Wildcats fall to Tomcats on diamond

WATERFORD – Waterford High had a tough day on the diamond Thursday.

The Wildcats softball team suffered a 19-4 setback to visiting Trimble, while the green and white baseball squad dropped a 6-3 decision to the Tomcats.

“Trimble beat us 10-7 at their place (earlier in the season),” said veteran Waterford softball skipper Doug Baldwin, “and we gave them six runs in one inning. We have the ability to play with them. We’ve just got to get everything together.”

Waterford fell to 3-8 overall on the season, while Trimble improved its record to 6-1.

The Wildcats were limited to four hits by Tomcats’ hurler Nikki Kish in the contest. Emma Baldwin had a double, and Jordan Taylor Abby Huffman, and Sam Armstrong each had a single. Paige McCutcheon drove in two runs with groundouts, and Bailey Offenberger also had an RBI groundout.

Baldwin suffered the mound loss, but didn’t walk anybody.

Offensively, the Tomcats, who never trailed in the game, finished with 15 knocks, and were led by multiple-hit batters’ Kaitlyn Spears (2-for-4), Nikki Kish (2-5), Alyssa Turley (3-4), Taya Lackey (2-4), and Kymberly Williams (2-3). Hannah Warren (2 ribbies), Spears (3), Kish (2), and Lackey (3) combined to drive in 10 runs.

“They’re not a bad team,” Doug Baldwin said. “But we gave them some runs early.”

Waterford committed seven errors in the 5-inning contest.

The Wildcats trailed 11-4, going into the top of the fifth. It was then that the Tomcats sent 13 batters to the plate, and scored eight runs to win going away.

“We’re got work to do and got to keep at it,” Baldwin said.

In the baseball contest, Waterford trailed Trimble 2-0 after one, 5-1 after three, and 6-2 going into the bottom of the seventh. The Tomcats (6-3 overall, 4-2 Tri-Valley Conference-Hocking Division) were led by Justice Jenkins, who was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Kamron Curry added two hits, and Nathan Downs doubled home two runs in the third.

“They (Trimble) had a little bit of an addition to that team, and it made a big difference,” said first-year skipper Doug Huffman. “Justice Jenkins, their center fielder, wasn’t with their team when we played them at their place, but tonight he was and he made that catch out there that probably saved them two runs. I think he also had three hits.”

Riley Burns and Clay Hayes each had two hits to pace the Wildcats, while Devyn Farley, Montana Brooker, and Burns each had an RBI. Noah Huffman had a double and scored twice.

“We hit the ball better than they did but they fielded a little bit better than we did,” Doug Huffman said.

Waterford finished with three miscues while Trimble had none.

In the second inning, the Wildcats plated a run when Cameron Bosner scored on Brooker’s sacrifice bunt. The green and white cut it to 5-2 in the fifth when Noah Huffman, who led off the frame with a two basehit, later scored on Farley’s groundout to short.

The Tomcats got a run in the top of the seventh when a doubling Brammer tagged up and scored from third on Cody Jones’ sac fly to center.

In the bottom of the final frame, Waterford battled back. With one out Noah Huffman walked and advanced to second on Isaac Huffman’s base-on-balls. After Farley grounded into a force play, Burns blooped a single down the right field line to plate Noah Huffman.

With baserunners at the corners, Hayes, the Wildcats’ clean-up hitter, stepped into the batter’s box to face Trimble reliever Isaac Wagner. With one swing of the bat, Hayes represented the tying run.

“About two years ago, Clay hit a walk-off grand slam in the seventh inning against Trimble,” Doug Huffman said.

But not this time as Hayes grounded out to the right side of the infield to end the game.

Both Waterford’s softball and baseball teams are scheduled to play at South Gallia today at 5 p.m.