Rowe, Wayne girls shut out Huntington High, 6-0
WAYNE -- All Wayne softball ace Jessie Rowe needed was a few runs, and she did the rest, pitching a complete game shutout of Huntington High, 6-0, Thursday evening.
"That was our plan," said head coach Tish Smith. "Score first and then give it to Jessie Rowe and our defense. I don't think there's any better defense in the state, and when Jessie is on, she's on. All we have to do is score first."
Rowe gave up just three hits while striking out eight in a seven inning performance.
The defending Class A state champion Pioneers (5-3) generated three runs in the bottom of the first, including a solo home run from Payton Fetty.
But the Class AAA Highlanders (3-6) would dig in. Pitcher Emily Daniels and the Huntington High defense settled down, got out of a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the second inning and put Wayne down in order in the third and fourth innings.
Rachel Bias was the only offensive weapon the Highlanders had going, as she had all three of Huntington High's hits, and was left stranded each time she got on base.
"The defense has been playing really well the last couple of games," Huntington High coach Darren Woody said. "Wayne's got a great ball club. Daniels came in and did a good job for us, but we've still got to hit the ball and put runs across the plate."
Wayne manufactured a run in the bottom of the fifth, then tacked on two more in the sixth with a two-run homer from Emily Thompson.
"We'll take that any day," Smith said of Thompson's shot. "The bats were going good, and Payton Fetty came through again, she's tough."
Smith said Wayne is eager to get into a regular season flow. Several early games were disrupted because of the unusually bad March weather, and many teams are struggling to find a rhythm in the early stages of the season.
"It was a long March," Smith said. "The time between games was really not our thing. We like to play every night, we like to play tired, we like to play stressed, we like to play mentally stressed and really that starts tonight. We've got Friday off and then Saturday we're at Spring Valley and then it's six days a week through the end of April, and that's what we like.
"The team is starting to gel and play some good ball here and we're excited."
After two games with no runs scored -- Huntington High lost Thursday, 1-0, to St. Albans -- the Highlanders will look to turn things around as they host Spring Valley on Friday.
HUNTINGTON HIGH 000 000 0 -- 0 3 2
WAYNE 300 012 X -- 6 8 2
Daniels and Laura Collins; Rowe and Allie Maynard, Thompson.
Hitting (H) Bias 3-3; (W) Fetty 1-3, HR, RBI, Thompson 1-1, HR, 2 RBI, Savannah Perry 2-2, 2 2B.