One run decided each of the first two meetings between Warrenton and Winfield.
Recent history provided an intriguing foreshadowing for Monday’s Class 3 District 7 softball championship, but the game failed to deliver.
The fireworks were one-sided, as Winfield cranked out three home runs en route to a 13-1 victory through five innings. Warrenton saw its season come to a close in the most lopsided defeat of a 14-9 campaign.
“I was feeling good about this game, but it just wasn’t meant to be, I guess,” said Coach Trevor Hibbs. “We didn’t have our A-game, and they definitely brought theirs.”
Winfield had seen starting pitcher Jennah Garrison on the previous two occasions, collecting a combined 17 hits through just under 16 innings — including a nine-inning thriller. Perhaps that familiarity was beneficial, as the tournament’s XX-seeded team went to work immediately, going ahead 4-0 in the top of the first.
Garrison would end up being one of three pitchers to try their hand against hot-handed Winfield.
“We were up in the zone pitch-wise, and they were tattooing it,” said Hibbs. “Jennah just couldn’t locate. She was up and down the middle a lot, and I’ve never seen her like that. She’s been playing injured lately.”
Lead-off batter Sarah Entwhistle was the first of a trio of players to send the ball sailing over the centerfield fence. Her teammates followed with three singles and a double, before the Warriors finally recorded the first out.
“I have to take my hat off to them,” said Hibbs. “They hit the heck out of the ball.”
Warrenton struggled to find an answer at the plate, stranding runners on second and third base in the bottom of the inning. Danielle Morrow had the first of the Warriors’ only two hits, while Brianna Vogt walked.
Winfield continued to unload offensively, while Warrenton remained stagnant at the plate.
The second inning saw eight more runs scored, including four off a pair of two RBI home runs.
“They tore it up,” said Hibbs. “They had tons of hits. I haven’t been involved in too many softball games where there three home runs were hit.”
With the Warriors trailing 9-0, Hibbs decided to bring in sophomore Rachel Earlewine for relief with one out. She allowed two more runs before shutting down the inning.
Winfield added another two runs off a double in the third but was perhaps just as efficient on defense, turning two to leave Warrenton runners stranded in both the third and fourth inning.
Taylor Crawford replaced Earlewine on the mound with two outs in the third and limited the damage in the fourth, striking out one and allowing just one hit.
The Warriors’ only run came in the top of the fifth, as Vogt walked and eventually scored off a single by Earlewine.
“These two seniors have accomplished a lot and helped bring this program to where it’s at,” said Hibbs.