GREENVILLE – Makayla Hanes hit a walk-off triple on Monday, driving in three runs to lead the Greenville softball team to a 5-4 victory against Troy in the Lady Wave’s Greater Western Ohio Conference opener.
Having trailed 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Wave were happy to escape with a win.
“We escaped,” Greenville coach Jerrod Newland said. “Absolutely. They were hungrier today. They were a little more aggressive than us. Bottom line we’re lucky to get out of here with a win.”
For most of the game the pitchers and the defenses behind them were in control.
Greenville broke the stalemate in the bottom of the third. Karsyn Shaffer and Alli Hill got the Wave offense going with back-to-back singles. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Shaffer dodged a tag on a grounder to third, which loaded the bases. Shaffer’s solid base running proved to be extremely important as she scored moments later on a passed ball, making it 1-0.
Greenville didn’t hold the lead for long, however, as Troy tied the game in the top of the fourth.
After Camryn Moeller doubled, she scored when Savannah Nelson reached on an error.
Both Greenville and Troy had opportunities to break the tie, but neither could, sending the game into extra innings.
Greenville had a great opportunity to win the game with two runners on in the bottom of the eighth as a result of two Troy errors. However, the Wave couldn’t push a run across and the game continued into the ninth.
“It was back and forth all day long,” Newland said. “We got one, we gave them one, and then all of a sudden next thing you know we’ve got two shots to walk off and win it. They made the plays. I couldn’t have drawn it up any better in the sixth, seventh and eighth … who we had up, situations. Just didn’t work out.”
After seeing an opportunity slip away in the eighth, the situation got direr for the Lady Wave in the top of the ninth.
Moeller and Natalie Henson led off the inning with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. After Henson took second base, Greenville intentionally walked Nelson to load the bases with no outs. Kearston Riley then reached on an error, which brought in the go-ahead run for Troy.
After Greenville got a fielder’s choice out at home, the Wave committed another error that allowed a run to score and made it 3-1. Josie Rohlfs then bunted for an infield single, bringing in another run and making it 4-1 before Greenville got a strikeout and a fly out to end the inning.
“We gave them five, six outs that inning,” Newland said. “Bang. Bang. And next thing you know we’re down some runs.”
Trailing by three in the bottom of the ninth, Greenville mounted a rally beginning with an Ashton Kester double. After a pop up for the first out of the inning, Logan Tabler was hit by a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate.
Shaffer doubled, driving in Kester and making it a 4-2 game. Hill then was hit by a pitch, loading the bases and bringing Hanes up to the plate. She delivered with a bases-clearing triple to give the Lady Wave a 5-4 victory.
“Kester, a senior, steps up and strokes the ball 200 feet, and it gets a little contagious,” Newland said. “We get on, get a hit, get a hit. Next thing you know Hanes steps up, one of the hotter kids on the team right now, strokes it out there.”
Both teams had six hits in Monday’s game. Greenville had four errors while Troy committed three.
For Greenville Hanes was 1-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs. Shaffer went 2-for-5 with a double, a stolen base, a RBI and two runs scored. Kester went 1-for-2, was hit by a pitch, walked, had a double and scored a run. Hill was 2-for-4 and was hit by a pitch. Alexis Byers and Tabler both scored runs.
Allison Minnich earned the win for the Lady Wave as she pitched the complete game, allowing four unearned runs on six hits, one walk and seven strikeouts.
Greenville is now 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the GWOC North. Troy is 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the GWOC North. The teams will play each other again on Thursday in Troy.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.