(April 20th, 2015) – PIONEER: Making the trip to Pioneer, the Lady Cadets challenged hosting North Central in a battle for Buckeye Border Conference Supremacy. The girls of West Unity came prepared, showing great poise and concentration as they racked up 18 hits against the Lady Eagles’ pitching.
All of that offense paid off, as Hilltop bested North Central 11-7.
From the early goings of the contest, the Cadets were swinging their bats with authority. They began the game with a 3 run effort in the top of the opening inning of play. The hometown girls weren’t intimidated by the strong start by their guests, putting up 2 runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. Stepping up defensively in the top of the second, the Lady Eagles took the lead during their second with a 3 run outing in the bottom of the inning. After just two innings, North Central held a 5-3 advantage.
Yet Hilltop would have most productive inning from the batter’s box for either team in the third. Driving in 5 runs, the Cadet girls took over the lead, earning an 8-5 edge. Over the next two innings, they built upon that advantage, adding another run in the fourth and 2 more in the fifth. The Lady Eagles would earn a run in the bottom of the fifth, and 1 more in the sixth, but couldn’t muster enough offense to catch up to their rival. A scoreless seventh inning by both squads assured a 4 run loss of the girls of Pioneer.
Bailey Funkouser threw a complete game for the Cadets, picking up the win. The junior gave up 2 earned runs on 5 hits. She also tallied 4 strikeouts in the victory, walking 5 batters as well.
Makayla Hayes, of North Central, pitched 4 innings in the loss, claiming the defeat as her own. A sophomore, Hayes gave up 6 earned runs off of 12 hits. She struck out 2 batters, walking only 1. Reese Cogswell took to the mound in relief, lasting the final three innings of play. The senior allowed 2 earned runs and 6 hits in that span.
From the plate, Hilltop’s Baylee Schmitt had a great game. She went 3 for 4 swinging the bat, hitting for a pair of singles and a double. That helped the junior to drive in 3 RBIs. Cadet freshman Becca Miller connected on 2 of her 4 attempts in the batter’s box, earning a single and a double. She brought in 2 RBIs.
For the Lady Eagles, Hayes and Cogswell each hit RBI singles, which served as their only hits of the contest. Makayla Knapp, Rachel Oxender, and Tristin Tomblin also only had 1 hit apiece, with all three North Central girls earning singles as well.