The Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers were apparently surprised to be leading after the first inning Thursday but before they knew it, they were quickly out of the game.
The Tigers owned a 2-0 lead after their at-bat in the first inning and had that lead cut in half when the Wapakoneta Redskins scored once in their at-bat.
Wapakoneta, however, poured on 10 runs in the second inning to take a commanding lead, cruising to a 13-2 win by run-rule in five innings over W-G in non-league varsity softball contest at Wapakoneta High School.
Wapak starting pitcher Sierra Sammons seemingly needed to face W-G’s lineup once in order to settle in against the Tigers’ lineup. Sammons starts in the circle sparingly behind the team’s ace pitcher, senior Renee Lovett.
Sammons allowed two hits in each of the first two innings and then spread two hits over the final three innings.
Kenzie Jarnagin singled, Josalyn Regedanz walked and Bailey Dyer reached on a fielder’s choice before Jenna Crawford opened the scoring with a two-RBI single, scoring Regedanz and Dyer.
Morgan Mortimer singled in the second inning for the Tigers but the inning was halted when Mortimer left first base before the pitcher was made on what would have been a single by Chelsea Spencer.
Sammons and the Redskins held W-G scoreless after the first inning.
“She did a real nice job of settling down,” Redskins varsity coach Bill Sammons said. “It’s really tough when you have a good pitcher like Renee to get work for the other girls. (Sierra) needed an inning or two to get comfortable. That’s what happened. Her drops, curve and changeup started working. She started to hit spots. When she felt comfortable, things fell into place for her nicely.”
Sammons pitched five innings, allowed five hits, one walk and two earned runs, striking out five.
Wapakoneta, facing the Tigers’ starter Paige Crawford, stranded the bases loaded in the first inning, on the verge of breaking through like they did in the second inning.
Lovett singled to start the inning. Blasia Moyler was hit by a pitch, and Alexis Schwartz singled to load the bases. Two batters later, Lovett scored when Morgan Dirr reached on W-G’s first of five errors in the game, putting the score at 2-1 in favor of the Tigers.
After that, however, W-G saw its brief lead evaporate, as the Redskins had 14 plate appearances in the 10-run second inning.
Tiffanie Camper led the inning with a walk. Shelby Davis moved Camper to second base on a sacrifice bunt, bringing Lovett to the plate. Davis’ out at first base was the only out recorded before Lovett batted for the second time in the inning.
In between, Lovett and Sammons each singled, Moyler walked and Schwartz singled in two runs to take the lead for good.
With the bases loaded, Moyler scored when Fisher walked. Morgan Dirr singled. Schwartz scored on a wild pitch. Fisher scored when Alisha Dirr reached on an error. The two Dirrs each scored on wild pitches.
Camper walked again and scored on a Lovett single. Davis singled and scored on a Sammons RBI single for the inning’s 10th run.
W-G first-year varsity coach Brooke Shultz described what was the problem for her team in the second inning.
“Our focus was the primary issue,” she said. “We were kind of caught off guard that we could play so well against them. We weren’t really prepared once they started putting the ball in play. We made a lot of mistakes.”
Bill Sammons explained why his team piled up 10 runs in the second.
“Our girls took an inning to adjust,” he said. “They put the ball in play. When you put the ball in play, good things happen.”
Crawford struggled with locating pitches in the second inning, as she issued four walks and three runs scored on wild pitches.
“This season she has struck out almost as many batters as she walks. Sometimes she comes right at them and sometimes she gives them a free base.”
Shultz explained why her team’s offensive production fell off as the game wore on.
“Our heads came out of the game because the lead got away from us,” she said. “Obviously, we had six hits through five innings. That’s not terrible. We’ve gotta keep putting the ball in play. We go down looking a lot.”
The Tigers are now 3-8 overall after their loss Thursday.
W-G has allowed at least eight runs in all eight of its losses this season.
Wapakoneta’s game Thursday preceded an important Western Buckeye League game today against the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans.
The Redskins will return to their home field today, hoping to stay one loss behind the league leader, Bath, who is unbeaten in WBL games this season.
“We used this game to get better for (today). It’s a huge game (today) against O-G. We need to stay in the league hunt. We need this win bad. They’re a team that scares me a bit. They’ll beat you if you don’t bring your A game. If we’d play them 10 times, we’d beat them six times probably.”
Ottawa-Glandorf is 11-3 overall and 4-2 in the league.
With their win Thursday, the Redskins are now 11-2 overall.