West Union faced a young Ingomar squad, but the Lady Falcons put up a fight in the first round of the 1A state playoffs. The Lady Eagles eventually pulled away to sweep the series, winning 5-1 and 17-0 Tuesday night.
The county rivals traded runs in the first inning of game one, with Shelly Grisham bringing in Kate Webb, who opened the game with a leadoff double. West Union returned the favor in the bottom portion of the inning, as a sacrifice fly out by Rachel Baker brought home Kimberly Jumper, tying the game.
Robyn Taylor helped to extend the lead in the third with an RBI triple, scoring Claire Wilkerson and Jumper, then would bring in the final two runs in the fifth off a double, making it 5-1.
Taylor finished the game 3-for3 with 4 RBI, along with Jumper, whose two-out single kept the inning going and set up Taylor’s RBI double in the fifth.
“Maybe it was a little rust or nerves, who knows, but no matter who you play, even if it’s the first round of the playoffs, you’re going to expect them to be good and to make big plays. We were lucky that Kimberly and Robyn had the big two out hits in the first game. Kimberly kept it going, and Robyn knocked in four on two hits to get our five runs,” West Union head coach Andy Kirk said.
Game two was not close, as the Lady Eagles found their bats, knocking 17 runs off 17 hits in their five-inning shutout.
“That’s been our team all year,” Kirk said. “We talked about that between games how they would get the big hits, and throughout the year we’ve always had different ones come up with big hits. That’s what happened in the second game. Everyone contributed. We don’t want to depend on just two, three or four hitters, we want to depend on all 10 hitters and have a complete team. When we do that, we’re pretty good.”
West Union opened with six runs off four hits and three Ingomar errors in the first, as Jessica Gates, Jumper, Leah Paige Goolsby and Julianna Garner each had singles.
The Lady Eagles would extend that lead with four more runs in the second, as Gates, Jumper and Garner again had big hits to lead West Union. They would tack on seven more runs over three innings, including a big home run by April Rollins, which made it 12-0 in the fourth inning.
Gates had three hits, including a triple help lead West Union. Jumper and Garner each contributed with three hits as well, and Goolsby and Carley Wilkerson each had two hits in the final game. An astounding stat, both Jumper and Robyn Taylor reached base six out of seven at bats. Despite this being a rematch of last year’s first round series, Kirk knows this was a different Ingomar squad his team faced, and credits them on a good season.
“Ingomar is a good bunch. Coach Wilbanks has done a great job after what he lost last season, so to get them to the playoffs is great for them. It’s always a rivalry, no matter where it is in the county, and that’s the approach we took going into this series,” Kirk said.
West Union will be on the road at Pine Grove in the second round of the playoffs on Saturday. Pine Grove swept Ray Brooks on Wednesday.