MILLER CITY — When you’ve won 26 games, you’ve won a lot of different ways.
But Bath (26-1) might have found a new way when it defeated Defiance 6-0 in a Division II sectional softball semifinal on Tuesday.
The Wildkittens’ win came with only four hits — and one of those was a triple off the bat of leadoff hitter Camille Martin in the first inning.
Still, they moved on to play for the district championship on Saturday against the winner of the Wapakoneta-Maumee semifinal scheduled for today.
“We had some chances today and couldn’t come through with the big hit to put some runs on the board today, but you have to give them (Defiance) credit,” Bath coach Laura Ford said.
“We’ve been hitting the ball pretty well. That’s what surprised me,” she said. “We’ve got a few days to get right back at it and practice. But you can’t complain. A tournament win is a win, and you just survive to the next day.”
Defiance (13-14) has rarely advanced this far in the tournament. And just as rare for the Bulldogs is getting hits off Bath pitcher Kimmy Reynolds, who threw a two-hitter at Defiance for the second time this season. She also no-hit the Bulldogs last year.
Reynolds, the Western Buckeye League Player of The Year, struck out 13 and walked two.
Bath, which won 5-1 in the regular-season game between the two teams, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Martin scored the first run on an outfield error on a dropped fly ball and Alyssa Manley, who had reached base on a fielder’s choice, scored on a wild pitch.
The Wildkittens added four more runs in the third inning with the help of four walks by Defiance pitchers, three wild pitches, a passed ball and two hits. The big hit was a two-run single by Martin.
Martin’s hit ended Defiance starter Bry Perez’s time on the mound. Freshman Ahna Riggenbach came on to hold Bath to no runs and one hit over the last 3 1/3 innings.
Defiance’s biggest threat came in the sixth inning when it loaded the bases with two outs on a hit batter and two walks. But Reynolds got a strikeout to end the inning.
Perez walked six, hit a batter and threw four wild pitches in 3 2/3 innings.
“We struggled with our control early and put people on bases. We’re either really on or we struggle and unfortunately tonight we drew the struggle card,” Defiance coach Hans Zipfel said.
“I saw improvement from last year (against Bath) to the league game to this game,” he said. “I think it was good for our kids to get to this level of competition.”
Bath’s district championship game will start at either 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. Saturday, depending who its opponent is.
If the Wildkittens play Wapakoneta, the game will be at 2 p.m. If it is Maumee, the game will start at 4 p.m. because Maumee has graduation scheduled at noon on Saturday.
Bath vs. Defiance