How fitting it is that Austintown Fitch junior Cali Mikovich, whose name was inspired by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., is the All-American Conference American Division Player of the Year.
Mikovich, the Falcons’ leadoff batter, ignited Fitch’s softball team to its first district title since 2005.
In their first tournament game, Mikovich scored twice as the Falcons rallied to oust Kent, 4-2. Even better was her two-homer game against once-beaten Aurora in the Division I district title game at Boardman’s Fields of Dreams.
“It was amazing,” Mikovich said of the tournament run that ended with a 5-3 loss to Medina in a regional semifinal at the University of Akron. “It was fun and it was special — I’ve never had a season like that.”
Looking back, Mikovich acknowledged it was a magic spring for Fitch athletics, what with the baseball team going unbeaten in the AAC American Division and Billy Price finishing state runner-up in discus.
“It was different — everyone produced and we earned amazing results,” Mikovich said. “It gave you a sense of pride.”
Continuing the baseball theme of her life, Mikovich says Wally Ford, the Falcons’ head baseball coach, is her favorite teacher.
“I love Mr. Ford, my history teacher my sophomore year. He is just such a nice guy and history is my favorite subject,” she said.
Next season, the Falcons will need to replace three outfielders — Alana Callahan, Katee Sweeney and Sam Mehle.
“Losing them — those are big shoes to fill,” Mikovich said. “It’s going to be hard replacing the outfield.”