HUBER HEIGHTS — Middletown scored two runs in the top of the 5th and four in the top of the 7th inning Wednesday to secure a 6-1 victory over Wayne in the Division I softball sectional tournament.
It was a battle between two top-notch sophomore pitchers. Unfortunately the Middies were swinging hot bats to eliminate Wayne from post season play.
Wayne pitcher Kali Brickman pitched seven innings, got tagged for 11 hits, walked three (one intentional), and struck out 10. Brickman was 8-4 overall coming into the game with 78 strikeouts and a 1.88 earned run average.
Middletown’s Carly Metcalf also pitched all seven innings, scattered four hits, walked one and struck out 11. Metcalf entered the game with a 12-11 record and with a whopping 281 strikeouts and a stellar 1.66 earned run average.
At the plate Metcalf hit a single, a two run double, drew a walk and was intentionally walked once.
The Lady Warriors appeared hesitant at the plate taking first and second pitch strikes allowing Metcalf to gain the upper hand in the count.
“Middletown’s pitcher has a good reputation. She is one of the strongest pitchers in the Southwest District with 281 strikeouts this year,” said Wayne Coach Joe Viers. “I don’t think we were intimidated, I think we were just maybe waiting to find too perfect of a pitch. We picked it up more towards the end of the game. I’m not making any excuses, but we lost our shortstop and center fielder to injuries in the Sidney game so we had a little bit of change in our lineup and the batting order. That might have been a problem, but I am proud of the way we played today. We battled back and we played hard to the very last out. We played decent defense and our pitching was good. We just didn’t hit the ball.”
The game remained scoreless until the top of the 5th inning. Taylor Underhill hit a one out bunt single and advanced to second on a single to right by Julia Kovach. Metcalf belted a two out double down the left field line that made it to the fence to score both runners.
The Middies blew the game open in the top of the 7th with a leadoff double by Ariana Layne, an infield hit by Kovach, an intentional walk to Metcalf and a bases clearing double by Eboney Sinclair. Katie Pearson stroked a two out single to score Sinclair to boost Middletown’s lead to 6-0.
Wayne’s lone run came in the home half of the 7th when Brickman drew a leadoff walk with freshman Kyli Gainer coming in to pinch-run. Gainer advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mackenzie Gross got an infield hit with Gainer scoring on a wild throw to first. Courtney Black singled to center to advance pinch runner Allie Dodge to second but Metcalf slammed the door shut on the Wayne comeback hopes with a strikeout to end the game.
MID 000 020 4 – 6 11 0
WAY 000 000 1 – 1 04 0
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind