Wauseon got stronger the longer the game went in its 8-2 win over Bath in a Division II softball district semifinal on Thursday at UNOH, which looked a lot like the overall trajectory of the Indians’ season.
Wauseon’s win was its seventeenth in its last 18 games after a 5-4 start.
After going scoreless in the first two innings, Wauseon got two runs in the third inning, broke open the game with a four-run rally in the fourth inning, then came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth.
“We’re hitting the ball very well. We’re putting it together at the end of the year, which we need to do. And our pitching was awesome,” Wauseon coach Mark Schang said.
Harlee Floss went 3 for 4 and Payton Albright had a home run and a triple to lead a 13-hit attack for the Indians.
Winning pitcher Juli Spadafore pitched the first five innings and allowed two runs and four hits and struck out eight. Macee Schang pitched two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh.
So, what set off the hot streak Wauseon has been on since that 5-4 start to the season?
“We did a lot of soul searching after those first four losses,” Wauseon coach Mark Schang said. “The girls were hard on themselves. But I showed them a newspaper article that a team that is right by us went to state and was 27-5.
“That’s what we’re shooting for now. We’ve just been grinding. That’s about it,” he said.
Wauseon built a 6-0 lead by the time Bath scored its two runs in the top of the fifth inning.
After the first two Bath batters in that inning went out, Ruby Bolon singled. Tori Dackin walked, which advanced pinch runner Jillian Anderson to second base. Then Chandler Clark’s triple to center field scored both of the runners.
“They were a good, solid team. They had good hitting, good pitching, good defense. They were an all around a good team,” Bath coach Hannah Slavin said. “I was proud of our girls for battling to the last pitch.
“I think our pitcher (Kaylee Grant), a freshman, threw a really nice game. I thought our defense played well. The better team just won today,” she said.
“We haven’t been to district in a couple of years and that was a goal of my upperclassmen and I’m glad they were able to have that opportunity.”
Wauseon will play Napoleon at 1 p.m. Saturday at UNOH for the district championship.
Napoleon 3, Celina 2
Celina put the tying run on base in the seventh inning but No. 1-seeded Napoleon held on for the win in the other semifinal at UNOH on Thursday.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a triple by Megan Richardson and a sacrifice fly by Bekah Zachrich.
Celina (13-7) tied the game in the top of the second when Taylor Turner doubled and pinch runner Haley Kirk moved up on a bunt and scored on a wild pitch.
Napoleon (12-6) went up 2-1 in the fourth inning when Zachrich singled, moved up on a ground out and scored on a double by Steve Rieger. Zachrich had a run-scoring single in the fifth inning to give Napoleon a 3-1 lead.
Celina cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the seventh inning and had the tying run at third base when the game ended.
Napoleon’s defense had double plays to end the first inning, the fourth inning and the sixth inning.