KALIDA — Leipsic fans had to be scratching their heads in disbelief.
Despite recording just one base hit through four innings of play against Leipsic pitching, Kalida was still in the hunt of Thursday’s Putnam County League softball game with the visiting Vikings, down 10-7.
Kalida finally got the bats going in the final three frames, pounding seven hits, but still came up short, losing to Leipsic, 13-12.
With the win, Leipsic improves to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the PCL. Kalida remains winless, slipping to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in league play.
In the home half of the sixth with Leipsic leading 13-10, Kalida’s Taylor Zeller drilled a pitch over the centerfield fence, with what appeared to be a two-run home run. However, before Zeller touched home plate, she was apparently touched by a teammate, which negated the home run, and made it a two-run game, instead of a one-run contest.
Kalida did score another run in the sixth, but fell short in the seventh, losing a heart-breaker on its home field.
“I suppose that was high school softball,” Leipsic coach Adam Cupp said. “You will see a lot of things (at the high school level) that you might not see at other levels. But, two teams fought very hard here tonight. And you hate to see it come down to a call like that. But certainly, they (Kalida) have nothing to hang their heads for, because they’re a good hitting team. They’re going to have some wins this season, for sure.”
For the early part of the game, it was all Leipsic.
The Vikings led 10-1, heading into the bottom of the third. Kalida then scored three runs on no hits. Leipsic starting pitcher Summer Steingass struggled, hitting four batters and walking one in the third.
Steingass was pulled in the third, for Bailee Sickmiller, who came over from first base to take over pitching duties. In her short outing, Steingass hit six batters and walked five, while throwing 58 pitches.
Hannah Warn (3 for 5) finally recorded Kalida’s first hit – a bunt single in the fourth.
For the game, Kalida had eight hits, while Leipsic pounded out nine.
“I told them that a lot of teams would have folded, took the run-rule (loss) and would have got out of here,” Kalida coach Randy Buss said. “But, they fought back on their home field. I couldn’t be prouder of them at the way they fought back.
“We had a good chance to win. You take away that little funky call on the home run and it’s a tied game and we’re probably still playing. But it is, what it is and we’ll live to play another day.”
Jaylen Vandemark started in the pitching circle for Kalida. The senior right-hander worked 2 1/3 innings before being lifted. Emily Buss came over from her shortstop position to take over for Vandemark. Buss pitched the rest of the game for the Wildcats.
Kierra Meyer and Jala Hazelton led Leipsic at the plate, both going 2 for 2 with two RBI.
Defensively, Leipsic committed five errors, while Kalida made three miscues in the field.
“It’s crazy how momentum changes in a game like this,” Cupp said. “We’re up 10-1, moving around the bases pretty well. Then the next thing you know, they get some momentum and it goes the other way. It’s like a roller-coaster – and we’re just trying to hold on. It’s tough.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.