Wahama tops Waterford 11-8 in slugfest
WATERFORD – Waterford had plenty of offense Friday evening.
Unfortunately for the Lady Wildcats, so did Wahama.
The two teams combined for 25 hits and 19 runs in a contest that saw the Lady White Falcons escape with an 11-8 victory.
“We’re capable of playing with anybody on our schedule,” said Waterford head coach Doug Baldwin. “We just gotta make a few little things here and there that we aren’t making sometimes that will get us over the top and win some of those games.”
Wahama’s Bailey Hicks was a thorn in Waterford’s side all game long, drawing a walk and scoring a run in the first inning before hitting three straight home runs to left field. Rachel Roque, batting in front of Hicks, also had a nice day at the plate with four hits and three stolen bases.
The Wildcats had four players with multiple hits. Jayde Heiss was 2-4 with a pair of runs scored while Hannah Offenberger was also 2-4 with three runs batted in. Tori Pyatt and Alana Heiss each had two hits as well.
With the game tied at 8-all after five frames, Roque hit an infield single with one out in the top of the sixth and then stole second. Hicks then came to the plate and, with two strikes, connected on a pitch out of the strike zone and hit it deep to left field. The left fielder Laura Hill made a play on it, but the ball hit off of her glove and over the fence for Hicks’ third long ball of the game. That put Wahama in the lead for good.
“The girl did a nice job,” Baldwin said of Hicks. “That last home run was not a good pitch to hit. She went up after a high, inside pitch and I thought we got enough air under it but she just barely got it out.”
The White Falcons would tack on another run in the top of the seventh for good measure, making it 11-8.
Hill would get on base via a bunt single in the bottom of the seventh, but that was all the green and white could muster.
The loss dropped Waterford’s record to 7-8 on the year. The ‘Cats are back in action Monday when they host Miller for another Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest.
Some mental mistakes on the base paths and in the field seemed to plague Waterford.
“We made a few little mistakes,” Baldwin said. “I tell the kids all the time that when you play good teams you can’t make those mistakes, and that’s what we did. There’s just a couple times you let one little ball roll through and that turns into extra runs, extra bases and extra outs. It costs you in a tight game.”
Jayde Heiss pitched all seven innings for Waterford to take the mound loss.
Destiny Divers pitch three innings of relief for Wahama to earn the victory. Shalyn Greer started on the mound for the Falcons, striking out one and walking two in four innings of work.
After surrendering three runs in the top of the first, Waterford quickly struck back with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning.
Nicole Neslein and Heiss each reached base with one out in the inning before Offenberger ripped a double to right-center field.
Neslein and Heiss both came around to score to make it 3-2.
The Falcons quickly answered with a pair in the top of the second.
Just like in the sixth inning, Roque got things started with a single and stole second on the very next pitch. Hicks followed with a no-doubt homer to left field to make it a three-run ballgame.
It became a one-run game in the bottom of the third. With runners at the corners, Offenberger pulled a ball through the left side for a single, plating Neslein. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Cierra Heiss hit into an infield fly rule, but the ball was dropped allowing Jayde Heiss to scamper home to make the score 5-4.
Waterford would tie it up an inning later on an RBI-groundout by Neslein that plated Alana Heiss.
The next half-inning however, Wahama put a three-spot on the board. Hicks hit her second homer, this one a solo shot, to make it 6-5. Morgan Harrison and Elisabeth Hendrick would each get run-scoring hits later in the inning to go up 8-5.
Once again, Waterford was resilient. Janelle Pugh and Tori Pyatt led off the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back singles. Hill then hit a routine grounder that was misplayed, allowing Pugh to come home. Alana Heiss then came through with a double to right field to send Pyatt and Hill across the plate and tie the game yet again.
The Wildcats ran out of magic after that, as Wahama would take over the final two frames to claim the W.
Wahama used a four-run sixth inning to pull away from Waterford Friday evening and win 6-1.
The White Falcons quickly got a run in the top of the first, but the Wildcats tied things up in the bottom of the second with a run of their own.
Wahama scored again in the top of the fourth, which proved to be the deciding run, but four more runs in the sixth gave the team breathing room.
Josh Schaad pitched all seven innings for the green and white, striking out five and giving out four free passes.
Mitch Ginther was 3-3 at the plate while Devon Patterson and Cody Paxton were each 2-4. Devyn Farley drove in the Wildcats’ only run.
Waterford (4-13) plays again Saturday against Wood County Christian. The game will be the completion of a game that was previously suspended due to thunder. It is scheduled to resume at 10:30 a.m.