BATH TOWNSHIP — There was a relief pitcher but no relief for Defiance when Bath rolled to a 9-3 win over the Bulldogs in a Division II softball sectional championship game at Bath on Friday.
The Wildkittens scored in every inning but one. Every batter in their lineup reached base and eight of their nine starters had at least one hit.
With the win, Bath (19-5) advanced to a district semifinal game against St. Marys at 4 p.m. Thursday at UNOH. The Roughriders beat Elida 6-5 in a sectional championship game on Friday. Shawnee will face Bryan in the other district semifinal at UNOH.
“Our offense definitely keeps us going. But I think we have a very strong defense and we have to because all the teams we have been playing are so good offensively themselves,” Bath coach Britt Lauck said. “But what gets us going is our bats.
“We put a lot of emphasis on it. We do a lot of repetition hitting in practice. We rally behind that. We have girls who have been consistent all year long. Chandler (Clark) and Dylan (Grigsby) and Rachel (Clark) and Ruby (Bolon) and all of them can hit. It’s nice to see that when one hits, we all start to hit.”
Chandler Clark had a double and a single and walked two times. Esther Bolon had a home run and a double. Grigsby had a double and a single and Ruby Bolon also had a double and a single.
Aly Escamilla, Grayce Jones, Taighen Zipfel and Rochelle Garcia all had two hits for Defiance (9-17).
Bath took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Rachel Clark singled and eventually scored on a throwing error. The lead grew to 2-0 in the second inning on Esther Bolon’s home run.
After Defiance scored in the top of the third inning, Bath went up 3-1 when Chandler Clark walked, stole two bases and scored on Ruby Bolon’s double.
The Wildkittens’ lead grew to 6-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Rachel Clark and a two-run double by Grigsby.
Defiance cut the led to 6-3 in the top of the fifth inning on a double by Taighen Zipfel, a triple by Rochelle Garcia and a single by Aly Escamilla before Bath got a double play on a line drive back to Grigsby to avoid further damage.
Bath scored three more runs in the fifth inning. Abbie Dackin singled and Esther Bolon doubled and both eventually scored, with Dackin scoring on a ground out by Shelby Marstellar and Bolon crossing the plate on a triple by Elena Oliver. Chandler Clark’s single scored Oliver.
Bath had beaten Defiance 15-4 in a run-rule game on April 27. “You can’t take anyone for granted no matter what your score was during the season. It was a good match-up with Defiance and we’ve just got to look to the next one now,” Lauck said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.