Shroyer providing pop for Watkins Memorial softball

Shroyer providing pop for Watkins Memorial softball

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Shroyer providing pop for Watkins Memorial softball

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Watkins Memorial’s Anna Shroyer high fives coach Mike Jellison after hitting a home run this past Friday during the team’s 14-11 victory against Licking Heights.

Watkins Memorial’s Anna Shroyer high fives coach Mike Jellison after hitting a home run this past Friday during the team’s 14-11 victory against Licking Heights.

Jayden Johnson and Anna Shroyer swung the big bats this past Friday.

Even though those Warriors are the Watkins Memorial softball team’s Nos. 4 and 5 hitters, they were not attempting to provide the power. Honestly.

“(Coach Mike Jellison) wants us to get up there and not try to kill the ball,” Johnson said. “He doesn’t want us to pull our head off the ball and lose sight of what we have in front of us. If everyone hits singles, we will get on base.”

The duo did a little more than that, combining for nine RBI in a thrilling rally as the Warriors turned an 11-3 deficit into a 14-11 win against visiting Licking Heights. They were simply the beneficiaries of a balanced offensive attack that kept setting the table.

Watkins scored two runs in the fourth inning before exploding for 11 during its final two at-bats. Shroyer’s three-run home run capped a six-run fifth.

“It was really those girls before me that were able to go up and hit those balls,” Shroyer said. “In my head, I was thinking, ‘OK, I am just going to get a single.’”

Shroyer kept up her hot hitting with three hits and two RBI in a 6-0 victory against Pickerington North the next day. Lexi Denison had a team-high four hits to provide the RBI opportunities.

“After facing Lakewood and Johnstown, the faster pitchers, and (against Heights), it wasn’t quite as fast. That was kind of hard for us to adjust to,” Johnson said. “After we did, as you can see, people were hitting. Anna was hitting like crazy.”

Watkins’ relentless offensive approach has been paying off. The Warriors do not always get rolling the first time through the order. It has been hard, however, to keep them down the entire game.

Heights found that out the hard way. Miranda Warner had singles in each of the final two innings out of the No. 9 spot, and each time Baylee Small followed with a hit.

“You can never get nine runs in one at-bat,” Jellison said. “You keep singling them to death. My philosophy is if everybody singles, nobody will ever get an out. That’s what I keep preaching, ‘Get a single for me, and it will work.’”

The Warriors also rallied for a victory against Heath earlier this season, and they erased a 7-0 deficit against Johnstown before the Johnnies pulled away again.

Determination is a trait Jellison instilled during his first season. Now, it’s ingrained into the Warriors.

“The game is never over, and we never lay down no matter what the score is,” Jellison said. “It is starting to pay off. These girls never quit, and I think the other team starts to get a little comfortable.”

Carly Brandon previously picked up her first two victories in relief, and the freshman later pitched her first complete game against Pickerington North. She had three strikeouts in a five-hitter. Senior Emmalea Fuchs came off the bench to provide a two-run double, and she split the pitching duties with Brooke Schindler in a tough-luck 3-0 loss to Mount Vernon.

ksnyder@gannett.com

740-328-8556

Twitter: @newarkurt

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