High School Softball: Hot hitting leads Talawanda past Ross

ROSS TWP. — Scott Davie may have gotten the overall performance he wanted out of his Talawanda High School softball team.

Most importantly, it happened on the road against a Southwest Ohio Conference rival.

The Brave had 10 different players notch base hits, escaped a couple defensive jams unscathed and received sound pitching in a 17-5 victory over Ross on Friday.

Talawanda (5-5, 3-1 SWOC) collected 23 hits overall and put up seven runs in the sixth and seventh innings on the way to winning four out of its last five.

“At the end of the day, we hit the ball very well,” Davie said. “For us, we’ve been striving to execute in all four phases of the game — pitching, defense, baserunning and hitting.

“Hitting has not been the problem, if you look at our stats.”

Senior Lilly Iden went 5-for-6 at the plate and had two RBI and scored two runs to lead the Brave. Iden paces the conference with 24 hits.

Talawanda junior McKenna Weekley, who was 4-for-6 with two RBI, finished things up the last two innings in the pitcher’s circle for sophomore starter Kylie Cobb.

“We never took our foot off the gas pedal. We just kept going,” Weekley said. “We had our bats hot the entire game, and then our defense backed us up well.

“We’re here to compete. We’re not going to let off.”

Seniors Shelby Knott (three hits, three runs) and Halee McDade (two hits, two runs); junior Molly Van Gorden (two hits, three RBI, three runs); and freshman Kaylee Griffin (three hits, three RBI) also contributed offensively for Talawanda.

“Our senior leaders stepped up and got things going,” Davie said. “Our upperclassmen, I’d throw them in there as well. Small ball helped us a little today. We capitalized on some mistakes that (Ross) made for sure.

“Defensively, we had to clean some things up,” added Davie, whose Brave got out of a no-out bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning and turned a double play to end another. “For this team, it’s a really big step in the right direction. To do it on the road and get a conference win out of it, it’s obviously nice as well.”

Ross (3-3, 1-1 SWOC) has lost three in a row after starting the season off by winning its first three games.

Rams second-year coach Christi Luckett said the momentum her squad needed to stay in the game was there.

Ross led 2-1 after the fourth inning and 5-3 after the fifth.

“But the wheels fell off,” she said. “We’ve talked all week about how defensively we’ve been solid. Our defense looks really good, but we’re a very young team. They’re so young. Just getting them to have the confidence to believe in themselves that they are talented enough to compete is what we’re going to work on.

“For a moment, up through the fifth, there was the spark that we were looking for. It’s just hard to come back from something like this.”

Freshman Aurora Wallace was 2-for-3 with two RBI for Ross, while senior Emily Brunner had a two-RBI double. Rams senior pitcher Alayna Crouch struck out five batters in 6.1 innings of work.

Both teams get back to action on Monday. Talawanda travels to Mount Healthy for a doubleheader, while Ross visits Edgewood.

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