Wawasee sophomore Jaci Worrell winds up while delivering a pitch during Tuesday evening's home game against Manchester.
Wawasee sophomore Jaci Worrell winds up while delivering a pitch during Tuesday evening's home game against Manchester.
SYRACUSE – The Wawasee Warriors softball team loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning trailing 7-4 with one out, but a called strikeout and a ground-out to the pitcher punctuated a problem the Warriors had against the Manchester Squires all evening in their 7-4 loss.

The Warrior bats were inconsistent throughout most of the game against Squires freshman pitcher Molly Schanepp, whose squad picked up their first regular season win, moving to 1-1.

Wawasee had problems making solid contact although they were certain almost every pitch the freshman was hurling was going to be a fastball. The Warriors had five infield pop-outs, and four strikeouts. The hosts also had three innings aside from the bottom of the seventh leaving at least one runner in scoring position although they finished with 11 base hits.

 “You hit the ball hard, I have no complaints,” Warrior head coach Chloe McRobbie said. “But the pop-ups on the 3-1 counts and the backward Ks (swinging strikeouts), those things are unacceptable. When a girl only throws fastballs, our team has to dial in the entire game. Not  just here and there, and that’s what really hurt us.”

Manchester’s skipper, Todd Volk, on the other hand, was pleased his team did not squander an early lead like they did against Central Noble in their season-opening 7-5 loss.

“We hung tough. You could feel the momentum swing their way, but we got one run back in the sixth (inning). We had a situation like this two weeks aga against Central Noble and we let it get away from us.”

The momentum he mentioned started to make its shift after Wawasee sophomore Haley Allen moved to the pitcher’s mound from shortstop with her squad trailing 4-0. Allen struck out two batters in the rest of the second frame, bookending a fielder’s choice and a single bringing home two more Squire runs starting pitcher Jaci Worrell put on the plate before the pitching switch.

Allen kept the Squires hitless in the ensuing three innings until the top of the sixth inning when Manchester shortstop, Paxton Baker, led off with a single, and moved to second on an outfield error. Teammate Avery Howard, a senior demonstrating range and leadership at second base throughout the ballgame, stepped to the plate with one out to score Baker, and put the Squires up 7-3.

It was the third time Baker crossed home plate last night, reaching base three times with the aforementioned single and two walks in the first and second inning. The Squires altogether, in fact, only needed seven runs to fuel their offense thanks to four walks early in the contest, and three Warrior errors.

Wawasee’s Laney Gross (2-4, double, RBI) and Evelyn Duncan (2-4) were the only players between either team to have multiple hits in the contest.

Wawasee (1-4) is playing in Triton at 11 a.m. today, and Manchester is hosting Fremont in a double-header.