Bluffton upends Leipsic in softball


By Tom Usher - [email protected]



Leipsic’s Catherine Essinger bats during Thursday’s game against Bluffton in Leipsic. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com.

Leipsic’s Catherine Essinger bats during Thursday’s game against Bluffton in Leipsic. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com.


Nate Reynolds | The Lima News

Bluffton’s Addie Businger bats against the Leipsic battery of Jocie Hermiller (10), and Abby Ellerbrock during Thursday’s game at Leipsic.

Bluffton’s Addie Businger bats against the Leipsic battery of Jocie Hermiller (10), and Abby Ellerbrock during Thursday’s game at Leipsic.


Nate Reynolds | The Lima News

Bluffton’s Addie Businger bats as Leipsic’s Abby Ellerbrock catches during Thursday’s game at Leipsic.


Nate Reynolds | The Lima News

Bluffton’s Dyllan Worcester slides into second before Leipsic’s Ava Henry can apply the tag during Thursday’s game at Leipsic.


Nate Reynolds | The Lima News

Leipsic’s Samantha Hazelton bats as Bluffton’s Sophie Bricker catches during Thursday’s game at Leipsic.


Nate Reynolds | The Lima News

Bluffton’s Ashley Fleece makes a throw to first baseman Lauren Swartzlander to record the out during Thursday’s game at Leipsic..


Nate Reynolds | The Lima News

LEIPSIC – Bluffton pitcher Hannah Davis locked in on the plate early and rarely missed her target.

Davis scattered six hits in a 7-1 Bluffton victory over Leipsic in a Northwest Conference softball game Thursday at Charlie Bennett Park in Leipsic.

Davis went the distance and gave up one run on six hits. She struck out six and walked none.

Davis moved her fastball around the plate and mixed in an occasional change-up. She threw 80 pitches, 66 for strikes.

“I throw high fastballs and I throw a change-up,” Davis said. “I threw about 25 percent (change-ups) today.

“For me, I adapt to where the umpire is calling strikes and I throw them where hitters weaknesses are.’’

Bluffton, which has won five in a row, is 5-4, 2-0 in the Northwest Conference. Leipsic is 6-3, 2-2 in the NWC.

Bluffton coach Jon Inniger called it one of his team’s better performances of the season.

“We played almost our best game,” Inniger said “We played one better earlier, but the defense was great, the pitching and catching was great and the timely hitting was there. … The last three games we’ve done that (gotten big hits) and that helps.’’

Bluffton scored one in the second and one in the third to take a 2-0 lead. The Pirates added three in the fifth to make it 5-0.

Leipsic committed four errors, which helped the Pirates’ offense. But Bluffton had 10 hits.

Bluffton leadoff hitter Ashley Fleece was 2 for 4 and scored two runs. Riley Busch was 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Dyllan Worcester went 2 for 4 with two RBI for Bluffton. Lauren Swartzlander was 2 for 4.

Sophie Bricker had a triple.

For Leipsic, Marisa Hermiller was 2 for 4. Jocelyn Hermiller had a home run.

Bluffton took an early 1-0 lead in the second.

Worcester singled, stole second and came home on an RBI single to left by Swartlander.

In the third, Bluffton’s Fleece singled, was bunted to second by Bricker and stole third. Fleece scored on an RBI single to left by Worcester.

That gave Bluffton a 2-0 lead.

Bluffton scored three in the fifth and was aided by three Vikings’ errors in the inning to make it 5-0. Busch’s RBI single gave Bluffton a 3-0 lead.

“That’s the worst game we played all year,” Leipsic coach Shane Hermiller said. “We were chasing pitches, letting decent pitches go by and we had no energy tonight. Defensively, we had seven errors (according to Leipsic). We haven’t had seven errors all year.’’

Jocelyn Hermiller hammered a home run to left to get the Vikings within 5-1 in the sixth.

Bluffton finished it off with a two-run seventh to make it 7-1.

Lauren Bassett’s RBI double gave Bluffton a 6-1 lead. The Pirates scored their seventh run on Leipsic’s fourth error.

That was more than enough for Davis, who had only two three-ball counts all game and no walks.

“She’s a junior and she works hard all summer (on softball),” Inniger said of Davis. “She doesn’t play any other sport and I’m really proud of how hard she works. She deserves a game like this.’’

Davis said, “(The early runs) helped me out a lot because we feed off that energy.’’

Hermiller went all seven innings for the Vikings and gave up seven runs, four earned, on 10 hits. She struck out seven and walked two.

Leipsic’s Catherine Essinger bats during Thursday’s game against Bluffton in Leipsic. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/04/web1_DSC_0862-1.jpgLeipsic’s Catherine Essinger bats during Thursday’s game against Bluffton in Leipsic. See more high school sports photos at LimaScores.com. Nate Reynolds | The Lima News
Bluffton’s Addie Businger bats against the Leipsic battery of Jocie Hermiller (10), and Abby Ellerbrock during Thursday’s game at Leipsic.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/04/web1_DSC_1127-1.jpgBluffton’s Addie Businger bats against the Leipsic battery of Jocie Hermiller (10), and Abby Ellerbrock during Thursday’s game at Leipsic. Nate Reynolds | The Lima News
Bluffton’s Addie Businger bats as Leipsic’s Abby Ellerbrock catches during Thursday’s game at Leipsic.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/04/web1_DSC_0648-1.jpgBluffton’s Addie Businger bats as Leipsic’s Abby Ellerbrock catches during Thursday’s game at Leipsic. Nate Reynolds | The Lima News
Bluffton’s Dyllan Worcester slides into second before Leipsic’s Ava Henry can apply the tag during Thursday’s game at Leipsic.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/04/web1_DSC_0767-1.jpgBluffton’s Dyllan Worcester slides into second before Leipsic’s Ava Henry can apply the tag during Thursday’s game at Leipsic. Nate Reynolds | The Lima News
Leipsic’s Samantha Hazelton bats as Bluffton’s Sophie Bricker catches during Thursday’s game at Leipsic.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/04/web1_DSC_0984-1.jpgLeipsic’s Samantha Hazelton bats as Bluffton’s Sophie Bricker catches during Thursday’s game at Leipsic. Nate Reynolds | The Lima News
Bluffton’s Ashley Fleece makes a throw to first baseman Lauren Swartzlander to record the out during Thursday’s game at Leipsic..
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/04/web1_DSC_1072-1.jpgBluffton’s Ashley Fleece makes a throw to first baseman Lauren Swartzlander to record the out during Thursday’s game at Leipsic.. Nate Reynolds | The Lima News

By Tom Usher

[email protected]

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

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