The Warsaw Lady Tigers completed a season sweep of rival Wawasee Wednesday evening, but not without plenty of drama.

In a 10-6 Northern Lakes Conference softball victory, Warsaw held four-run leads of 5-1 and 6-2 before the Lady Warriors tied the game with Bethany Flannery’s two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning.

The Lady Tigers, who won 8-6 when the teams met in Syracuse last month, took a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when junior Katie Anderson hit a two-out RBI single that scored senior Emali Grose, who led off with a walk.

Sophomore Isabelle Dittmar followed Anderson’s hit with a single of her own, and then things got wild.

With two runners on base, facing a pitch count that included two strikes, Warsaw freshman Lindsey Bradley was called out by the home plate umpire, who said she intentionally put her body into the strike zone and was hit.

With what appeared to be three outs, players headed for their respective dugouts.

Warsaw coach Kevin Dishman argued the call, which was overturned after the plate umpire confered with the base official, who said she didn’t get hit by the ball.

The overturning of the call, which resulted in a walk for Bradley to load the bases, brought Wawasee coach Mike Barger out of the dugout to argue the call.

Warsaw senior Saylor Bradley then stepped to the plate and cleared the bases with a single that pushed the Lady Tigers’ lead to 10-6 before Wawasee’s Olivia Stuck got Courtney Chookie to ground out for the third out.

“When the call came, we were ahead and we were comfortable because we were at the top of our order,” said Dishman, whose team improved to 7-8 overall and 5-3 in the NLC standings.

“The call went our way, and we took advantage of it. We could have easily folded at that point and it would have still been a one-run game, but we did take advantage of that.”

Barger, whose team fell to 5-9 overall and 2-5 in the NLC, pleaded with the umpires that it didn’t matter if the ball hit her or not, that it should have been a strike and an out when she put her knee into the strike zone.

“I’ve never had somebody, an official, take a game away from my young kids,” said Barger. “That’s the only reason I went out there arguing. To be honest, if I got tossed it wasn’t going to matter to me at that point, because I can’t watch somebody take something away from a kid when they’re out there battling.

“He made the call, and I don’t know how you can overrule it from that far out there. It doesn’t make sense, and they couldn’t give me a straight answer. He’s telling me it didn’t hit her, and that’s not what he called. He called that she intentionally put her knee into the strike zone. It’s a strike. It’s a new rule. You can’t put your knee into the strike zone.”

Madison Mottern hit a two-out single in the top of the seventh inning, but Chookie got Wawasee freshman Amanda Jenkins to pop up for the final out.

Warsaw scored once in the first inning and pushed their lead to 3-0 when Grose hit a two-run homer in the second inning.

An RBI double by Wawasee freshman Danielle Jenkins that scored teammate Faith Swihart cut the Lady Tigers advantage to 3-1 in the third inning.

Warsaw tacked on two more runs in the home half of the third, and Mottern trimmed into the four-run deficit with a solo home run in the fourth inning.

After the hosts scored a run in the fourth inning, the Lady Warriors cut the deficit to 6-4 with a single by freshman Delaney Hare that scored two.

Wawasee tied the game with Flannery’s two-run blast in the sixth.

“Just like I called it. Call me up to the big leagues,” joked Barger when asked about Flannery’s pinch hit homer.

“I went into the box, got the runner on. I had in my mind, I’m going to pinch hit, and I’m going to ask for one swing of the bat, and this game could be tied. She could strike out, not sure, but I knew that I had the opportunity with a kid like Beth, as well as she’s hit this year, and it turned out I was right this time. It’s not every day you can just say ‘Hey, I called that one.’”

Wawasee outhit Warsaw 11-10.

Mottern, Danielle Jenkins and Graceanne Kerlin had two hits each for the Lady Warriors.

Anderson was 3 for 3 for Warsaw and scored three times, while Dittmar and Saylor Bradley had two hits each.

Chookie got the win in the circle. She struck out three and didn’t issue a walk in seven innings of work.

Stuck was charged with the pitching loss after giving up six hits, six runs and three walks in four innings. She struck out five Warsaw batters.

Freshman Kiaundra Olson pitched the first two innings for Wawasee, giving up four hits and four runs. She struck out one.

The Lady Tigers are in action again Friday when they travel to NLC foe Goshen.

Wawasee plays a doubleheader at conference rival Elkhart Memorial Friday, as their first meeting of the season was postponed.

Notes: Wednesday’s game was used a fundraiser for the Animal Welfare League. Innings were sponsored, and Warsaw Community High School matched the donations. There were also dogs at the field that were up for adoption.


Waw    001    122    0    –    6

War    122    104    X    –    10

Wawasee – Kiaundra Olson (2IP, 4H, 4R, 0BB, 1K), Olivia Stuck (L, 4IP, 6H, 6R, 3BB, 5K).

Warsaw – Courtney Chookie (W, 7IP, 11H, 6R, 0BB, 3K).

2B – Danielle Jenkins (Wawa).

HR – Madison Mottern (Wawa), Bethany Flannery (Wawa), Emali Grose (War)

Records: Wawasee 5-9 (2-5 NLC), Warsaw 7-8 (5-3 NLC)

JV ­– Wawasee 21, Warsaw 12