The last time the Windsor/Stew-Stras Hatchet softball team played Meridian, the Hawks put on a late charge, but fell just short. This time, in the Meridian 1A Sectional Championship there was no late comeback. The Hatchets used the power to blast past the Hawks, 8-1.
Like the first meeting, the Hatehts hacked their way a solid lead. Calla Roney was back in form going against Hawks ace Peyton Latham, like in the first meeting. Roney gave up a double in the 1st after two two consecutive ground outs to Ava Bennett at 2nd. Then Roney threw a K.
WSS wasted little time getting a lead, powering their way to a 3-0 lead in the 1st. Carson Cole walked and Hannah Hayes sacrificed her to 2nd. Megan Schlechte then bombed a 2-1 pitch over the fence, 2-0. After a ground out, Roney launched the 2nd home run in 3 batters, 3-0.
In the 2nd, Roney rang up the 1st and 3rd batters, while Bennett threw out another batter. WSS added to their lead in the 2nd. Bennett led off being hit by a pitch and freshman Maddy Pfeiffer singled.
Freshman Natalie Hayes pinch ran. With two runners in scoring position, Katrina Davis bunted and Bennett scored, 4-0. Meridian still couldn't get traction in the 3rd. Roney threw another K. Schlchte snagged a line out at 3rd and Bennett threw out her 5th batter, 2nd to 1st.
WSS went in order in the 3rd. Meridian managed a single with one out in the 4th. Bennett made another put out. Roney threw a K. Schlechte threw out the other.
WSS got runners, but had a scoreless 4th. Davis walked and Cole singled, but were left on base. Meridian did likewise. With two outs, Latham singled, Wise singled and Enlow walked to load the bases. Roney rang up the next batter and that was it.
In the WSS 5th, Schlechte drew a walk with one out. She stole 2nd and Kenzi Tabbert unleashed the third hatchet home run for a 6-0 lead. With two outs, Karlie Bean slapped a single and Bennett smacked a double. With two in scoring position, Pfeiffer traded places with Bennett and drove in two, 8-0.
In the Meridian 6th, the Hawks finally go on the board. Schechte came in to pitch and KO'd the first batter. The next batter Damery launched a solo home run for the only Hawk score.
Bennett threw out her 7th batter, 2nd to 1st, before Hackert singled. Bennett then threw out her 8th batter with no errors. WSS had a scoreless 6th, though Hannah Hayes reached on an error.
Meridian was hoping for another late rally in the 7th, but it didn't come. Latham was hit by a pitch from reliever Karlie Bean. Bean then KO'd the next batter.
Cole squeezed a fly ball in center field for the 2nd out. With one out to go, Bean threw a strike on a 3-2 pitch and got the batter swinging for the game and the sectional title.
Latham worked from behind. She only had 8 first-pitch strikes against 24 batters. She threw 42 balls and 45 strikes. The three Hatchet pitchers threw .650. They threw 100 pitches and 68 were strikes.
Windsor/Stew-Stras 8, Meridian 1
Mdian 000 001 0--1-6-1
W/SS 2310 040 x--8-8-1
WSS stats: Cole 1-for-3, BB, run; H Hayes 0-for-3, SB, sac, ROE; M Schlechte 1-for-3, BB, SB, HR, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Tabbert 1-for-4, HR, run, 2 RBIs; Roney 1-for-3, HR, run, RBI; Bean 1-for-3, run; Bennett 1-for-3, HBP, 2B, 2 runs; Pfeiffer 2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBIs; Davis 0-for-2, FC, BB, SB, RBI. Pitching (W) Roney 5 IP, 0 runs, 4 hits, BB, 6 Ks; Schlechte 1 IP, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 BBs, K; bean 1 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks.
Mdian stats: Enlow 0-for-3, BB; Coffman 0-for-4; Bowman 2-for-3, 2B; Damery 1-for-3, HR, run, RBI; Stockton 0-for-3; Hackert 1-for-3; Jones 0-for-2 (Hendricks 0-for-1); Latham 1-for-2, HBP (Snow); Wise 1-for-3. Pitching (L) Latham 4.6 IP, 7 runs, 6 hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks; Enlow 1.3 IP, 1 run, 2 hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks.