Opening the postseason with an opponent it had already struggled against, Wapahani’s softball team got things rolling early at the Class 2A Lapel Sectional with a three-run first inning, highlighted by Samantha Feistritzer’s two-run double.
And as it turned out, those runs were enough to stand up to everything Lapel could muster.
The Class 2A No. 4 Raiders opened the postseason with a 4-2 victory against the host Bulldogs. Wapahani had won the regular season meeting in walk-off fashion in the seventh inning, and the early offense helped break the tension.
“I think it was really, really big,” Raiders coach Jacci Glancy said. “We talked about how good of a hitting team they are.
“I think coming out in the first inning gave us a lot of confidence.”
The Raiders (23-4) were actually out-hit 7-3, but they made the most of their runners, and Hanna Rose (12-4) stood tall in the circle. The senior struck out three and walked only one as she held off the Bulldogs and sent her team on to a meeting with Shenandoah today at 7 p.m.
* Class A Wes-Del Sectional: Daleville played much of the season with six freshmen starting, so it was unclear how they’d react to postseason pressure. The Broncos faced some early, going down two runs in the first inning, but responed with six in the second on the way to a 13-7 sectional-opening win against Southern Wells.
“It was good to see the resiliency,” Broncos coach Dick Hines said. “You still don’t know when they get to a pressure situation.
“You don’t know how they’ll react.”
These Broncos reacted with 17 hits, including a home run and a triple from Ruthie Shellanbarger. Kristen Zimmers, Abbi Gabriel and Kalei Bowen all hit doubles for Daleville (10-14), while Kaely Hendricks struck out six in the win.
* Class 4A Pendleton Heights Sectional: New Castle slugged its way past Connersville 12-0 top open its run in the state tournament. Alaynie Woollard hit home runs in the fifth and sixth inings, while McKinley Duvall salted the game away with a three-run shot of her own. Abbey Renner (13-4) picked up the win by tossing the four-hit shutout.
With the victory, the Trojans (20-6) advance to face host Pendleton Heights at 5:30 p.m. today. The teams played in the regular season, with New Caslte falling 7-6, and ace Bailey Benefiel is one of the top pitchers in the state.
* Class 4A Homestead Sectional: Jay County unleashed its power hitters and knocked off host Homestead 8-2 to advance to the semifinals. Gabby Hart hit a pair of home runs, including a grand slam and six RBIs, while Larissa Boles had a solo shot in the first.
The win sent the Patriots (23-1) on to a meeting with powerful Huntington North, which went 20-5 in the regular season and boasts a pair of strong pitchers.