Softball: Hittle powers Spencerville past Ottoville

SPENCERVILLE — Sometimes all it takes is a breakout performance from one player to erase some early season struggles.

The Spencerville Bearcats, who entered Thursday night 0-2 on the young season, got that type of performance from third-basemen Haley Hittle, who provided all the pop in a 15-2 win over Ottoville.

Hittle went 3 for 6 at the plate and drove in six runs. Three of those runs came home on a second-inning double that put Spencerville up six. Hittle reached base safely four times, came around to score twice and collected five total bases in the win.

It was a performance that Spencerville coach Lori Schwartz said was “absolutely huge” for her team.

“She’s done a lot of work in the offseason and it’s starting to come through for her,” Schwartz said. “It’s really nice to get some good hits out of your players. Haley and Chevy did really well at the plate tonight.”

Left-fielder Chevy Johnson added a pair of hits, including a two-run triple in the fourth inning where the Bearcats plated nine runs. As a team, Spencerville scored its 15 runs on 11 hits and took advantage of three errors from the Ottoville defense.

Spencerville starting pitcher Allison Post scattered 10 hits from the Big Green, allowing two earned runs and striking out three hitters.

“She did a lot of strategic planning with some of her pitching,” Schwartz said of Post. “She didn’t get down when things didn’t go her way. She just kept fighting back and she had a great game.

“She also did a good job with our freshman catcher. All around, I think our defense held up with them and it was good to see all of that happen together.”

Ottoville scored once in both the fourth and fifth innings. Madison Hoersten had three hits out of the two-hole and Carlie Knotts drove in a run. Vanessa Hilvers was charged with the loss inside the circle.

Box score (r-h-e)

Ottoville 00011XX 2-10-3

Spencerville 2409XXX 15-11-1

Ottooville 2 (ab-r-h-rbi)

Avery Bearman 3-0-0-0, Madison Hoersten 3-1-3-0, Aleyah Bearman 3-0-1-0, Carlie Knotts 3-0-1-1, Alivia Hilvers 3-1-2-0, Vanessa Hilvers 3-0-1-0, Bryleigh Napao 2-0-1-0, R. Boecker 2-0-1-1, Chloe Wannemacher 2-0-0-0, Totals: 24-2-10-2.

Spencerville 15 (ab-r-h-rbi)

Elise Litsey 4-0-0-0, Jenna Wannamacher 2-3-1-0, Allison Post 1-3-0-1, Haley Hittle 3-2-3-6, Andrea Shaw 4-1-2-2, Gabby King 3-1-1-1, Hannah Stirn 2-2-1-1, Chevy Johnson 3-1-2-2, Eden Huffman 0-1-0-0, Quincey Baumgartner 1-1-1-0, Totals: 23-15-11-13.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so)

W — Allison Post 5.0-10-2-2-0-3

L — Vanessa Hilvers

Reach Chris Howell at 567-242-0468 or on Twitter at @Lima_Howell