MILLER CITY — Maumee’s seniors wore their graduation caps to the game with their uniforms and received their diplomas at home plate afterward, but the softball honors went to Bath.
The Wildkittens (27-1), who just like Maumee had graduation on Saturday, earned their 16th district title in softball when they won 5-0 over the Panthers in the Division II district championship game at Miller City.
That win sends them on to the Division II regional semifinals at Bucyrus at 5 p.m. Wednesday against Mansfield Madison (24-4). In the other half of that bracket, Oberlin Firelands will play Granville at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Bath got back-to-back shutouts from Kimmy Reynolds (23-1) in wins over Maumee and Defiance in the district tournament, committed one error in two games and had timely, if not always frequent hits.
The Wildkittens scored a run in the first inning against Maumee without a hit when leadoff hitter Camille Martin walked, moved up on a wild pitch and a ground out, then scored on another wild pitch.
They added two more runs in the fourth inning on one hit. Heather Miller singled to make it 2-0, then another wild pitch by Maumee pitcher Sam Fowls brought Kara Dientsberger in to score.
After taking a 3-0 lead with only one hit, Bath brought out the bats in the sixth inning when Reynolds led off with a home run to left field and two batters later Dientsberger took a pitch over the center field fence for another home run.
“We didn’t put the ball in play hard too much today. We did when we had to. They got people on base and Kimmy stood up and threw better than ever. Our defense was strong,” Bath coach Laura Ford said. “It was a total team effort.”
Maumee (18-8) had scoring threats in the first, second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings. But each time Reynolds shut them down.
In the first inning, the Panthers had runners and first and second but a ground out to shortstop ended it. They also had runners on first and second again in the second inning but Reynolds got back-to-back strikeouts.
In the fourth inning, Maumee’s Emily Young led off with a double and Reynolds struck out the next three batters. In the sixth inning, the Panthers had runners on second and third with one out, but Bath escaped with a ground out and a pop-up.
Finally, in the seventh inning, Maumee put two runners on base with one out but could not score.
Reynolds has thrown five perfect games this season, but when she isn’t quite perfect, she can be the softball version of moving the cursor back and correcting a problem. Maumee got eight hits off her, but no runs.
“I’m focused when they aren’t on base but if they do get on base, you have to refocus, go to a spot where you know you’re confident, throw the ball as hard as you can and hit your spots,” Reynolds said.
Ford said, “Anytime someone gets on, she just goes into a different gear. That’s something that has been true for her all year long.”
Bath's Kimmy Reynolds