Wayne shuts out Mingo Central, 10-0, to advance
WAYNE -- Kasey Endicott launched a high fly to left field, and as she raced toward first base, she saw coach Tish Smith smile. That meant the ball had cleared the fence for a solo home run.
Endicott's seventh homer of the season was the highlight of a four-run third inning, powering Wayne to a 10-0 run-rule victory over Mingo Central in the Class AA Region IV, Section 4 softball championship game Monday night at Pioneer Field.
"I didn't know it was gone until Tish gave me the high five," Endicott said. "I worked hard in the off-season. I work on my hitting on off days. It pays off. That shot felt good."
"She's quite an offensive threat," Johnson said of Endicott. "She got a good pitch and drove it."
The Pioneers (24-6) also scored four times in the second and finished off the Miners with two more in the fourth. Wayne pitcher Jessie Rowe held Mingo Central to two hits and struck out nine.
Mingo Central reached the title game with a 13-5 run-rule win over Tolsia in the first game Monday. The Miners collected 12 hits in the five innings.
Wayne, which is seeking to repeat as the Class AA state champ, advances to the regional semifinals. That game will be played Thursday, May 9, on the road against the winner of the Chapmanville-Scott series. Their best-of-three sectional starts Tuesday.
Smith said the Pioneers took nothing for granted even though they posted two run-rule wins over Mingo Central in the regular season.
"Come out and play with the same enthusiasm you play every other game," Smith said. "Keep your focus and get the job done."
"This was the first step toward that goal," Endicott said.
Wayne went 2-0 against Scott and Chapmanville in the regular season.
"I'm excited," Smith said. "I know we have a shot to go back."
Emily Fry and Emily Thompson each knocked in two runs for Wayne. On the season, the Pioneers have smacked 20 homers.
After the game and trophy presentation, the Wayne players gathered in front of the mound and sang happy birthday to assistant coach Steve Watts.
Kristyn Johnson had a single in the first and Chelsea Lambert a single in the third to account for Mingo Central's hits.
In the opener, Kiaria Hammond had three hits and drove in three runs and Johnson also collected three hits and knocked in a pair to lead the Miners to their first tournament win in school history. Tolsia committed eight errors.
TOLSIA 100 22 -- 5 5 8
MINGO CENTRAL 320 53 -- 13 12 1
Cavins and Hendrickson; Kaitlyn Lester and Hammond.
Hitting: (T) Lahoda 3-3, Cavins RBI, Hendrickson RBI, Browning 2B, RBI; Evans RBI. (MC) Johnson 3-3, 2B, 2 RBIs; Browning 2-3, Hammond 3-4, 3 RBI; Kaitlyn Lester RBI, Cottle 2-3, RBI; Muncy 2-3, RBI.
MINGO CENTRAL 000 00 -- 0 2 3
WAYNE 044 2x -- 10 7 0
Kara Lester, Kaitlyn Lester (3), Kara Lester (4) and Hammond; Rowe and Thompson.
Hitting: (W) Fry 2 RBIs, Watts RBI, Endicott HR, RBI; Langdon RBI, Maynard 2-2, RBI; Thompson 2-3, 2B, 2 RBIs.