sports seasons.