Mohawk gets revenge, now 1 win away from state
FINDLAY — Revenge is a dish best served cold and the Mohawk softball team enacted its revenge on Fremont St. Joseph in the Division IV regional semifinals Saturday as the Warriors jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in a 12-4 victory at Findlay High School.
The Crimson Streaks knocked Mohawk out of the district finals, 9-4, last season, but the Warriors’ bats were alive early and often Wednesday.
“One step closer,” Mohawk coach Jenny Weinandy said. “I knew we were going to come in and attack and I think our plan worked really well. We had a good defense the first inning and I think that set the tone.”
The Warriors (21-5) play again at noon Saturday at Findlay and will face the winner of Convoy Crestview and Ayersville, who play at 5 p.m. today at Findlay.
“It’s about to get a lot tougher from here on out,” Weinandy said. “We want that next game and there is no room for errors any more.”
Mohawk’s Taylor McClain got off to a quick start in her monster offensive game by driving in Sarah Runion and Ashley Cooper in the first inning as she tripled down the left field line.
“We’ve seen there pitcher before, but I just always go up to the plate relaxed and do what I know how to do,” McClain said. “When I go up relaxed and have fun, that’s when I usually do my best.”
McClain went 3 for 4 in the game with five RBIs.
The Crimson Streaks (16-13) had a rough go of it in the field as they made several errors, both physical and mental.
With two outs in the inning, Nikki Kieffer reached on a single, moved to second on a shortstop error and moved to third on a passed ball. In the second inning, the Warriors scored twice more as St. Joseph had another passed ball followed by a first baseman error, which allowed Clara Adelsperger and Makenzie Sowers to score and push the lead to 5-0.
“In the first inning, they had a couple of nice hits and we threw the ball around and I forget what other inning it was, but I think we had three errors there too,” St. Joseph coach Mark Boukissen said. “You can’t do that against a team like (Mohawk). We had to play the perfect game and we didn’t do that.”
The big blow against the Crimson Streaks came in the third inning when Kasey Adelsperger blasted a solo home run over the left field wall as Mohawk took a 6-0 advantage.
“I didn’t even look at it. I just ran to first base as hard as I could,” Kasey Adelsperger said. “I came into the game knowing that they had great hitters and the offense wanted to step up and keep up and I thought that really boosted my self-esteem.”
She was 3 for 4 offensively, while adding a double and three RBIs. Picking up the pitching win (19-4), she went the distance, allowing 10 hits and one walk, while striking out four.
“Kasey did her best and that’s all you can ask for,” Weinandy said. “She had a hard time hitting her spots, but St. Joe wasn’t chasing anything. It was a tough pitching duel.”
Taking the loss was Be Reardon, who allowed 17 hits and struck out one.
St. Joseph got as close as 9-4 after the fifth inning when Kristin Sessler and Reardon Crossed home plate on singles by Katie Stroup and Cassidy Frank, respectively. Sessler, Stroup and Frank each went 2 for 4 in the contest, while Stroup added two RBIs.
“This game wasn’t easy,” Weinandy said. “They hit the ball well and I knew they would coming in. We just needed to get ahead and stay ahead until the end of the game because they’re known to come back and stay in it.”
The comeback was short-lived, however, as Mohawk plated three more in the sixth as McClain doubled in Cooper and scored on a Kasey Adelsperger single. Two batters later, Adelsperger scored on a Kieffer single.
Runion, Cooper, Molli Cartwright each had two hits for Mohawk, while Kieffer recorded three base knocks.
After its past three tournament wins have come against fellow Midland Athletic League teams, the Warriors are the final conference team remaining in the postseason.
“I’m rooting for Mohawk to go the whole way because I’m an MAL person and I’ll stay with them,” Boukissen said.
Score by innings
Fremont St. Joseph 000 220 0 — 4 10 4
Mohawk 321 303 X — 12 17 3
WP: K. Adelsperger (19-4); LP: Be. Reardon.
2B: Cooper (M), McClain (M), K. Adelsperger (M), Frank (F), Binder (F).
3B: McClain (M).
HR: K. Adelsperger (M).
By PATRICK MASSARA