Van Wert third baseman Alyssa Bowen tags out a St. Marys runner sliding into the bag during the Lady Roughriders’ 5-1 win over the Cougars on Friday evening at Jubilee Park. The Lady Cougars pounded out nine hits but couldn’t overcome shaky defensive play in the loss. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
Van Wert third baseman Alyssa Bowen tags out a St. Marys runner sliding into the bag during the Lady Roughriders’ 5-1 win over the Cougars on Friday evening at Jubilee Park. The Lady Cougars pounded out nine hits but couldn’t overcome shaky defensive play in the loss. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
By Jim Cox
Times Bulletin Correspondent
sports@timesbulletin.com
VAN WERT — Van Wert out-hit St. Marys 9-7 Friday, but couldn’t put those hits together and fell 5-1. The Lady ‘Riders, on the other hand, bunched four of their hits into a four-run first inning, and that proved to be more than enough. The Cougars are now 3-4 overall and 0-2 in the Western Buckeye League. St. Marys is 1-2 and 1-0.
Van Wert freshman pitcher Kateri Steinecker threw her first complete game of the season and, despite taking the loss, had an impressive outing. She gave up five runs, none of them earned, and seven hits while striking out six and walking only two. She threw 118 pitches, but shouldn’t have had to throw nearly that many as the Cougars committed six errors behind her. Of those pitches, 82 were strikes.
The top of the first inning told the story. After Steinecker retired the first two batters, the roof fell in on the home team. A dropped fly ball was followed by three hard-hit singles, a walk, a bloop single, and another walk, giving the ‘Riders a 4-0 lead. Steinecker threw 35 pitches, 18 strikes, in that inning alone, but she was in fine form after that.
The visitors added an insurance run in the fifth. After Steinecker retired the first two batters, third baseman Amy Wicker whacked a line single up the middle, then moved to second on a wild pitch. She scored from there on a pair of Van Wert miscues.


Van Wert put one runner on in the first and seventh, two on in the second and fourth, and three on in the fifth and sixth. However, the Cougars capitalized only once. Catcher Miranda Stittsworth led off the fifth with an infield single and was replaced by courtesy runner Kelsey Spridgeon. ‘Rider pitcher Mallory Kill retired the next two Cougars, but shortstop Saige Royer kept the inning alive with an opposite-field line single to right. A wild pitch moved Spridgeon to third and Royer to second. Rightfielder Claire White then smoked a grounder to short which was bobbled, plating Spridgeon.
In the sixth Van Wert threatened to get close. Second baseman Brooke Brown blasted a double to the base of the fence in center to lead it off. Leftfielder Emily Bair’s fly to shallow center was dropped, putting runners at first and second. One out later, Stittsworth drew a walk to load the sacks, but an infield popup and a grounder to short ended that threat.
“We hit the ball hard a few times tonight, better than we have been,” said Van Wert coach Mike McClure. “We just didn’t get any timely hitting. You take the first inning away, it’s a one-to-one ballgame. I think we were a little more disciplined tonight. We’re getting better at looking in the zone instead of being just up their hacking.”
Kill went the distance for St. Marys, giving up one run, unearned, on nine hits while striking out only two and walking only one. Of her 99 pitches, 60 were strikes.
Steinecker and Brown led Van Wert’s hitting, each going 2-for-4. One of Brown’s hits was the long double. Five Cougars had one hit apiece. ‘Rider batters were led by Wicker (2-for-3, two runs, two RBI), Kill (1-for-4, a double, one run), and leftfielder Allison Cotterman (1-for-3, two RBI).
Scoring
St. Marys 400 010 0- 5 7 2
Van Wert 000 010 0- 1 9 6
St. Marys (ab-r-h-rbi)
Little c 4-0-1-0, Schamp 2b 3-0-0-0, Kill p 4-1-1-0, Rable ss 4-1-1-0, Langsdon cf 4-1-1-0, Wicker 3b 3-2-2-2, Block ph 1-0-0-0, Hesse 1b 3-0-0-0, Cotterman lf 3-0-1-2, Lauth rf 2-0-0-0. Totals 31-5-7-4
Van Wert (ab-r-h-rbi)
Bowen 3b 4-0-0-0, Hulbert cf 4-0-1-0, Royer ss 4-0-1-0, White rf 4-0-1-0, Steinecker p 4-0-2-0, Gordon pr 0-0-0-0, Brown 2b 4-0-2-0, Bair lf 3-0-1-0, Rohrbacher 2-0-0-0, Ricketts ph 1-0-0-0, Stittsworth c 2-0-1-0, Spridgeon pr 0-1-0-0. Totals 32-1-9-0
WP- Kill LP- Steinecker