BATH TOWNSHIP – Monday’s Western Buckeye League softball showdown between last season’s top teams had all the hype of a tournament game.
Last season Bath and Celina finished tied for the WBL title with 8-1 league records.
However, on Monday, Bath never gave Celina an opportunity to make it a game.
The Wildkittens pounded 16 hits and pitcher Kimmy Reynolds threw a one-hitter, as Bath run-ruled Celina 10-0 in six innings.
Bath improves to 10-0 overall and 1-0 in the WBL. Celina slips to 7-1 and 1-1.
Reynolds was spotting her pitches well against the Bulldogs. The junior right-hander struck out 11 and walked two, while throwing 99 pitches.
The lone hit for Celina was a single by Kaity Kuhn in the fourth inning. However, after Kuhn’s single, Reynolds retired the side to get out of the jam.
Reynolds gave her teammates a lot of credit for the shutout.
"It was really important to get ahead in the count. ... Sometimes that didn’t happen,” Reynolds said. “But they are a very strong offensive team. We had some great defensive plays today. They were doing their jobs out there. It’s the first WBL game, so you have to come out strong. (I had to) throw the ball hard and get the ball to move. I had to do what I needed to do. And Julia (Miller, the catcher) was calling the pitches that she had to call."
Kylee Bader started for Celina and worked just 2 2/3 innings before being lifted. Katie Kerr came in to pitch in the third and finished the game for the Bulldogs.
Bader was tabbed for seven runs on 10 hits, while giving up one walk. Kerr gave up three runs on six hits and walked two.
Reynolds mixed up her pitches well. Three times on the night, Celina batters were caught looking at a called-third strike.
“She’s real confident right now,” Bath coach Laura Ford said of Reynolds. “She came into the season well prepared and I think it shows. She worked hard during the summer and all that hard work has definitely paid off. She’s a confident pitcher right now.”
All nine players in Bath’s lineup recorded at least one hit. Miller led the Wildkittens at the plate, going 4-for-4. Ellie Dackin, the No. 9 hitter for Bath, went 3-for-4.
“So far into the young season, we’ve hit from top to bottom and that’s been huge,” Ford said. “My No. 9 hitter had a key double there and I think she had three hits today. So, when you can get that from your No. 9 hitter (Dackin) then you know you’re doing things well.”
Camille Martin, Heather Miller and Kara Dienstberger all had two hits for Bath.
Bath took an early 2-0 lead, in the home half of the first inning. Abbi Price had a triple to get things going for the Wildkittens. Miller had an RBI single and Reynolds helped her own cause by driving a double to center field, which scored a run.
The big inning for Bath was the third. The Wildkittens scored five runs on six hits. Dackin had a double that plated two runs.
Bath scored two more runs in the fifth. The Wildkittens then recorded the final run of the game on an infield hit by Martin in the sixth that plated Dienstberger.
Celina never got anything going, offensively.
Reynolds retired the Bulldogs in order four times. Both times Celina got a base runner, Reynolds shut the door by retiring the side.
“I was the most impressed with Kimmy today,” Celina coach Nicole Driggs said. “I thought she was the one that controlled the game. We’re a team that scores just as well and she shut us down.”