It is one of those universal dilemmas so many teams face in a very abbreviated spring sports schedule in Ohio high school athletics.
Coming off of a difficult 3-0 loss to Minerva in its Div. II sectional opener that bumped them from the tournament, the West Holmes Lady Knights had to come right back and square off with a determined Waynedale club for a double-header.
What made it even more difficult was that it was the very same day they had been beaten by Minerva.
Having fallen out of the tournament Saturday, May 7, the Lady Knights had to regroup quickly, then squaring off against the olden Bears. Both teams played fairly well, and each took home a win and a loss, both by scores of 4-2.
It is never easy to get back up after getting ousted from tournament play, and the Lady Knights struggled with that in the opener, a 4-2 loss to Megan Amstutz, who scattered nine hits and left a number of Lady Knights stranded.
“We were slow starting after the tourney loss and waited too long to try to get something started,” said West Holmes coach Jaime Chenevey.
Waynedale got on top early, plating a run in the first, then exploded for a three-spot in the second inning, which would be the extent of the runs they would produce off of West Holmes starter Morgan Balder. The biggest thorn in West Holmes side was Karmen Huntsberger, who drove home three of Waynedale’s four runs. She also pounded out three hits.
However, Balder would settle in and slam the door shut, giving her team a chance to win, but West Holmes could not produce the key hit when they needed it most.
Balder would allow eight hits, four runs of which two were earned, striking out three while walking four.
West Holmes had gotten one in the top of the second, and pushed across another in the fourth, but couldn’t quite solve Amstutz.
Becca Vales was 2-3, Savannah Rogers and Hailey Martin each had a hit and an RBI, Natalie Martin added a double, and Brooke Workman, Madi Zeigler, and Samantha Rogers all added a hit.
The second game saw a reversal of fortunes, when the Lady Knights were the ones posting the victory with four runs.
“We were able to score early and hang on for the win,” said Chenevey.
It would be Natalie Martin toeing the rubber for West Holmes, and the senior performed well. She had thrown extremely well in the tournament game earlier that day, and was the tough luck loser. She was able to push that aside and throw well again in this one. Martin allowed just six hits, striking out three while allowing an unusually large number of walks, doling out six free passes. However, it was her second game of the day, so Chenevey said that was understandable.
“Hailey did a nice job on the mound to get the win in her second appearance of the day,” said Chenevey.
West Holmes nicked Waynedale starter Morgan Wyss for a run in the first, then put up a two-spot in the third to forge a 3-0 lead. Wayndale got one back in the fifth, with Amstutz getting the key hit, but West Holmes responded with a run in the sixth, Becca Vales picking up her second RBI in the game.
The Golden Bears would make one final push in the seventh, plating a run, but Martin would slam the door shut for the west Holmes win.
Vales was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI, Hailey Martin was 2-for-3, as was Natalie Martin, who also drove in a run. Kaity Tish was 1-for-4 with an RBI, as she continued her late-season success, while Emily Rolince and Samantha Rogers each added a hit for West Holmes, which now stands at 9-13 overall and 6-6 in Ohio Cardinal Conference play.
Weiss threw well in defeat, allowing nine hits and the four runs, while striking out five and walking a pair.