Lady Lancers take round one with Spencerville, 5-3
Thursday, May 08, 2014 12:08 AM
By Kevin Wannemacher
Lancer third baseman Kelsey Mohr fires to first in this file photo. Mohr doubled and scored in the Lancers’ 5-3 win on Wednesday night. (TB file photo)
Times Bulletin Business Manager
MIDDLE POINT — In a preview of Monday’s sectional battle, Lincolnview and Spencerville hooked up in Northwest Conference softball action Wednesday evening at the home of the Lady Lancers.
Lincolnview scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth and added an insurance run in the sixth en route to a 5-3 win to move to 10-11 overall and 5-2 in the NWC.
It was a good win for the Lancers, who look to build some momentum heading into the tourney next week.
“We have put things together a little better here the last few games,” noted Lancer head coach Kent McClure. “We played better against Bluffton earlier this week and then tonight, I thought we had another good effort. Hopefully, we can carry this forward and build on it (Thursday) night, too.”
Lincolnview pitcher Ashley McClure was dominant for the first three innings, sitting the Bearcats down in order in each frame.
Spencerville hurler Alex Shumate matched McClure pitch-for-pitch in the first two innings before the hosts broke through in the third.
Autumn Proctor led off the third with a single before Shumate got Macey Ashbaugh to strike out for the first out. Julia Thatcher then followed with a bunt single to put runners at the corners before Proctor scored and Thatcher moved to second on a throwing error by Spencerville shortstop Megan Miller.
After Thatcher stole third, Bailey Neate grounded out to Shumate but Thatcher scored for a 2-0 Lancer advantage.
“We took advantage of opportunities tonight,” added the Lancer coach. “The girls have started hitting the ball better and more consistently, and they have done a good job of manufacturing runs.”
The Lady Bearcats answered in the top of the fourth.
With one out, Kenzie Ringwald singled and Haleigh Mull reached on a Neate error to put runners at first and second. Tori Johnston followed with a double that scored Ringwald to get Spencerville within 2-1 and moved Mull to third. Mull would later score on a passed ball as the visitors knotted the score at 2-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
Spencerville took its only lead of the night in the fifth. Miller led off the inning with a single before Maddie Hollar struck out. Tiffany Work followed with a run-scoring triple to put the Bearcats in front 3-2.
“They are a very good hitting team and they showed that tonight,” commented coach McClure.
In the home half of the inning, Macey Ashbaugh walked with one out and Thatcher followed with a double to move Ashbaugh to third. After Neate walked to load the bases, Devann Springer reached on an error that allowed both Ashbaugh and Thatcher to score.
“It was a big momentum swing to answer their run by getting back in the lead,” stated the Lancer coach. “The girls did a good job of responding to the challenge.”
Lincolnview added another run in the sixth. Kelsey Mohr doubled to start the inning, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Thatcher to push the margin to 5-3.
The Bearcats would make things interesting in the seventh, though.
Shumate singled but was forced out at second by Alix Hamrick. With one out, Hamrick moved to second on a wild pitch before Hollar struck out for the second out. After Work was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second, Ringwald flew out to Proctor in center field to end the contest.
“It’s good to get the win, but the next time will be another good game between us,” stated Lincolnview’s mentor. “They didn’t throw their best pitcher against us, so we know it will be a challenge.”
Miller (single), Shumate (single), Johnston (double), Ringwald (single) and Work (triple) all had hits for Spencerville. Shumate suffered the loss, tossing six innings while allowing seven hits, two walks and one earned run while fanning three. The Bearcats fall to 10-11 in all games and 2-6 in the conference.
Ashley McClure picked up the win for the Lancers, scattering five hits, two earned runs and two walks with 11 strikeouts.
Thatcher (single, double), Springer (single), Macala Ashbaugh (single), Ashley McClure (single), Mohr (double) and Proctor (single) picked up hits for Lincolnview.
The two squads will square off again in sectional action on Monday at Spencerville High School with a 5:00 p.m. start.