The Golden Eagles have punched their ticket to Pickerington.
Big Walnut (17-8) scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie en route to a 3-0 Division I Central District Sectional Final victory over Bishop Watterson (5-14) Friday evening in Sunbury.
The Eagles, who had been held to two hits over the first five innings, broke loose against Watterson starter Erin Vonderwell with one out in the sixth. Shelbie Borchers reached first when left fielder Avery Wakefield misplayed her fly ball into an error, opening the door for the middle of Big Walnut’s batting order. Katelyn Cheadle lined a double to left-center field to score Borchers and Shaye Kuhlman followed suit with a two-bagger to left to plate Cheadle for a 2-0 lead.
After Kuhlman’s double, Watterson head coach Tracey Cultire went to her bullpen, bringing Ashley Competti on in relief of Vonderwell. After Competti retired Hayley Apple on a fly ball to center, Brooke Hatfield drilled a triple off the right field fence sending Kuhlman home with three outs standing between them and a berth in the District semifinals.
“We hit the ball hard all night, but we were hitting it right at Watterson defenders,” BW head coach Jeff Hatfield said, noting that Vonderwell pitched a solid game for five innings. “Once we started finding the alleys we were able to put runs on the board.”
Big Walnut’s Kate Petty matched Vonderwell pitch for pitch en route to her two-hit, complete-game shutout as she walked two and hit one batter while striking out nine Watterson batters.
“Kate turned in another dominating performance,” coach Hatfield said.”She was in complete command on the mound.”
•Kristen Adkins was her usual self in the circle and the offense came on late to lift Liberty to a 4-0 Division I sectional championship win over visiting Westerville North Friday in Powell.
The Patriots (17-7) broke things open in the fifth, scoring three runs to break a scoreless tie. They added another in the sixth to smooth out the scoring summary.
Meredith Bates led Liberty at the plate, finishing with a double, a single and an RBI. Other standouts included Kaylin Lee, who had a double; Baily Ankrim and Randi Noday, who who a single and RBI apiece; and Madison Kadlic and Tiffany Hart, who each had singles in the win.
Adkins struck out eight, allowing just five hits in the complete-game shutout.
•Hayes hit three home runs and crushed visiting Reynoldsburg 16-0 in five innings in a Division I sectional softball championship game Friday at Pacer Park.
Hayes (20-1) got a three-run homer from Mackenzie Stonebraker in the fifth, a two-run shot from Madi Huck in the first and a solo bomb from Lindsey Blair in the third. The Pacers put the game away with an 11-run third inning.
Huck got the win, working all five innings while allowing just three hits.