McFarland led Champion to 2nd softball title 40 years ago


For the second time in the tournament's first three years, Champion won the state crown

Champion Golden Flashes High School Softball

Credit: cmannphoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Forty years ago this month, the Champion Golden Flashes’ softball team won their second state title in 1980. Coach Pat McCutcheon’s group outscored their opposition (two opponents) in Ashland by a combined score of 24-2 – which included their championship game victory over Jamestown Greeneview, 11-1.

Leading up to the Final Four, Champion won the Chagrin Falls Region by dominating Perry – 27-2 – in the semifinal and then edged Akron Manchester – 8-6 – to punch their ticket to the Class 2A State Tournament.

Champion met Pomeroy Meigs in the semifinal. Pitcher Sharon McFarland received plenty of support as the Flashes finished with 13 hits (4 players had multiple hit days) and scored 13 runs as Champion won, 13-1. McFarland allowed just 2 hits and struck out 4 batters in 7 innings of work. McFarland went 4 for 4 and closed out her day with 3 RBIs. Doreen Rowland, Karen Novotny, and Becky Pierson all had two hits. Novotny recorded a triple. Pierson scored three times.

The next day (on May 31), McFarland returned to the center circle as she went 6 innings, allowed 5 hits, and struck out 2 batters as Champion was crowned the champion of Class 2A by defeating Greeneview, 11-1. McFarland was perfect again as she went 2 for 2 and drove in 3 runs. The Rowland girls (Doreen & Donna) were a perfect 5 for 5 with 4 runs scored and 2 RBIs. The team’s third baseman Laurie Jo Emerine drove in 3 runs. Becky Pierson, again, had a pair of base hits and drove in 2 runs as well.

This was Champion’s last state title until 1994. The Golden Flashes won 7 championships within the next 25 years (1994-2019) and have won a total of 9 since the state tournament began in 1978.

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