Mason Softball Headed For Showdown Against Local Rival Lebanon


The Mason Comet Softball team outlasted Wednesday's nasty weather to defeat Springboro 13-0 in 5 innings and punch their ticket to the OHSAA Regional Final. Mason will meet local foe and rival, Lebanon at noon this Saturday, back at Centerville for a trip to the State Final Four.

Junior left fielder Zoe Bishop hit a three-run home run – the fifth of six three-run homers hit in the two games, along with a grand slam – in Mason’s four-run first inning, and junior first baseman Elana Harrison added a three-run shot during the nine-run second inning in which 13 batters paraded to the plate.

Senior catcher Brooke Rice finished with two doubles and three runs batted in, and freshman third baseman Tori O’Brien added two RBI on a pair of singles. Five different Mason players each scored two runs. 

The cushion made senior right-hander Elle Buffenbarger’s life much easier. Springboro got one runner to third base against her, and that runner was promptly thrown out by shortstop sophomore shortstop Ali Weekley after straying too far toward home while Weekley was tracking down a popup behind second. Buffenbarger (23-3) followed up by striking out the last six batters she faced.

Saturday’s regional final matchup will be the fourth in the last five seasons for Mason, ranked fourth in the state coaches association Division I statewide poll and No. 2 in the Enquirer’s Division I coaches poll, and Lebanon, both polls’ champion and a 2-0 winner over the Comets on April 2. They also played a regional semifinal game in 2012. Mason reached the state semifinals last season.

Mason will take a 20-game winning streak into the game. The Warriors have reeled off 13 in a row. The Comets will be seeking their 6th overall Regional title and a return to the State Final Four.

The State Softball Semi-Finals are slated for June 1st at Akron Firestone Stadium at 12:30 pm. The Comets or Warriors will face the winner of the Hoover/Walsh Jesuit game.