Jay County High School junior Chloe Steigerwalt swings at a pitch in the sixth inning Thursday against Anderson at JCHS. Steigerwalt drove in Katlin Petro from third base to score the 10th run and give the Patriots a 10-0 win over the Indians in six innings, a school record 18th win of the season for Jay County. (The Commercial Review/Chris Schanz)
Jay County High School junior Chloe Steigerwalt swings at a pitch in the sixth inning Thursday against Anderson at JCHS. Steigerwalt drove in Katlin Petro from third base to score the 10th run and give the Patriots a 10-0 win over the Indians in six innings, a school record 18th win of the season for Jay County. (The Commercial Review/Chris Schanz)
The bases were loaded with no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Jay County junior Chloe Steigerwalt approached the plate with a chance to end the game.
The junior, who had two hits already on the day, rifled a 1-1 pitch past Anderson’s Kaylie Qualls at third base to drive in Katlin Petro.
It gave the Jay County softball team a 10-0 win over the visiting Indians and their school-record 18th victory of the season.
“It feels good,” JCHS coach Doug Arbuckle said after the record-breaking win. “I’m just happy for the girls. Like I said before, I thought we had the type of team that could make a run for that record.
“The girls have lived up to that and succeeded.”
Katlin Petro, a senior who had an RBI single in the fourth, said she also knew at the beginning of the year the Patriots could have a special year. To finally reach the record, she said, was an awesome feeling.
“I’m proud to be part of a team that comes together,” she said. “This year we have been the closest than we’ve ever been before.”
Jay County (18-1) had a three-run lead heading into the fourth, breaking the game open with four runs in the frame.
Steigerwalt led off the inning with a double that hit 2 feet from the top of the fence in right field — just shy of her first home run of the season — and Catherine Dunn followed with a slap hit through the left side.
Courtney Finnerty sandwiched a single between two infield fly rule outs by Chelsea Tighe and Larissa Boles, and Katie Aker ripped a 1-0 pitch into the gap in right field for a bases-clearing, two-out double.
After advancing to third on a throw to the plate, Aker scored on an RBI single to give Jay County a 7-0 advantage.
Gabby Hart and Mikayla Gross followed with singles to load the bases once again with two outs, but Steigerwalt popped out to Taryn Harvey in right field as Anderson stopped the bleeding.
The Patriots added two more runs in the fifth inning when Finnerty reached on a two-out error by Anderson shortstop Alexandra Poor. Larissa Boles, who also pitched the shutout for Jay County — she scattered three hits over six innings while striking out 10 and walking a pair — hit her eighth­­ home run of the season making the score 9-0 in favor of the home team.
Every player in the Jay County lineup had at least a hit and a run, and Arbuckle said that’s what the Patriots have needed to be successful.
“That’s just an excellent job by the girls,” he said. “Each one of them stepped up and got a hit at one point in the game. That’s what we’ve got to have. We want that production all the way through the lineup.
“The games we do that we are a pretty hard team to beat.”
Anderson (8-13) had a runner at second four times throughout the game but could not advance them any further.
“When you don’t get the key hits, you’re destined (to lose),” Anderson coach Doug Holder said. “(Jay County) is a good team, they have a good program going right now with a good group of girls and they wanted it a lot more than we did.”
The Patriots finished with 13 hits, a dozen of them coming off Anderson reliever Haley Helton, who pitched the game’s final four innings. Sydney Schmitt started for the Indians, but lasted only one inning because of a nagging back injury, Helton said.
Steigerwalt’s three hits led all Patriot batters. Boles finished with three RBIs on two hits, and Gabby Hart chipped in a pair of singles.
With the goal of breaking the record met, Arbuckle said the Patriots aren’t going to coast the rest of the way.
“We’re not resting on this,” he said. “We’ll come back tomorrow night and hopefully we don’t have a let down.
“We will be focused again. It was just a super job to succeed and put forth the effort to get the job done this season.”


Jay County Patriots’ record season
Below is a look at how the Jay County High School softball team
got its 18 wins en route to a new school record
4/8    South Adams    W 4-2
4/10    Delta    W 15-2
4/12    Connersville    W 9-8
4/12    Connersville    W 5-1
4/15    Southern Wells    W 16-1
4/19    Richmond    W 4-2
4/19    Hagerstown    W 7-0
4/21    Bluffton    W 14-0
4/22    Daleville    W 13-3
4/24    Norwell    W 5-1

4/28    Muncie Southside    W 8-3
4/29    Marion    W 12-2
5/1    Mississinewa     W 6-0
5/6    Fort Recovery    W 12-0
5/8    Bellmont     W 10-0
5/9    Muncie Central    W 17-3
5/10    Adams Central    L 6-3
5/10    Adams Central     W 4-3
5/15    Anderson     W 10-0