WHEELING -There's no big secret to why St. John is off to an undefeated start and currently sit atop the OVAC Class 1A rankings.
The Fighting Irish have one of the best arms around and it's connected to the right shoulder of Hannah Absalom.
''We're 12-0 and she's been a big part of it,'' St. John coach Jerry Magistro said.
Just Wednesday, Absalom help lead St. John to a tough 1-0 triumph against Magnolia on a night where the Irish's bats went silent.
The junior gave up one hit and fanned 16 batters.
''She's one of those kids you just like to see do good because of how great of a kid she is,'' Magistro noted. ''She's one of the most coachable kids I've ever had. Just a super kid.''
A year ago, Absalom was honored as a second-team All-State selection, as well as first-team All-Valley, All-District first-team, was the OVAC Class A Player of the Year, and was 16-5 in the circle, while boasting a 0.99 ERA.
''Everything she gets she deserves,'' Magistro said. ''I'm happy to have her and we just want to keep her healthy.''
Currently, Absalom has pitched 63 innings and has allowed 19 hits on the way to posting a 0.33 ERA.
St. John will be going for OVAC title No. 9 this season after winning their first since 2007 a year ago. The Irish also claimed the Division IV co-sectional crown.
The Long Ballers
Bailey McGrath, Robert Teeman, Bridgeport: McGrath and Teeman homered as Bridgeport swept Cameron.
David Klug, Cameron: Klug hit one over the fence during a loss to Bridgeport.
Dalton Conroy, Bellaire: Conroy smacked a home run in a victory against Barnesville.
Matt Cessna, Weir: Cessna homered in a victory against Buckeye Local.
Zach Heasley, Luke Cooper, Paden City: Heasley and Cooper each blasted one over the fence in a loss to Frontier.
Taylor Clark, Steubenville Catholic: Clark hit two home runs in a victory against Athens.
Morgan DeLuca, St. John: DeLuca smacked two over the fense in win against Connotton Valley.
Shane Wellman, John Marshall: Wellman fanned 14 batters as the Monarchs swept Union Local.
Justin Corsi, Steubenville: Corsi stuck out 10 in a loss to Hebron Lakewood.
Hannah Absalom, St. John: Absalom fanned 16 in a victory against Magnolia.
Kelsey Loy, Paden City: Loy struck out 12 in a loss to River.
Chase Hopkins, Buckeye Local: Hopkins fanned 10 in a victory against Harrison Central.
Amy Rotriga, John Marshall: Rotriga was feeling it at the Magnolia Tournament as she ended with 27 Ks.
Sean McGee, Martins Ferry: McGee earned the high-point award in the field by winning the shot put with a meet-record toss of 53-5.