KINSMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mathews softball team defeated Brookfield 8-2 to win the Division IV District Championship on Wednesday at Badger High School.

The Mustangs won the title last year, defeating Brookfield 11-1 in the district championship. Mathews has now won eight of the last eleven district titles.

Watch the above video to hear from Mustangs senior Emma Gates and head coach Thomas VanKirk after the game.

“So very excited,” senior pitcher Emma Gates said. “I mean, these girls are just absolutely amazing. The best teammates around. We have great energy and we just have so much fun when we go out there and play. So, I couldn’t have asked for anything better for this.”

On the mound, Gates, who celebrated her 18th birthday Wednesday, allowed eight hits and two runs while striking out nine in seven innings.

“This present is the best present,” Gates said.

Ella Vaupel went 2-for-2, recording two RBI and scoring once. Kelsie Newson added two RBI, while Olivia Matheny, Kaylen Mccollum and Ashia Pate finished with one RBI each.

“We knew it was gonna be a tough game,” VanKirk added. “Brookfield and Mathews battled for district two years in a row. These girls were ready to go. They were amped up before the game. They’re doing their dances and their handshakes, and we’re really young on one end of our roster. And they were just fired up, confident, ready to go. So, we’re very excited.”

Mathews improves to 20-4 overall on the season and advances to the Division IV Regional Semifinals on Wednesday, May 25. The opponent is to be determined.