The Wapakoneta varsity softball team used a seven-run first inning to take care of business against the St. Marys Roughriders Friday afternoon.
Behind 13 strikeouts from Wapakoneta pitcher Renee Lovett, the Redskins cruised to victory 11-2.
“We had a pretty nice offensive start,” Wapakoneta varsity coach Bill Sammons said. “I was pleased with our performance, we worked hard, and we really wanted to win. We accomplished that goal, especially in a league game against St. Marys.”
Wapakoneta scored seven runs in the first inning and four runs in the second inning before St. Marys pitcher Mallory Kill seemed to get comfortable. Kill didn’t allow a Redskins to score in the last four innings, but the damage was already done.
“We’re a little disappointed,” St. Marys varsity coach Sue Grothause said. “We knew Wapak was going to be a tough team when we were getting ready for today. Once we got down it kind of put a damper on our day. They came out swinging though, and you can’t take anything away from Wapak.”
Grothause said she was happy with her team’s “never give up” attitude.
“We stayed in there and we battled,” Grothause said. It was 11-1 going into the third inning and they could have run-ruled us real quick, but they didn’t and we played hard.”
Lovett struck out 13 Roughrider batters and allowed only two hits: a single from Colleen Magee and an RBI triple from Tannar Rutschilling in the top of the first inning.
Wapakoneta committed four errors in the field, leading to both runs for the Roughriders.
“We’re a good team right now. But in order to be a great team, we gotta stop making the same mistakes over and over again,” Sammons said. “That’s dropped balls, missed signs, swinging at pitches out of the zone; those things we have to correct if we want to go far in the postseason.”
At second base, Carli Sammons made three plays that stole potential hits from the Roughriders.
“Carli had a couple great plays at second base, Renee pitched a solid game, but other than that, there weren’t a lot of things to be excited about defensively,” Bill Sammons said.
After the second great catch by Carli Sammons, Grothause joked with the senior second baseman that she was robbing the Roughriders.
“Carli took two or three away from us,” Grothause said. “Great defense from her.”
From the plate Wapakoneta recorded 13 hits including a double from Stacy Miller and a double from Alexis Schwartz. Miller went 2-for-2 from the plate and scored two runs. Schwartz went 1-for-1 with a walk.
“We had a lot of positives out of today, I’m just concerned that if we don’t get better, we’re not going to go far into the postseason.”
“Stacy did a nice job. She’s seeing the ball very well. She’s very unselfish,” Bill Sammons said. “She did a really nice job. Kristi (Bailey), Carli and Amy (Hume) all had really good days at the plate.”
Carli Sammons went 2-for-4 from the plate with two runs scored. Hume went 1-for-3 with a walk and reached on an error in the third inning. Bailey went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
For the Roughriders, Katlyn Brown reached on an error in the first inning and was batted in on Rutschilling’s triple. Magee scored the other Roughrider run in the fourth inning.
“Wapak hit the ball better than we did, they were aggressive,” Grothause said. “Our kids didn’t give up, they still worked at it. They didn’t quit.”
Sammons said he was happy with this win, but felt there was still a lot of work to be done this season.
“We’ve got work to do. We’re a good team, but I want to be a great team,” Sammons said. “It is the little things that determine a close win. We’re not going to beat Celina if we keep making these little mistakes, you’re not going to beat Bath if we keep making these same mistakes.”