BATH TOWNSHIP – Bath senior Shelby Marsteller is always up for a challenge.
In Saturday’s nonleague softball matchup with visiting Fort Recovery, Marsteller showed just how prepared she is.
After Marsteller pitched the first five innings and gave up just one run, Bath head coach Britt Lauck decided to pull her standout pitcher from the game and let Claire Foust come in from her rightfield position and take over the pitching duties.
However, after a rocky start from Foust, Lauck did not hesitate to bring her ace back into the game.
However, Fort Recovery rallied back and eventually forced extra innings.
But in the end, it was Marsteller’s bat that got the job done for the Wildkittens.
In the ninth inning (seven innings is regulation), Marsteller put the game away with an RBI single to give Bath a hard-fought 9-8 victory over Fort Recovery.
With the loss, Fort Recovery slips to 2-1. Bath evens its record at 2-2.
On the day, Marsteller worked a total of 8 1/3 innings. She threw a total of 130 pitches. At the plate, Marsteller was 2 for 5 with the game-winning RBI in the ninth.
“I told her (Marsteller) to stay ready (to come back and pitch), just in case,” Lauck said. “Hats off to how hard she trains during the offseason, too. She keeps herself mentally in the game like that, and then comes back in and finishes it. … That’s the way she’s been the four years for us. She puts in the extra work all the time.”
Marsteller said it was a total team effort on Saturday.
“We battled through a lot of adversity. Everything that came our way, we just pushed through and got done what we needed to get done,” Marsteller said.
When Marsteller came out of the game after the fifth inning, Bath had a seemingly comfortable 6-1 lead.
However, in the sixth, Fort Recovery put six runs on the board to take a 7-6 lead.
Bath tied it up at 7 apiece in the home half of the sixth. Neither team managed to score in the seventh and eighth innings.
Then, in the top of the ninth, Fort Recovery took an 8-7 lead.
However, in the ninth, the Wildkittens finally closed it out.
With one out, Claire Armentrout reached first base with an infield single for the Wildkittens. Ava Gibson followed with an RBI single to left to drive in Armentrout and knot the game at 8 apiece.
Now it was Marsteller’s chance to finally put the game away for Bath.
The senior standout promptly responded with a base hit that drove in pinch-runner Karlie Romaker for the winning run.
For the game, both teams pounded 14 hits.
However, both teams missed some other opportunities to score. For the game, Fort Recovery left 11 runners on base, while Bath left a total of nine base runners stranded.
Defensively, Fort Recovery made four errors for the game. Bath made two errors.
Along with Marsteller’s two-hit day, teammates Elena Oliver, Rachel Clark, Claire Foust, Ava Gibson and Olivia Foster also had two-hit performances for Bath.
Bath’s Dylan Grigsby was 1 for 4 on the day. However, Grigsby had the biggest hit of the contest, a two-run home run over the centerfield fence in Bath’s big fourth inning, in which the Wildkittens scored five runs.
Jackie Homan, Sophie Pearson, Cali Wendel and Emma Will each had two hits for Fort Recovery.
Jackie Homan got the starting nod in the pitching circle for the Indians Saturday. Homan pitched six-plus innings before giving way to Sophie Pearson, who pitched the rest of the game.
“We were off to a big start (in Saturday’s game), and we would have liked to have finished it right there,” Lauck said. “But we’re young and we have a few things to work through and to grow through, to get where we can put these games away.
“But what I do like is, we came back and won. Fort Recovery is a good team. We did have some adversity. We fought through it. We continued to get hits, and get bunts down when we needed to. And we had some good base running when we needed it. I’m proud of them for fighting back and getting through it.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.