LIMA — It took one wild Wapakoneta throw to get Defiance rolling.
And from there, the Bulldogs were well on their way.
Defiance cruised to a five-inning, 15-0 victory over Wapakoneta in the Division II softball district semifinals Thursday at the University of Northwestern Ohio.
Defiance (21-2) advances to the district championship game against Napoleon at 1 p.m. Saturday at UNOH. Napoleon defeated Bryan 7-1 in the first district semifinal game of the day.
Western Buckeye League champion Defiance won the regular-season meeting between the two teams 15-2.
“We wiped out what happened last time and we stayed focused,” Defiance catcher Caroline Turner said. “And we did all the little things right. We attacked the first pitch. And we played phenomenal defense.’’
On Thursday, Defiance scored three in the first and added seven in the second to take command 10-0.
Teya Castillo notched the win, giving up no runs and three hits over her five innings of work. She struck out three and walked one.
Castillo threw 64 pitches, 41 for strikes.
“She hit her spots really well,” Defiance coach Dennis Parrish said. “She can bring the heat when she wants to. She was on her game. That’s the way she’s been all year. And with the defense like we have behind her, she just throws strikes.
In the top of the first, Castillo singled with one out.
Caroline Turner hit a grounder to third and the Wapak third baseman launched a high throw to second trying for the force, but the throw ended up in right field.
With the Wapak defense shifted around to left, there was no one in right field to chase down the wild throw. Castillo easily scored from first and Turner came all the way around on the fielder’s choice grounder to score to make it 2-0.
Selena Garcia’s RBI single made it 3-0 in the first.
“They were putting a shift on us and they had no one in right field,” Turner said. “A simple error can cost you and it cost them that time.’’
Added Parrish, “Heads up by our girls. They were talking about it (the shift) in the dugout. All of sudden, they threw it out there. They knew they were all shifted over and it was just heads-up running by our baserunners.’’
Emalee McKenzie launched a two-run home run over the left-center field fence to push the lead to 5-0 in the second. Caleigh Jimenez’s RBI single made it 6-0.
Carlee Smiddy’s two-run single kicked the margin to 8-0.
By the time the second inning was over, it was 10-0, Defiance.
Wapak, which had four errors on the game, had three errors in the second inning.
“We did help them out a lot,” Wapak coach Bill Sammons said. “I think we had a lot of young girls who weren’t experienced in that situation and I hope they got experience today.
It’s a great team in Defiance. We just couldn’t keep them at bay and they capitalized on our mistakes.’’
Offensively, Defiance had plenty of balance in its 13-hit attack.
McKenzie had a home run and two RBI. Castillo was 2 for 3.
Turner was 2 for 3 with two RBI. Smiddy was 2 for 3 with two RBI.
Morgan Wityk was 2 for 3 with two RBI.
“Our girls had a ton of effort, but you give them mistakes and errors and they’re going to capitalize,’’ Sammons said.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.