For two innings, the Ross High School softball team left the plate shaking its collective head at Wilmington freshman pitcher Olivia Veidt.
With one swing of her bat, Rams senior Ally Ivey ended the frustration.
Ivey took a fastball deep over the center-field fence, awakening the Ross offensive machine that battered Wilmington for 14 hits in an 11-5 Division II sectional final at Kings.
“I really don’t know what happened,” Ivey said. “I took a swing and it just ended up going over the fence. We knew they were a good team and it wouldn’t be easy, but we came out and played today.”
Ivey’s blast put the fourth-seeded Rams up 2-1, and although Wilmington came back to tie it at 3-all, Ross tallied eight runs and eight hits in the last two innings, capped by sophomore Whitley Arno’s grand slam.
“Man, we are getting hot at the right time,” Rams coach Anna Winters said. “At the beginning of the season we struggled to score runs, but the last five games we are hitting really well. We didn’t play great defensively, but we hit the ball and played all seven innings.”
Ivey had two hits and scored two runs, Haley Grau added two hits, a run and an RBI, and Maddy Foster and Lauryn Emenaker each had two hits as Ross improved to 14-9.
The Rams advance to a 5 p.m. district final Friday against either Monroe or Clinton-Massie at Mason.
Kenzie Meyer had two hits and went the distance in the circle for the Rams. The junior scattered eight hits while striking out three.
DIVISION IV: Fayetteville overpowers CCS in sectional final
Courtney Smart had two hits and three RBIs for sixth-seeded Wilmington (15-9).
The Hurricane trailed 3-1 in the fifth before touching Meyer for three hits and a walk to tie the game.
Ross came right back behind their two seniors as Emenaker beat out an infield single followed by Ivey’s single to spark a big inning.
“Yes, we are a young team, so we as seniors need to get on base and get everyone fired up,” Ivey said. “(Emenaker) gets on base and we get rolling, and then our sophomore hits a grand slam.”
Leading 7-3, Emanaker and Foster singled, Ivey was walked and Arno deposited the second pitch she saw deep over the right-center fence, setting off an explosion from the Ross dugout.
“This is super exciting,” Winters said of making districts. “We have a great group of girls and we are excited to make the districts. If we hit like this, we can win it. “
WP — Kenzie Meyer (12-9); LP — Olivia Veidt (5-5); HR — R: Ally Ivey, Whitley Arno. Records: R 14-9, W 15-9