SMITHVILLE – Smithville small-balled its way one step closer to a fast-pitch state semifinals appearance Thursday night against West Union.
The Lady Seminoles (23-2) finished with nine hits in a 4-2 Game 1 win in the Class 1A quarterfinals best-of-three series. Five were bunt singles.
“A lot of small ball,” said Smithville coach Jeremy Duke. “You’ve got to give (West Union) credit. They came out ready to play. They did most of the little things right. A couple mental errors on their part and we found a way to win.”
Her team trailing 2-0, Smithville shortstop Whitney Fears’ bunt single put runners at first and third with two outs in the second inning. Lakin Wigginton’s bunt single scored Kelsi Watson from third and an alert Fears from first as the ball found its way through the right side of the infield. Wigginton took second on the throw home.
The little things the Lady Eagles didn’t do right, cost them.
Smithville took a 3-2 lead a batter later when Lynndon Northington reached on the first of three West Union errors. Wigginton, who had three hits, scored from second when the throw to first base sailed into the Smithville dugout.
Smithville added its fourth run an inning later on the Lady Eagles’ second error. Watson flew out to centerfield, but Meagan Whitehead scored from second base after the throw to third was overthrown.
“We feel like their runs were unearned. We had too many errors,” West Union coach Lisa Bogue said. “You can’t do that against a team like Smithville, because they will take advantage of it. We knew that coming into it.”
West Union took a 2-0 lead on its only two hits of the game, early RBI singles from Kimberly Jumper and Claire Wilkerson. Smithville pitcher Kami Roberts (19-2) then held the Lady Eagles hitless through four innings, striking out six for the game. Northington struck out two in relief in the fourth.
Dani Taylor (14-5) took the loss for West Union (15-6).
Game 2 is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. at West Union. Game 3, if necessary, will follow. The winner will face the Vardaman – Houlka series winner.
“We’re going to focus back in tomorrow, try to go over some things that we messed up on and hopefully Saturday we’ll cut down on our errors,” Bogue said.
BRANDON SPECK/Monroe Journal