PDT Sports Writer
LUCASVILLE — Once the 98-minute lightning delay ended Friday afternoon, Valley coach Montie Spriggs knew something was different with his team and not in a good way.
The No. 2 Indians committed all four of their errors after play resumed. The miscues proved to be the difference as No. 7 Westfall left with a 2-0 win in a Division III Southeast Sectional Final.
“I think they thought they (were) going to call the game and play (Saturday),” Spriggs said. “In their mind they probably weren’t ready to play and it showed when we came back out. It just happens, our mindset wasn’t where it was supposed to be.”
Play was halted prior to the start of Valley’s turn to bat in the third inning. When Elysia Montgomery grounded out to start the frame out of the recess, she was the sixth of what would turn out to be 15-straight Indian hitters retired by the Mustangs’ Gina Rosshirt.
Emily Richard’s infield single broke the string and turned out to be the lone hit for the hosts on the night.
“She kept us off balance real well,” Spriggs said in reference towards Rosshirt.
Westfall loaded the bases in the top of the fourth and cashed in with Denise Arledge’s RBI single scored Sara Link but Cassie Williams was picked off at third after the run to end the frame.
“They put the ball in play and there were a couple of times where we didn’t make the play,” Spriggs said. “Like I told the girls all year long, you just make the simple plays, the routine plays and we win a lot of ballgames.”
The Mustangs doubled the lead in the fifth as Kayla Tackett reached base courtesy of two Valley errors. Two batters later, Rosshirt’s squeeze play plated Tackett and Rosshirt found herself at second on a throwing error at the plate.
“I think we got a little bit antsy there a couple of times on the errors,” Spriggs said. “We tried to throw one and it went between her legs.”
The Indians’ best chances to score came in the first and seventh when they had runners on first and second with one out. In both instances, Rosshirt was able to retire the next two batters to get out of the frame.
Although last year’s Division III Regional Runner-Up has been bounced from the tournament this early in the season, Spriggs feels there are a lot of positives to take from a 21-win season as they lose Brooke Cooper and Morgan Castle to graduation.
“They’ll be sorely missed, they really will,” Spriggs said.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.
Westfall 000 110 0 — 2 6 1
Valley 000 000 0 — 0 1 4
Westfall — Tackett 0-4 (SB, R), Stonerock 2-4 (SB), Rosshirt 0-3 (SAC, RBI), Peters 1-3, Link 1-3 (R), Williams 1-3 (RBI), Fuchs 0-2 (BB), Arledge 1-3 (RBI), Salmons 0-2 (BB, SB).
Valley — Richard 1-2 (HBP), Conley 0-2 (BB), Webb 0-2 (HBP).
W — Rosshirt (15-6) CG, 0 R, 1 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 2 HB
L — Koch (13-4) CG, 2 R, 6 H, 3 K, 2 BB
Records — Westfall 16-7; Valley 21-6.