Maynard, Bloomfield putting up senior-like numbers

J. Patrick Eaken

Two junior softball players, Eastwood catcher Delaney Maynard and Gibsonburg pitcher Jenna Bloomfield, were first team All-Ohio selections.

If you ask anyone who saw them play, they will tell you that their futures include NCAA Division I softball. Nothing is in stone yet, but they have one more year to provide the evidence that is the level they belong at.

Maynard, the Northern Buckeye Conference Player of the Year and a first team all-district selection, can now add Alan Miller Jewelers Offensive POY to her accolades. She garnered 62% of the votes from 10 area coaches and media members from the Eastern Maumee Bay community representing print, broadcasting, and the travel softball coaching world.

Maynard batted .524 (55-for-105) with 40 runs, 16 doubles, two triples, six home runs, seven stolen bases and a .612 on-base percentage in leading Eastwood to a 21-6 season and runner-up finish at 12-2 behind Otsego in the NBC. 

“I think it went well. We beat Elmwood twice which we were really looking to do because last year we didn’t beat them,” Maynard said. “We wanted to beat Otsego for the league title, we were really close and went into extra innings. I think next year I’m looking forward to playing them again. But I think we played really well as a team together and we had really good chemistry.”

Her hitting talent is home grown, starting in her backyard.

“Growing up, I would go in the backyard with my grandpa (Jeff Holcomb) or dad (Billy ‘B.J.’ Maynard), and I would always hit with them, and I have two older brothers (Bryce and Dylan), so I just have always grown up with softball and it has always been at my fingertips in hitting. I have a good hitting coach who has always helped me,” Maynard said.

Eastwood coach Joe Wyant said, “She’s had hitting lessons all her life. She was good when I saw her play when she was an eighth grader. She is just a real consistent hitter with power. 

“What also makes her good, and people don’t understand, she is probably technique-wise the best baserunner I have. She runs, slides really well, runs bases really well, so that helps her get doubles and triples. She had 11 triples the last two years, eight of them last year and three this year, and eight is huge in high school. But she can run. Really, her defense, and her arm, is just as good as her offense, I think.”

Maynard is playing on a travel team that is headed to Colorado next week for a tournament. Playing at that level, Wyant said, that will prepare her well for her senior year.

“She takes the game seriously and so do her parents, and that is what you have got to have, parents supporting you to play at that high of a level,” Wyant said.

Maynard, who is starting to get college offers, wants to see her Eastwood team do even better next spring. The Eagles lost 18-17 in 10 innings to Otsego, and then 1-0 to the Knights in two games that were in complete contrast, so she knows that the Eagles have to get beyond those kinds of losses to succeed.

“Next year, I’m looking to make it to districts and get to regionals. Obviously, I really hope to get to state, but most of all to be able to play with my team and have a good time out there because it’s my last year,” Maynard said.

In voting for All-Press Offensive POY, Northwood junior catcher Elizabeth “E.B.” Wauford was a distant second, Maynard’s former travel softball teammate, Kent State University-bound Oak Harbor senior pitcher Reagan Schultz was third, and Clay junior catcher Olivia Yenrick and Cardinal Stritch freshman shortstop/outfielder Mackenzie Kinnie also received votes.

Heading across U.S. Route 23 into Sandusky County, Bloomfield is set in one regard. She has already verbally committed to play NCAA Division I softball for the University of Toledo.

“I always wanted to play in college, and I always wanted to play Division I. I visited the campus there, really like the campus and like the coaches, so I got an offer there and I accepted because I felt like that was a good place for me to go,” Bloomfield said.

In the circle, the first team All-Press pitcher, who got votes for Pitcher of the Year, struck out 259, walked 66, allowed 106 hits and 84 runs, including 56 earned runs in 153.2 innings. She was 15-8 with a 2.55 ERA. 

At the plate, Bloomfield batted .515 (35-for-68) with 12 doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 30 RBIs, 29 runs, 16 walks, five stolen bases and she struck out only five times. A first team all-district and All-SBC pick, she had a .625 on-base percentage and a 1.118 slugging percentage. 

She credits her coaching and years of practicing as a youth for her success, plus she loves winning.

“I like the competition, pitting myself against other girls and comparing,” Bloomfield said.

Gibsonburg was 10-5 in the Sandusky Bay Conference River Division, which she was comfortable with considering the adversity her team had.

“I thought our chemistry was pretty good. We had a lot of young girls playing positions that they have never played before and were not comfortable with. Everyone filled their roles pretty well,” Bloomfield said. “The older girls knew what they were doing, and it helped everyone a lot bringing everybody together.”

Her senior year, however, she wants to work toward getting Gibsonburg back on the map, where it was when the Golden Bears were making multiple regional tournament appearances, even winning state titles. She grew up watching that happen.

“I expect us to get through districts to regionals and hopefully to state. I think we’ll be solid next year. We’ll have some new players coming in, some returners, and I expect more out of next year than I did this year,” Bloomfield said.










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