CHILLICOTHE – After seemingly sleep walking for the duration of the first four innings, Adena woke from its slumber.
After entering the fifth inning in a 3-1 hole, the Warriors (6-2, 5-2 Scioto Valley Conference) scored nine unanswered runs, cruising their way to a 10-3 win over Southeastern.
Coming into 2015, Adena was an afterthought to contend for an SVC title. Wednesday night’s victory over the Panthers catapulted them into second place within the league.
“I think the big thing is confidence and belief,” Adena coach Greg Storts said. “Coming in (to this season), I don’t think we had it. I tried to talk to the girls about believing in themselves and having a lot of confidence but you don’t just get that. You’ve got to go out and play and see that you can indeed succeed. Now, I don’t have to talk them into it. They know that they can do it. They believe they’re going to win.”
After gaining the lead in the fifth inning, Warriors’ pitcher Brooklyn Detty silenced Southeastern’s bats from that point forward.
“Brooklyn battles and she never gets flustered out there,” Storts said. “She throws strikes and that’s all I can ask. I’ve asked her to throw strikes and let her defense do the work behind her and she’s done a great job of that. I think coming into tonight, she’s only walked five batters in fifty plus innings. So throwing strikes and letting your defense work behind you is the main thing. If you can do that, good things will happen.”
The Panthers (1-8, 0-7 SVC) struck first blood in the bottom of the first after lead-off hitter Lexy Cooper drilled a triple into left field. Cooper would travel the remaining sixty feet to score when Cindellynn Murta advanced on an error, making it 1-0.
Adena would tie the score at one in the top of the fourth when Jaci Woods drove in Kate Newberry. Southeastern would answer right back in the bottom half of the frame via a two-run double off the bat of Erica Cockrell, to retake the lead at 3-1 after four innings of play.
However, from that point on, it was all Warriors.
Adena would bat around in the top of the fifth, scoring five runs on three hits, two walks and two errors to take a 6-3 edge.
Devon Putnam started the rally with a lead-off single before Abby Stark reached on an error, putting runners at the corners for Carly Carroll. Carroll logged an RBI ground out — scoring Putnam — and moving Stark to second base.
Stark would then tie the game at three, coming around to score on a single into left field from Kacey Felts. Natalee Jones would then lace a ball up the gut for an RBI single of her own, plating Felts — who advanced to third on two passed balls. Jones and Kate Newberry made up the final two Adena’ runs of the innings.
In both the six and seventh innings, the Warriors added two runs to their lead; rounding out the final score and cementing the seven run victory.
“The last three games we’ve played, we’ve been behind,” Storts said. “In a situation where a lot of kids would pack it up and say it’s not our day, we have fought back and rallied. And in those situations, we’ve had good at bats. We’ve put the ball in play, putting pressure on the defense and have been really resilient. I’m proud of the way we’ve fought through and found a way to win games.”
Detty (6-2) went the distance in the circle, giving up six hits, allowing the three earned runs and striking out five batters. Cooper (1-4) was on the losing end, surrendering seven hits and five earned runs while recording four strikeouts and five walks in seven innings of work.
At the plate, Stark led the Warriors, going 2-4 and scoring two runs. Kaitlyn Davis also went 2-4 at the dish while Felts finished 1-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
For Southeastern, Cooper finished 2-4 with a triple and a run while Cockrell went 1-3 with the double and two RBIs.
Adena will return to the diamond, Thursday, as they travel to Piketon. The Panthers will also play Thursday, making a trip to Vinton County.