Softball picks up key league victory


Monday’s make-up game between the Wapakoneta Redskins and the Elida Bulldogs was a victory on the scoreboard for the Redskins as well as a victory in varsity coach Bill Sammons’ book. 

“I really think that we actually won this game,” Sammons said after the 11-1, six-inning game. “We took a step today, even though the first inning was a little frustrating. We really took a step in the right direction in this game.”

Wapakoneta committed three errors at three different positions in the top of the first inning, but junior starting pitcher Renee Lovett was able to work her way out of the inning, with a couple strikeouts.

The defense looked sharper in the top of the second. Lovett struck out the first two batters and had the put out at first to retire the side in order, putting the Redskin offense back on the diamond quickly.

In the bottom of the second inning the Wapakoneta offense lit up the scoreboard. Senior third baseman Ashley Cox started the inning by drawing a five-pitch walk. Cox advanced on a sacrifice to the third baseman. The inning looked like a bust when Alexis Schwartz struck out for the second out of the inning, but senior first baseman Stacy Miller came through big for the Redskins with a single  to score Cox. 

Elida’s defense could not find their way out of the inning, allowing two runners to reach on error before a 2-RBI single, put Wapakoneta on top 4-0.

The Bulldogs gained a run back in the top of the third when Lovett loaded the bases before hitting a batter with a pitch, walking in a run. Lovett worked her way out of the inning, allowing only one run to score.

In the bottom of the third Miller had a big at bat once again for Wapakoneta. With two on and two outs, Miller hit a double into the outfield, scoring the runner from third. The second runner was thrown out at the plate for the final out of the inning, but not before the Redskins had grabbed a 5-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth the Wapakoneta offense tacked on a few more insurance runs after loading the bases and forcing a couple fielding errors and walks. After four, Wapakoneta held a strong 8-1 lead.

Lovett faced 7 batters in the fifth and sixth innings combined, retiring six of them. She struck out Taylor Thompson to end the fifth, stranding the Bulldogs’ final runner of the game.

In the bottom of the sixth, senior second baseman Carli Sammons’ stand up triple to start the inning set the tone. Senior shortstop Amy Hume’s single on the first pitch of her at bat drove Sammons in to push Wapakoneta’s score to nine. A single, sacrifice bunt to the pitcher and a sacrifice fly to center, was all the offense required for the mercy rule. The Redskins’ defeated Elida 11-1 in six innings.

Bill Sammons took away from this game a morsel of thought his team needs to build on — his team has to be more prepared in the first couple innings of the game. 

“I’m a little frustrated about how we came out of the game, pretty slow and methodical,” Sammons said. “We have to be a more mature team. Our warm ups have to be a little more sweaty to get us ready for the start of the game and me as the coach, I take the blame on that. I have to do something different to get them more ready.”

The Redskins will face Western Buckeye League rival the Celina Bulldogs this evening. 

“Have a tough game against Celina tomorrow (Tuesday),” Sammons said after the game. “We will have to play our best game all seven innings to win that game.”

Elida will host the Van Wert Cougars tonight for its next game.