Wawasee freshman Klaundra Olson winds up for a pitch during Monday evening's home game against Goshen. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Wawasee freshman Klaundra Olson winds up for a pitch during Monday evening's home game against Goshen. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
SYRACUSE – His players have a competitive fight in them, said Wawasee softball head coach Mike Barger.

Sometimes, though, the Lady Warriors struggle to get over the hump.

Such was the case in Monday evening’s 7-5 loss to Northern Lakes Conference rival Goshen.

The visiting Lady RedHawks took a 3-0 lead in the second inning, and Wawasee fought back by scoring four runs in the bottom half of the inning and added another in the third to take a 5-3 lead.

That’s the fight, the competitive spirit, Barger knows his team has.

The not being able to completely get over the hump reared its head in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Lady Warriors had a chance to win the game, but came up short.

Facing a 7-5 deficit with the top of the order coming to the plate, Wawasee freshman Ava Rush led things off with a single, her only hit of the game coming in a clutch situation.

Fellow freshman Danielle Jenkins did the same thing for the Lady Warriors, producing her only hit of the game to put two runners on base with no outs and junior Graceanne Kerlin at the plate.

Goshen freshman Brynn Shoup-Hill struck out Kerlin, then got freshman Delaney Hare to hit into a fielder’s choice, which resulted in Jenkins being retired with a force out at second base.

Shoup-Hill, who pitched all seven innings and struck out seven and walked one en route to the win, got junior Bethany Flannery to fly out to center field for the final out of the game.

“We’re a young team that kind of continues to beat themselves a little bit,” said Barger, whose team won 4-3 in nine innings at Goshen on April 27.

“To be honest, we’ve had teams down, had teams on the ropes, and we’ve been behind and fought back. That’s the character we have ... we have the fight, but we can’t get over that little hump. We face a little hill, and we’re just stuck.

“We can figure it out in the next two games, and then we go into the sectional. If they show the fight I know they have, we have a chance to win the sectional. This team is starting to hit. About nine games ago, we were batting .160 as a team, now we’re at .303. We’ve ripped off 45 or 50 hits in the last four games. I know they have it in them.”

With Monday’s loss, Wawasee fell to 8-13 overall and 5-8 in the NLC. Goshen improved to 12-11 and 7-6.

The Lady Warriors, who pounded out 18 hits in a 17-2 win over Plymouth Friday night, finished Monday’s game with seven hits, three fewer than Goshen.

“Offensively, we struggled today because we just weren’t disciplined enough,” said Barger. “They’ve got the character, they’ve got the heart, they’ve got everything it takes, they just haven’t put it all together.”

Flannery had the only multi-hit performance for the Lady Warriors, as she hit a double and a home run. She drove in two and scored twice.

Hare also hit a double for Wawasee, while Kerlin and junior Faith Swihart hit singles, to go along with the seventh-inning singles by Rush and Jenkins.

Shoup-Hill helped her cause by hitting a pair of singles and drawing a walk. She drove in two runs for Goshen.

Grace Vance and Alexis Navarro also had two hits for the Lady RedHawks, while Breanna Boocher hit a home run.

Freshman Kiaundra Olson was charged with the pitching loss. She gave up 10 hits, seven runs and three walks while striking out eight in seven innings of work.

Olson was replaced by classmate Olivia Stuck after four innings, but Olson re-entered the circle after Stuck walked the only batter she faced.

Wawasee is in action again Wednesday at Concord.

The Lady Warriors will try and play spoiler, as Concord and Northridge are tied atop the NLC standings with just one loss each.

Northridge will finish its conference schedule against Plymouth, the only winless team in NLC?play.

Wawasee concludes its regular season Friday with a trip to Bremen.


G    030    301    0    –    7

W    041    000    0    –    5

Goshen – Brynn Shoup-Hill (W, 7IP, 7H, 5R, 2BB, 7K)

Wawasee – Kiaundra Olson (L, 7IP, 10H, 7R, 3BB, 8), Olivia Stuck (0IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 0K)

2B – Delaney Hare (W), Bethany Flannery (W)

HR – Breanna Boocher (G), Flannery (W)

Records: Goshen 12-11 (7-6 NLC), Wawasee 8-13 (5-8 NLC)