|Lady Jeffcats fall short in NWC softball|
|Tuesday, April 15, 2014 8:09 PM|
BY JIM METCALFE
DELPHOS — Jefferson’s softball unit put together its best all-around effort in a long time as the Lady Wildcats entertained Northwest Conference foe Lincolnview on a damp spring Monday afternoon.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t quite finish the deal as the Lady Lancers rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the final three frames to escape with a 6-4 triumph.
Both pitchers went the distance.
Jefferson (0-8, 0-2 NWC) sophomore Claire Thompson (0-4) gave up seven hits and six runs (5 earned), walked two and fanned two in her 95-pitch (65 for strikes) outing.
Lincolnview (3-4, 1-1) senior Ashley McClure (3-4) had to work harder in her 161-pitch effort (93 for strikes): nine hits, four earned runs, five bases-on-balls, 10 strikeouts.
Number 8 hitter Sophia Wilson led the hosts with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate (1 run batted in), while second hitter Samantha Branham was 2-for-4 (RBI).
“This was our best effort in quite a while. We’re starting to get more innings and at-bats and we’re seeing results; this was the second game in a row (Paulding Friday) where we were extremely competitive,” Jefferson coach Josiah Stober explained. “We played very well all-around. We’ve moved girls around to new spots and it’s taken time for them to get used to it. We’re using different strategies and the girls are buying into what we’re teaching. We preach if we do the little things right, we will eventually get that win.”
On behalf of the guests, Macey Ashbaugh (RBI, run) and Julia Thatcher (RBI, run) both went 2-for-4.
Lincolnview coach Kent McClure wasn’t nearly as pleased.
“I told the girls we can’t afford to take Jefferson lightly; they have improved so much and I expected them to give us all we wanted. I give coach Stober a lot of credit for what he’s done,” McClure added. “It has been a struggle for us this year to put it together. We have a 4-year senior starting pitcher and she had to work really hard today. We just haven’t clicked for whatever reason.”
Jefferson grabbed a 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth before the Lancers started its comeback in the upper half of the fifth. Macala Ashbaugh led off with a solid single to center and advanced to third on a Mikenna Klinger comebacker and a Stephanie Longwell bounceout to second. Macey Ashbaugh got aboard on an error on her sinking liner to the outfield, scoring Macala Ashbaugh for a 4-3 deficit. McClure walked but Devann Springer was retired to remain a run down.
The Red and White tried to retaliate in the home half. With two down, Sarah Thitoff walked and advanced on a wild pitch. A Sophie Wilson grounder into left but runners on the corners but Delphos could do no further damage.
The Blue and Yellow finished the comeback in the sixth. Baylee Neate slapped a double down the left-field line and scored on Thatcher’s well-placed bloop double between third base and left field. The latter advanced on a wild pitch. An out later, Macala Ashbaugh laid down a squeeze bunt and Thatcher beat the throw home for a 5-4 edge. Klinger grounded a hit into left and Macey Ashbaugh blooped a 2-out, run-scoring knock to center to plate pinch-runner Kayla Schroeder and put runners on the corners. Macey Ashbaugh stole second but both runners were left stranded.
Samantha Branham lined a 1-out hit to center in the home half but was left there.
Neate got aboard on a 1-out, 2-base throwing error in the seventh and got to third on a Thatcher groundout but remained there.
Thompson commenced Jefferson’s final at-bat with a free pass and reached second on a 1-out bounceout by Thitoff. However, Wilson grounded out to third baseman Kelsey Mohr to end the game.
Lincolnview went up 2-0 in the top half of the opening frame. Macey Ashbaugh slapped a leadoff double and stole third. A. McClure walked and courtesy runner Katie McClure stole second. An illegal pitch plated Ashbaugh and advanced K. McClure to third, from where she scored on a 2-out double to left center by Thatcher. When the final out was recorded, that started a run of 10 straight Lancer outs, broken on the opening batter of the fifth.
Hannah Sensibaugh started the home half with a leadoff free pass, stole second with one gone and kept going via an error on the sequence. The hosts could not get her home.
The hosts cut their deficit to 2-1 in the home second. Thompson led off with a double to the fence in left center. Danielle Harman walked. A passed ball moved them both up. An out later, Wilson sliced a run-scoring single to left and put runners on the corners. They remained there as the side was retired.
Shayla Rice blooped a 1-out hit to right in the home third and a wild pitch put her on second. The hosts couldn’t advance her.
The Wildcats put up a 3 spot in the fourth to take the lead 4-2. Harman blooped a hit into right to start it off. Thitoff hit a bloop to the same spot and Wilson ripped a hit off the glove of Mohr to load the bases. Abby Parkins walked to force home Harman and tie the score at 2. Sensibaugh flied out to left to plate Thitoff for a 3-2 lead and Branham grounded a single into right center to plate Wilson and a 4-2 scoreboard. She took second on a passed ball but the Wildcats could do no more damage to leave the score at 4-2.
The Wildcats return to the diamond today at Perry, while Lincolnview hosts Lima Central Catholic Thursday.
Macey Ashbaugh 1b 4-1-2-1, Ashley McClure p 2-0-0-0, Katie McClure cr 0-1-0-0, Devann Springer cf 4-0-0-0, Baylee Neate ss 4-1-1-0, Julia Thatcher c 4-1-2-1, Kelsey Mohr 3b 4-0-0-0, Macala Ashbaugh dp 2-1-1-1, Kayla Schroeder flex/rf/pr 0-1-0-0, Mikenna Klinger 2b 3-0-1-0, Stephanie Longwell lf 3-0-0-0. Totals 30-6-8-3.
Hannah Sensibaugh ss 2-0-0-1, Samantha Branham c 4-0-2-1, Kiersten Teman cr 0-0-0-0, Shayla Rice 3b 4-0-1-1, Jessica Pimpas lf 4-0-0-0, Claire Thompson p 3-0-1-1, Danielle Harman 1b 3-1-1-0, Sarah Thitoff cf 3-1-1-0, Sophie Wilson 2b 4-1-3-1, Abby Parkins dp 2-0-0-1, Kimber Kill flex/rf 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-4-9-4.
Score by Innings:
Lincolnview 2 0 0 0 1 3 0 - 6
Jefferson 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 - 4
E: Neate, Rice, Kill; LOB: Lincolnview 5, Jefferson 10; 2B: Thatcher 2, Macey Ashlbaugh, Neate, Thompson; SB: Macey Ashbaugh, K. McClure, Sensibaugh; Sac: Macala Ashbaugh; SF: Sensibaugh.
IP H R ER BB SO
A. McClure (W, 3-4) 7.0 9 4 4 5 10
Thompson (L, 0-4) 7.0 7 6 5 2 2
WP: A. McClure 2, Thompson; PB: Thatcher 2; Illegal Pitch: Thompson.