ST. MARYS — The St. Marys softball team celebrated near home plate as the dust was still settling after a determined effort was rewarded with a walk-off win.
Tannar Rutschilling hit a hard grounder to the right side of the infield to score Josalyn Schamp in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 4-3 walkoff win.
“It was a big win for these girls,” St. Marys head coach Sue Grothause said. “I saw a lot of good things tonight, things where we executed. It was huge that we didn’t get down. We just said we needed to be positive and we had leadership out there.”
The bottom of the Roughrider order kindled the game-winning rally, with Josalyn Schamp shooting a rocket past the first baseman for a single to start the inning.
“She swings hard and can put the ball in play and she did that. She hit the ball hard,” Grothause said.
After Sarah Mabry was hit by a pitch, leadoff hitter Katlyn Brown bunted the runners into scoring position with one out to set up Rutschilling’s game winning swing.
“I knew Katlyn could get a bunt down. She got them over and hopefully we could get a hard hit ball or fly ball from Tannar and she did that,” Grothause said.
Rutschilling led the Roughriders at the plate with a pair of hits, two runs batted in and a run scored.
The victory was St. Marys’ second of the season and first home win.
St. Marys Mallory Kill earned the win in the pitcher’s circle, giving up three runs on 10 hits and striking out seven.
“She had nice location on the ball tonight,” Grothause said.
Kill delivered her best work with runners on base. Kill worked out of jams in the fourth by stranding the bases loaded and by keeping runners at second and third after they got there with one out in the fifth inning.
“We’ve talked about staying calm and cool,” Grothause said. “You’re going to make mistakes. It’s going to happen. It’s part of life. But tonight we didn’t quit, we didn’t give up and we had a lot of different people step up.”
St. Marys twice rallied from one-run deficits.
Elida went up 1-0 on a Erika Kiel RBI single in the top of the second inning.
The Roughriders tied it up again in the bottom of the fourth inning. Rutschilling led off with a walk and moved to second on Colleen Magee’s sacrifice bunt. Rutschilling moved to third base a single by Mallory Kill and scored on an RBI groundout to first base.
Elida went up 2-1 in the top of the fifth inning on a Aryanna Brown RBI single.
St. Marys again responded, this time scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a leadoff single and a Schamp walk, the tying run scored on a wild pitch. Rutschilling followed with the go-ahead RBI single for a 3-2 St. Marys lead.
Elida tied the game in the sixth when Cathy Jenks singled to start the inning and came around to score on a Michaela Black’s sacrifice fly.
Grothause liked what she saw in the field. Left fielder Colleen Magee made a pair of nice running catches near the line in the outfield. Paige Dicus threw out the potential go-ahead run trying to steal second in the top of the seventh inning. Third baseman Amy Wicker had three assists at third base with just a few games at the hot corner under her belt.