ST. MARYS — Courtney Knippen and the Wapakoneta softball team pounced on St. Marys pitching from the start to take any drama out of the game against its Auglaize County rivals.
The Redskins sent 15 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs in the top of the first inning en route to a 15-1 run-rule victory in five innings at K.C. Geiger Park on Friday.
Knippen started and finished the scoring outburst with a pair of extra-base hits.
Knippen drove in four in the first inning, doubling in a pair in her first at-bat to start the scoring and then hitting a home run over the left field wall to cap the inning’s scoring at 10-0.
Knippen added an RBI groundout in the fifth to finish the game with five runs batted in.
Wapakoneta’s sophomore pitcher Renee Lovett made the big early lead stand up, limiting a Roughrider line-up that scored 10 runs the night before against Coldwater to just one run on five hits. Lovett struck out three and walked one in the five-inning complete game victory.
The Riders rallied from an early 9-1 deficit on Thursday against the Cavaliers, but Wapakoneta kept its foot on the accelerator peddle on Friday.
“I think the ball bounced our way a few times there,” Wapakoneta varsity coach Bill Sammons said.” St. Marys can hit the ball. When we’re up 10-1 I’m still nervous. I kept telling them, ‘we can’t let up on these guys.’”
Wapakoneta produced up and down the batting order.
Lovett went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Carli Sammons was 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored. Ashley Knippen reached base four times and scored three runs. Marcie Grothause was 2-for-3 with a runs scored and RBI. Ashlie Cox went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Stacy Miller went 2-for-3 at the plate.
St. Marys centerfielder Kiley Schamp was 2-for-3 at the plate.
St. Marys scored its lone run in the third on a double steal attempt. Mallory Kill scored from third as Schamp was thrown out on a steal attempt at second base to make it 10-1.
Kill, a sophomore, worked five innings in the pitching circle for the Riders. She gave up 15 runs on 16 hits.
“Sue (Grothause) is a great coach,” Sammons said. “They’ve gone through a lot of adversity. But so have we, and our girls continue to get better. I hope they continue to get better, because to get out of our sectional we’re going to have to be a lot better than we were tonight.”
The draw for that Division II sectional tournament that both the Redskins and Riders compete in will be held on Sunday afternoon. Sammons think the two teams might match-up again in the postseason.
“I’m sure we’ll see each other some time soon,” he said.