Warsaw had plenty of offensive firepower on Thursday as the Lady Wildcats beat Smith-Cotton 17-10 at Vansell Field. Warsaw managed five runs while batting around in the second, then added four more in the third and four in the fourth.
“I felt like our girls were relaxed at the plate,” said Warsaw coach Kensie Daleske. “They were seeing the ball all the way in and getting some nice solid hits off of their pitcher. Our hitters felt confident later in the game. I thought they hit the ball hard and hit the ball well.”
Smith-Cotton had its offense going as well and despite Warsaw taking a 13-5 lead at one point, the Lady Tigers got back to within four.
“Based on what we did (Wednesday) at Rock Bridge, facing just about the same speed pitcher, we made an adjustment,” said S-C coach Janeil Draffen. “Everybody helped contribute whether they were laying down a bunt or putting one in play.”
Smith-Cotton’s comeback attempt was sparked by pitcher Emma Honn, being honored along with Mariah Voitl as part of S-C’s senior night festivities, who blasted a three-run home run to left in the fourth inning.
“She hadn’t had a home run all season and what better of a night for her than her and Mariah’s senior night,” Draffen said.
S-C added a run in the fifth when Reagan Hocktt singled to drive in Bailey Smith. In the sixth, Smith singled to drive in McKenna Woolery to cut the Warsaw lead to 14-10. Warsaw though added three runs in the top of the seventh as Kylie McRoberts scored on an error, Kinsten Cunningham scored on a groundout and Sabby Flores hit an RBI single to score pinch runner Stephanie Blake.
The bottom three hitters in Warsaw’s lineup were a combined 6 of 11 at the plate with seven runs scored. No. 7 hitter Madie Grobe drove in the Lady Wildcats’ first two runs with a single. She also had an RBI double in the fourth. No. 8 hitter Keyona Davis singled up the middle and later scored in the third. No. 9 hitter Raven Coswell went 3 for 4 and drove in four runs, driving in Grobe in the second to put Warsaw ahead 3-2 and doubling in the third to score Grobe and Davis.
“We’ve got a couple of speedsters down there,” Daleske said. “I look for them to get on base so that the top of the lineup can score those runners. I like to get a couple bunts out of them, hopefully a couple base hits.”
Smith-Cotton scored the first two runs of the game in the bottom of the first as Hockett scored on an error and Kursten Wilkerson scored on a groundout. Warsaw answered with a five-run second with RBI singles from Grobe and Coswell and a triple by McRoberts.
In the bottom of the second, Honn drove in two runs with a single to left to get S-C within a run but Warsaw scored four in the third to make it 9-4.
With the win, Warsaw has equaled its win total of a year ago. The Lady Wildcats (7-11) will face Higginsville on Saturday.
Smith-Cotton (3-18) will host Grain Valley on Monday.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles