It's a combination that more often than not will lead to victory after victory.
Warren used dominant pitching and timely hitting to improve to 3-0 on the season with a 6-0 victory over the visiting Franklin Knights Thursday at Hawbaker Field in the Farm Colony Complex, North Warren.
Not even the game's early start time of 1 p.m. could throw the Dragons off their game. Pitcher Alexa Bupp was on from the very start, allowing just three hits in seven innings while striking out 10.
Times Observer photo by Allen Seybert
Warren’s Kristin Hultquist makes solid contact with a Franklin pitch during a girls softball game Thursday at Hawbaker Field in the Farm Colony Complex, North Warren. Hultquist and the Dragons improved to 3-0 with a 6-0 victory.
Warren's offense did enough to ensure the win would happen. The team did most of its damage with two outs in innings. All told, Warren scored five of its six runs after the second out of the inning was recorded.
"Absolutely, clutch hitting is going to be important for us going forward," said Warren coach Mark Bupp. "We were a little sloppy at times today, but I was extremely proud of the girls. They held things together, got past the mistakes we did make and kept pushing forward. That's all you can ask for."
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third when the Dragons broke through with three runs to take control. After a groundout, Kaitlin Ishman started the rally quickly with a triple to the gap. Jaimie Eaton followed with an RBI single and Kristin Hultquist added a single of her own.
With two outs in the inning, Alexa Bupp delivered a key hit, driving home two with a single through the left side of the infield to make the score 3-0.
The Dragons' next two runs came in the fifth - even after the first two batters of the inning were retired. Rachel Hasselman started the rally with a double and she scored when a ball put into play by Bupp was misplayed for an error.
Meghan Loutzenhiser was put in to run for Bupp and she scored on an RBI hit by Sam Bevevino. Bevevino's hit gave the hosts a 5-0 advantage through five innings.
The Dragons added an insurance run in the sixth and again it came after the first two batters were put out. Ishman tripled for the second time in the game and scored on Eaton's second RBI hit of the afternoon.
Eaton led the Dragons with three hits at the plate and Ishman added two, including two triples and a team-high two runs scored.
Warren (3-0) will look to remain perfect on the season Monday when it hosts Fort LeBoeuf. The game will again feature an early start time with first pitch set for 2 p.m.
Taylor Mineweaser was 3-for-3 and Erica Blair 2-for-2 in Warren's 11-2 junior varsity win. Meghan Loutzenhiser struck out seven in the six-inning win.
FRANKLIN (0): ab-r-h-rbi: Shingledecker, ss-dp, 3-0-0-0, Beggs, 2b, 3-0-0-0, Phieffer, lf, 3-0-0-0, Fowler, c, 3-0-1-0, Hanna, 3b, 3-0-1-0, Hoover, ss, 3-0-0-0, Green, 1b, 3-0-1-0, Trepano, cf, 3-0-0-0, Miller, rf, 2-0-0-0, Romanowski, p, 0-0-0-0, Mullen, cr, 0-0-0-0, Totals: 26-0-3-0
WARREN (6): ab-r-h-rbi: Ishman, 2b, 4-2-2-0, Eaton, ss, 4-1-3-2, Hultquist, rf, 4-1-1-0, Hasselman, 1b, 3-1-1-0, Bupp, p, 3-0-1-2, Bevevino, 3b, 3-0-1-1, Blair, lf, 3-0-0-0, Mineweaser, dp, 3-0-0-0, Williams, c, 0-0-0-0, Walter, cf, 3-0-1-0, Loutzenhiser, cr, 0-1-0-0, Totals: 30-6-10-5
Franklin 000 000 0 - 0 3
Warren 003 021 x - 6 10
2b-Hasselman (W). 3b-Ishman (W) 2. WP-Bupp. LP-Romanowski.
Junior varsity game
Franklin 010 100 - 2 7 3
Warren 310 16x - 11 7 3
2b-Peiffer (F), Zurcher (F), Taylor Mineweaser (W). 3b-Erica Blair (W). WP-Meghan Loutzenhiser. LP-Shingledecker.
Titusville 8, Eisenhower 1
The effort was much improved over that of a loss to Fairview on Tuesday, but it wasn't enough for Eisenhower to earn its first victory of the season on Thursday during an 8-1 loss to Titusville at Eisenhower High School.
"The girls brought some enthusiasm to the field today so that was certainly a positive," said Eisenhower coach R.J. Williams. "A couple of the girls really hit the ball hard, but they just wouldn't fall for hits. We also had girls with outstanding days in the field."
The Knights had trouble keeping up with Titusville pitcher Shana Grosch and were limited to just two hits in the contest. If Grosch's name sounds familiar it's for good reason. The junior played for Warren during her freshman season before transfering to Titusville a season ago.
Despite the lack of hits, the Knights remained close in the game, trailing just 4-1 when the Rockets plated four runners in the top of the seventh.
After stringing three straight hits together to start the game, Titusville led 3-0 after an inning and 4-0 after three. The Knights got their run in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a pair of Titusville errors. Dakota Williams reached on an error, but was put out on Haylie Birt's fielder's choice. Moments later, Birt scored when a ball hit by Brooke Stanton was misplayed for an error, getting the Knights within three.
Birt and shortstop Jessica Byrd were the only Knights to finish with hits on Thursday as both cracked singles. Titusville collected eight hits off Ike starter Natasha Morrison who was making her first pitching appearance of the season in place of Birt.
The Knights will try to right the ship Tuesday when they host North East with a 4:30 p.m. first pitch scheduled.
TITUSVILLE (8): ab-r-h-rbi: Clark, c, 4-1-0, Johnson, 2b, 4-1-1, Grosch, p, 4-3-2, Finley, 3b, 4-0-1, Neely, ss, 4-1-1, Bowser, 1b, 3-1-2, Vandervort, cf, 3-1-0, Garret, rf, 4-0-0, Brown, lf, 3-0-1, Totals: 33-8-8
EISENHOWER (1): ab-r-h-rbi: Repke, 1b, 3-0-0, D. Williams, 2b, 3-0-0, Birt, 3b, 3-1-1, Stanton, c, 3-0-0, Byrd, ss, 3-0-1, K. Williams, cf, 3-0-0, Maine, lf, 3-0-0, Barnett, rf, 3-0-0, Morrison, p, 3-0-0, Totals: 27-1-2
Titusville 301 000 4 - 8 8
Eisenhower 000 100 0 - 1 2
2b-Grosch (T). WP-Grosch. LP-Morrison.