WADSWORTH — The Wadsworth softball team wasted little time taking out the frustration of an extra-inning loss 24 hours earlier.
Visiting No. 7 seed Copley felt the brunt of it in a Barberton Division I Sectional final Wednesday, as the second-seeded Grizzlies scored eight runs over the final two innings in a 14-4 win shortened to six innings by the mercy rule.
Wadsworth (17-6) advanced to face third-seeded Walsh Jesuit in the district semifinals Monday at the Barberton Sports Complex.
“Today we came out mentally prepared for this game after a loss (Tuesday at Hudson) that was a pretty big defeat for us,” said Grizzlies left fielder Shelby Mayes, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs. “We’re coming out very strong for the tournament, and we’re ready to go.”
Wadsworth scored four runs in the first inning. Seniors Jenna Skinner and Maddie Long recorded singles and Mayes walked to load the bases with one out. Senior Corynn Rench drove in Skinner with a groundout before first baseman Jessi Voitko drove a two-run double to deep right-center. Freshman pitcher Cam Racin added an infield single to score Voitko.
“I think (a quick start) was important, just because in big games like this it’s a lot easier to come out hitting than to come off in the last inning and try to start hitting,” Mayes said.
After Voitko plated Mayes in the second to extend Wadsworth’s lead to 5-0, the Indians (8-14) mounted a comeback.
Emily Reese drew an 11-pitch walk to begin the third and shortstop Amanda Lillis smacked a two-run home run to dead center. Center fielder Meghan Hersey doubled home Sammi Adams, and designated player Lexy Gingras brought in Hersey with a two-out hit to make the score 5-4.
After Wadsworth scored in the bottom half of the third to make it 6-4, Adams singled and junior Michelle Caye walked to put the tying run on with one out in the fifth. The Grizzlies turned to ace Emily Cingle out of the bullpen, and the senior forced Gingras to foul out to Voitko and reliever Sydney McCoy to line out to Rench at third.
“(Cingle) is very impressive,” said Long, who was 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs. “She can come in at any point and she fills the duty of stepping up for our team. We appreciate it,”
Seeing the Indians put the tying run on base lit a spark under Wadsworth, which timed McCoy over the final two innings.
Whitaker and Long singled before coming home on a fly ball by Mayes that was dropped. Mayes then scored on a double by Rench.
Long and Mayes each had two RBIs in the sixth inning before Rench scored from first to end the game after a Voitko single rolled past Amy Deptowicz in right field.
“We’ve gone against really quick kids, right around 60 (mph), and when you go from 60 to low 50s, the timing is a little bit shaky,” Grizzlies coach Mike Schmeltzer Sr. said. “But once they got timed up, you could see it.”
Wadsworth 14, Copley 4 (6 inn.)
Barberton Division I Sectional Final
COPLEY 004 000 — 4 8 6
WADSWORTH 411 035 — 14 19 0
One out when mercy run scored. WP — Cam Racin (3-1) 4⅓ innings, 4 runs, 4 earned, 7 hits, walk, 3 strikeouts. LP — Kate Powell (3-3) 1⅓ innings, 5 runs, 5 earned, 7 hits, 2 walks. S — Emily Cingle 1⅔ innings, 0 runs, hit, 0 walks, strikeout. Copley (8-14) — Sammi Adams 3 singles, run; Meghan Hersey double, run, RBI; Amanda Lillis single, home run, 2 RBIs, run. Wadsworth (17-6) — Emily Whitaker 2 singles, hit by pitch, 3 runs; Jenna Skinner 2 singles, run; Madison Long 4 singles, run; Shelby Mayes 2 singles, walk, 3 runs, 2 RBIs; Corynn Rench double, 2 runs; Jessi Voitko 2 singles, double, 2 RBIs, run; Emma Spoerki 2 singles, walk.