The Div. II sectional tournament started, and ended, on May 7 for the West Holmes Lady Knights’ softball team.
Mostly thanks to Minerva pitcher Hannah Reusser.
The Lady Knights, who rolled into the tournament with back-to-back wins over Wooster ran into a buzz saw on Saturday, named Reusser.
Reusser struck out 16 batters, 13 swinging and three looking, as her and the Lady Lions blanked West Holmes 3-0 in the opening game of the tournament for both teams.
“Once I go on the mound I just channel my energy into every pitch,” said Reusser. “It felt pretty good out there today. I’m excited we are moving on.”
The girl they call “Scooch”, a nickname her Dad gave her when she was young, got some praise from her head coach Nicole Hilliard after the extraordinary outing.
“She’s done it all year,” said Hilliard. “We’ve worked on some new pitches with her and she now has a large artillery of pitches she can use to her advantage.”
Scooch, in seven innings, allowed just three West Holmes hits and walked only one batter while fanning 16.
The only trouble Reusser got into came in the first two innings. In the bottom of the first the Lady Knights loaded the bases, but, you guessed it, Reusser got out of the inning with a strikeout. Then in the bottom of the second, West Holmes got runners on second and third, but Reusser got another big K to end the threat.
“We loaded the bases in the first inning and then had two runners in scoring position in the second and nothing came of it,” said West Holmes’ skipper Jaime Chenevey. “After that we hung our heads, they went the opposite way and we never came out of it.”
“She (Reusser) did a great job of working ahead against our hitters and then later in the count we started to chase pitches,” Chenevey continued.
The Lady Lions got one run at a time. They plated one in the third, one in the fifth and tallied one more run in the sixth. Two of the Lady Lions’ three runs were unearned. Reusser had the lone RBI on the day for Minerva.
At the dish for the Lady Knights, junior Kaity Tish had two of the Lady Knights’ three hits. Becca Vales also added a single.
Minerva (10-11) will now move on in the bracket to face Tri-Valley on Wednesday, May 11.
“We have some competition in our league and we’ve struggled a little bit, but now I think we are doing things right at the right time,” said Hilliard about moving on down the tournament trail.
Senior Hailey Martin took the tough-luck loss for the Lady Knights in the circle. She pitched all seven innings, scattered eight hits, struck out two and allowed just one earned run. Martin walked no Lady Lions.
While Minerva moves on in the tournament the Lady Knights (9-13) got on the bus after the tourney loss and headed to Waynedale for a double-header. A tough task after falling out of tournament play on the same day.
“Winning game one was going to make the day a lot more enjoyable and easier to do,” said Chenevey. “We have four games left on the schedule and we’ve got to go enjoy those.”
The Lady Knights split the double-header with Waynedale on Saturday, dropping the first game 4-2 and then winning the second game by the same score, 4-2.