BATH TOWNSHIP — For a team in a hitting slump, tournament play is a great time to break out of that slump.
Wapakoneta pounded out 13 hits and rode a good pitching performance by Kelsey Place to a Division II sectional-opening 10-4 win over Van Wert at Bath.
The Redskins (21-4) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to a two-out single by Place that plated two runs.
The Cougars (13-11) tied the game in the bottom of the second innings thanks to consecutive singles by Erika Jones, Rebecca Hurless and Tisha Parrish.
Wapakoneta bounced back to regain the lead 5-2 in the top of the third; the big hit coming off the bat of Courtney Knippen, who delivered a double that scored two Redskins runs.
The Redskins then grabbed control of the game in the fourth when catcher Jordan Sawmiller drilled a two-run home run to deep left field that grew the Wapakoneta lead to 7-2. The home run was one of three hits for Sawmiller in the game.
Wapakoneta added two run in both the sixth and seventh innings while Van Wert added two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Place was in control the entire game and finished with eight strikeouts while not walking a Cougars batter.
“We have had trouble scoring runs lately, so 13 hits was nice,” Wapakoneta coach Bill Sammons said. “Kelsey (Place) did a good job holding them to four runs; they are a good hitting team. I thought we used our speed to our advantage and aggressive base running was a key to the win.”
In addition to the big game by Sawmiller, Wapakoneta also got three hits from lead-off hitter Erica Bryan and two each by Emily Whetstone and Place.
The Redskins advance to the sectional finals and will return to Bath at 5 p.m. Wednesday when they face St. Marys.
Wapakoneta batters Van Wert