The Wapakoneta Redskins didn’t need a lot of offense for the win.
And that’s exactly what they got, not a lot of offense.
Despite collecting just three hits, Wapak pulled out a 4-1 win over the Defiance Bulldogs in a Western Buckeye League varsity softball game Friday at Wapakoneta High School.
“The big thing was our defense really came alive tonight,” Wapak varsity coach Bill Sammons said. “I really feel like we turned a corner a little bit.”
The Redskins opened up a 3-0 lead in the first inning. They drew three walks in the inning and took advantage of three passed balls, an error and a fielder’s choice.
Defiance scored its only run in the top half of the second. Emily Gallant singled and Elisa Garza doubled to drive her in.
Wapak added one more in the bottom of the fourth. Ashlie Cox led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on Renee Lovett’s two-out single.
Lovett was the only Wapak player with two hits. She also had a solid game on the mound for the Redskins. She allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out 10 batters. She threw 76 percent of her first pitches for strikes.
“She’s really getting her repertoire going,” Bill Sammons said. “She’s getting the ball lower and finally working her changeup in the mix.”
She got some help from her defense. Senior Ashley Knippen produced the defensive highlight of the night. With a runner on third and just one out, Knippen snagged a hard-hit line drive to her right in stride and beat the runner back to the bag for a double play.
Making the play even more impressive was the fact it was the first start at shortstop for Knippen, who normally starts in center field.
“That’s not a play you see from a center fielder,” Bill Sammons said. “She knows the game. And And this is a girl who only plays a month and a half out of the year. Are you kidding me?
“If she were to play year-round or in the summer time, she would be phenomenal. And if any Division III or II coach doesn’t look at this girl, something’s wrong. Because right now I don’t think they are looking at her as much as they should.”
The loss was Defiance’s first in WBL play this season, dropping the Bulldogs to 12-8 overall and 3-1 in league play.
“I don’t know if the girls know how good of a team that was that they beat,” Bill Sammons said. “That was a nice win for us.”
The Redskins were able to topple Defiance pitcher Bryanna Perez, who came into the game with 145 strikeout in 83 innings of work this season.
Perez finished with just four strikeouts to six walks.
“Nobody has really been hitting her well this year,” Bill Sammons said. “She’s a really nice pitcher. Her ball moves like crazy. I think our girls did a really nice job of not striking out and putting the ball in play.”
Next up for Wapak is a home league game against the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans on Tuesday.