AKRON, Ohio (WKBN) – The West Branch Warriors ran into a hot pitcher and an even hotter batter in Triway Titans Carter Wchtel as they dropped a Division II Regional Final 8-0 at Akron’s Firestone Stadium Sunday afternoon.
“It’s just an honor to be this far. There are only eight teams standing, so it’s great to be here,” Warriors coach Sis Woods said.
“We knew what to expect coming in and we practiced it. We tried our best and I’m proud of this team. We have had better games. This was not how we usually play,” Warrior’s senior catcher Sam Morris said.
The loss closed out the Warrior’s season at 24-9, while the Titans improve to 28-2. The Titans advance to play a State Semi-Final on Friday against Hebron Lakewood.
“We started the season four and four and they have just grown so much. I think it was more of the team chemistry that was a big thing. Like everybody else with the covid year, we didn’t have that team bonding last year and I just think they became more of a team and believed in themselves and each other,” Woods remarked.
After the Warriors were unable to take advantage of two baserunners in the top of the first, the Titans took advantage of a Warrior error to plate two runs in the bottom of the frame, taking an early 2-0 lead.
The Titans put the game away in the second however when Wchtel blasted a three-run homer over the left-field fence to give them a 5-0 lead. Emma Flinner would follow up with a two-out, two-run blast over the left-field fence to bulge the Titan’s lead to 7-0 after just two innings of play.
“We made a couple of mistakes in there and just couldn’t fight back from it. We wanted to be able to jump out early and hope they get frustrated, but they jumped out on us and we got frustrated,” Woods said.
“I had faith that we could come back. We had done it before. We needed to get the energy up and focus on playing for ourselves,” Morris added.
The Titans would pick up one additional run in the fifth courtesy of a base hit from Clowie Flinner to right field, scoring Hannah Massaro who led the inning off with a single.
Wchtel kept the Warriors off-balance all day as she pitched a complete-game three-hitter to pick up the victory. She would record seven strikeouts while only issuing three walks. She also had three hits in the game including that big three-run blast.
Jordan Anderson suffered the loss for the Warriors pitching a complete game. Anderson allowed 11 hits while striking out 5 and not allowing a walk in the contest. Warriors junior shortstop Sydney Mercer would have two of their three hits in the game.
“We are losing a very good group of seniors,” Woods remarked. “We have three that are four-year letter winners, in (Jordan) Anderson, (Sam) Morris, and (Destiny) Blake. And then our centerfielder Jaci (Thomas) stepped in this year and did an excellent job for us in center field. They and (Madi) Rhome will be missed and their leadership will be missed.”