Some things just pick up where they left off. Such was the case Tuesday night as the defending Ohio Division IV State Champions opened the season with an impressive 7-2 win over previously unbeaten River on the Pilots home field.
Kaitlyn Weaver, last year’s hero who scored the game winning run in the state championship against North Lewisburg Triad, started the game with single up the middle. She then stole second base and moved to third on MacKenzie Osman sacrifice bunt, Kayla Smith would follow with a double to tight center and Weaver plated the first Tiger run of the new season. Smith would the score on a Karly Klug blooper to center and the Tigers took the early lead by a score of 2-0.
The score would remain 2-0 until the 5th inning when the Tigers plated four runs in the top of the 6th inning. Once again, Weaver, who was on the mound for the Lady Tigers, helped her own cause by singling and drive in as Alyx Baker and Haleigh Osman both scored. With two outs senior Lindsey Dunn lifted a high flyball that fell into right field for a triple as Weaver came home for a fifth run. Smith would then get in on the hitfest and bring home Dunn with a single to center.
“They broke it open right there,” said River head coach Dave Wright. “They are the defending state champs for a reason.”
Osman would round the Tigers scoring in the 7th. Hit by a pitch Osman trotted to first base. Two outs later she would scramble home on a wild pitch and close out the scoring with a final of 7-2.
Weaver would make her debut on the mound for the Lady Tigers. She would finish the evening allowing only four hits and striking out ten batters during the process.Throwing 86 pitches during the game, Weaver hit the strike zone on 60 of those pitches.
At the plate, Weaver and Smith each collected two hits while Weaver also had two RBI’s. Her battery mate, senior Lindsey Dunn, finished with three RBI’s
“We had the complete package today,” said Tiger boss, Jillian Ongley. “The girls stepped up today and showed why they are defending state champions.”