VERSAILLES – After spotting Anna a 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning, the Versailles softball team played solid the rest of the Monday’s Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional tournament opener and won 5-3.
“That was great for us,” Versailles softball coach Mechelle Heitkamp said. “I’d much rather play a game that you have to battle and you have to play hard to get that victory. I think that’s a great start.”
The game started off rough for Versailles with Anna’s M. Richard and A. Phillips leading off with back-to-back singles. R. Osborn then was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs.
Anna’s P. Richard then reached on an error, which allowed a run to score and put the Rockets up 1-0. Versailles got the first out of the inning on a force out at home but then gave up another single to O. Place to make it 2-0 before Lauren Heitkamp got out of the inning with back-to-back strikeouts.
“First inning was rough for her,” Coach Heitkamp said of her pitcher, Lauren Heitkamp. “She was getting the ball up in the zone more. I thought after the first inning she did a great job, hit her spots.”
Versailles cut into Anna’s lead in the bottom half of the inning as Kristin Langston led off with a double, advanced to second a sacrifice grounder by Kami McEldowney and scored on a single by Cori Lawrence.
The Tigers then tied the game in the third inning. Kami McEldowney led off with a single, which was followed by back-to-back walks to Lawrence and Hailey McEldowney. Danielle Poor then hit a sacrifice fly into right field, driving in Kami McEldowney and tying the game at 2-2.
One inning later Versailles took its first lead of the day. Courtney McEldowney was hit by a pitch and Morgan Heitkamp reached on an error to start the rally.
After Langston hit into a fielder’s choice, Kami McEldowney doubled to drive in Morgan Heitkamp and put Versailles up 3-2. Lawrence then drove in Langston with a sacrifice grounder and Hailey McEldowney drove in Kami McEldowney with an infield single to put Versailles up 5-2.
Anna scored the game’s final run in the fifth inning as M. Richard reached second on a Versailles error in the outfield and scored on a single by Phillips.
Versailles shut down Anna the next two innings with solid defense, including an over-the-shoulder catch from Langston at short, to preserve the 5-3 victory.
“Awesome,” Coach Heitkamp said of her team’s defense. “Langston had a great day at shortstop, unbelievable catch there at the end of the game. I’m so proud of how they played as a team.”
Versailles finished the game with 10 hits and three errors while Anna had four hits and two errors.
Kami McEldowney went 2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and two runs for Versailles. Langston was 2-for-4 with a double and scored two runs. Hailey McEldowney went 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and a RBI.
Lawrence was 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. Courtney McEldowney was 1-for-2 and was hit by a pitch. Morgan Heitkamp went 1-for-3 and scored a run. Brynna Blakeley went 1-for-3. Poor drove in a run.
Lauren Heitkamp pitched the complete game, allowing two earned runs and one unearned run on four hits, no walks, two hit batters and six strikeouts.