The Wapakoneta Redskins jumped out to an 8-0 lead after two innings and never looked back in a 10-4 win Thursday over the New Bremen Cardinals.
The Redskins scored three runs in the first inning and five in the second to help cushion themselves in a matchup of two young rosters in non-league varsity softball action at Wapakoneta High School.
Wapak (5-0) was helped by two New Bremen errors in the first inning and had three hits of its own, including a two-run double by Alexis Schwartz, who now has an extra-base hit in every game this season.
Tiffanie Camper walked to start the second, and Renee Lovett singled home Camper with one out. After Cardinals’ starting pitcher, freshman Sophie Fox, induced a groundout, the Redskins unleashed four straight hits with two outs in the inning, resulting in four more runs to put the margin at 8-0.
The hit parade began with an RBI triple by Blasia Moyler. Schwartz followed with another RBI double. Megan Fisher singled in Schwartz and scored on a double by Morgan Dirr.
“We’re more of a momentum team,” Wapak varsity coach Bill Sammons said. “One girl gets a hit and another gets a hit, which is nice but it’s also bad because it can happen in the opposite direction. Luckily, it hasn’t happened yet.”
After the 8-0 start, the damage had been done, but New Bremen managed to outscore Wapak 4-2 over the final five innings.
“We were fine after the second inning,” New Bremen varsity coach Craig Griesdorn said. “The first inning, we made two errors and gave them some extra at-bats. Good teams will take advantage of it, and that’s what they did. The second inning, we walked the leadoff batter and that hurt. Most of their runs were scored with two outs. They got four hits in a row with two outs in the inning.
“That’s what good teams will have to do. No matter how many outs you’ve got, put the ball in play, find a hole and you’re going to score some runs.”
Fox settled down after the second inning, retiring the next six batters she faced before being removed from the game. Jenna Bertke relieved Fox for the Cardinals. She allowed two earned runs, two hits and one walk. Fox was the losing pitcher.
“She is not a bad pitcher,” Sammons said of Fox. “She has nice movement. We just jumped on her real fast.”
Fox’s counterpart, Lovett, tossed three innings to tune herself up for the Redskins’ important league game today against Shawnee. She allowed one hit and zero runs with three strikeouts to earn the win.
Lovett will start against Shawnee today.
“We wanted Renee to get some looks, just beacuse we know it’s a big game (today),” Sammons said. “I told her she could go along as long as she wants to go, as long as she’s ready for (today). She wanted to pitch three innings, and that’s what she did. She did a nice job.”
Sierra Sammons pitched in relief for Wapak, earning a save.
The Cardinals scored their first run in the fourth inning, Sammons’ first inning of relief.
Alyse Clune began the frame with a single. Julie Brown followed with a single to center field, where a fielder’s error allowed Clune to score and Brown to reach third base.
Sammons retired the next three hitters, stranding Brown at third.
Each team scored in its final at-bat.
Camper earned another leadoff walk in the sixth and advanced to third after a single by Shelby Davis and a sacrifice bunt by Lovett, scoring on an RBI groundout by Sammons. Davis scored Wapak’s 10th run of the game on a single by Riley Culver.
New Bremen added three runs (two earned) in the seventh inning.
Danielle Ehlers reached on an error then Rachel Parker singled. The two scored on a triple by Clune, who scored on a wild pitch with Brown at bat.
Thursday’s loss moved the Cardinals’ season record to 2-4 overall for the team returning just two varsity players from last season.
Sammons discussed today’s looming Western Buckeye League matchup at home against the Shawnee Indians, which will be the Redskins’ fourth game in four days.
“We’ve got one more game (today) to get out of our system,” he said. “We’ll have two games off to get girls healthy because a lot of them are dinged up a little bit.
“I’m looking forward to (today) against Shawnee to see if these girls can perform when the stakes are at hand. We’ve proven we can play with great teams but we want to play when the chips are on the table. Right now the chips are on the table. We’re going to go all in and see what happens.”