Seeking a berth in 14th District Championship Game for the fourth consecutive season, South Warren took a little bit to get the motor running but pulled away late in an 11-0 win over Bowling Green.
Although the game seemed much closer than score indicated, South Warren head coach Chris Riggs credited the calmness of his top-seeded squad.
“Bowling Green came out ready to play,” said Riggs. “We’ve kind of played with a sense of calmness about us all year long. I told them to take ownership of the team, and they seemed to do that tonight.”
The Lady Purples indeed did come to play as they held the 29-2 Lady Spartans to only two runs in the first four innings of play.
“The first couple of innings were a little rough because we felt like we were playing not to lose,” said junior Lauren Martin. “Eventually we decided that it was time to come together as a team and to start getting hits together.”
The Lady Spartans tacked on one run in the first inning when Madison Daugherty hit in to a fielder’s choice to bring in Bailee Collins, giving South Warren a 1-0 lead.
After both teams traded three up, three down innings, the Lady Spartans added another run in the fourth inning when Collins hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Katie Conley.
After both teams stranded runners in the fourth inning, South Warren exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fifith inning on an error on Martin’s fly ball and a three-run homer by Madison Stumbo, who came off the bench to pinch hit.
Zeen's Automatic Middle Of Content Ad Feature
“With the defensive situation, we tried to match up things the best that we could, and it worked out perfectly for her,” said Riggs on Stumbo’s home run.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lady Spartans added four more runs, one on a single by Collins and three more on a three-run home run by Martin to put the mercy rule into effect.
Softball: Post Game Show with South Warren's Lauren Martin, who put in the mercy rule with a three-run homer. pic.twitter.com/PgErJ74ubg
South Warren tallied six hits on the afternoon including two apiece from Martin and Conley. Bowling Green mustered one hit from Gia Martin after Lady Spartans Karson Williams and Shelby Nunn combined for nine strikeouts in a one-hit shutout.
With the win, South Warren advanced to take on Warren East for the 14th District Championship on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. East defeated Greenwood 11-0 on Tuesday night to earn a spot in the title game.
“It feels good to get this first game out of the way,” said Riggs. “It would be nice to win the district championship game, but we also need to use it as an ‘improvement’ game to prepare for the region tournament.”