BATH — The Wapakoneta varsity softball team has already advanced to the Miller City district and will play Maumee after defeating Celina Wednesday.
The Redskins were locked in third place in the Western Buckeye League.
Wapakoneta varsity coach Bill Sammons saw Friday’s WBL finale a great chance to give the team some looks of adversity and some situational softball.
“Really, we weren’t playing for this game,” Sammons said. “Yeah we wanted to be successful, which I thought we were, but we’re playing for Maumee. We were locked at third place in the WBL win or lose here. We figure that we might as well work toward the post season.”
The Redskins jumped on a 2-0 lead on the powerhouse Bath Wildkittens, but surrendered some late runs to drop the WBL finale, 4-3.
But Sammons said the scoreboard didn’t tell the whole story.
“We’re starting to move, when you play the best, you can be the best, and that’s what we did today,” Sammons said. “In order for us to be the best, we have to play people like Bath, and we did that today, we competed.”
Bath, undefeated in the league, had the top spot in the league locked, and the win gave them the outright victory. Bath is one of the top-ranked teams in the state.
“We just lost to one of the best teams in the state, 4-3, while pitching our second pitcher,” Sammons said. “Although she didn’t play like a second pitcher, she played like our first. But we’re peaking now.”
Carli Sammons was on the mound for the Redskins and gave Wapakoneta a solid outing. Her only foils were in the fourth inning when Bath scored three to capture the lead, one that they would never surrender.
“She had a pretty nice game, and a pretty nice inning that inning, they just found holes and gaps,” Sammons said. “In order to win this game you gotta make a great play or make a diving catch. Our girls are starting to get to that point now. “
Sammons would call out different situations to the Redskins in various innings. In the sixth inning, trailing 4-2, Sammons yelled to his team, “act like it’s the seventh and we’re up by one run.”
There was a girl on third base with one out, and Sammons and the Redskins defense retired the next two batters without the girl on third scoring. Those are the things Sammons was pleased with.
“We competed with pressure,” Sammons I hope this will really bleed into [our tournament game against] Maumee next week.”
Sammons said this was the perfect opportunity for situations like this. At times he applauded the opportunity for the team to play defense with runners on base.
“We’ve got a lot of girls that just haven’t played a ton of softball, so the more situational work we can get in, the better,” Sammons said. “This is a great game for situations. We’re playing an awesome team, and it’s a great practice for us.”
The Redskins finished their WBL season at 6-3, and their record falls to 20-9 overall.