By Rob Kiser
MASON — Covington softball coach Mechelle Heitkamp knew exactly what she needed against Williamsburg in a Division IV district final Saturday at Mason High School.
A perfect game.
What the Buccaneers delivered against the Wildcats was less than that, and the result was a 9-0 loss that ended Covington’s season at 18-9, while Williamsburg — a final four team a year ago — moves on to this week’s regional tournament.
“The girls knew what a great team Williamsburg was and that they had a great pitcher,” Heitkamp said. “When we talked in the dugout before the game, we knew were going to have to play a near-perfect game. I thought the focus was pretty good early on, but that changed as some things happened.”
While Williamsburg had just five hits in the game, the Wildcats took advantage of three hit batters, seven walks and three errors, while Covington pitchers Kenzie Long and Emma Dammeyer recorded five strikeouts.
At the same time, Carly Wagers hurled a one-hitter for Williamsburg — that being a Justice Warner double in the third inning.
After that, Wagers retired 14 batters in a row to finish the game.
At one point, she struck out seven in a row and 10 out of 11 batters, finishing with 14 strikeouts while walking just one.
This against a lineup that was coming off a 22-hit game in the sectional final win over Newton.
“We knew she (Carly Wagers) was a really good pitcher,” Heitkamp said. “And they had a really good second pitcher. But, I don’t think there was the same positive energy in the dugout that there was against Newton.”
Things started to go wrong in the second inning when Williamsburg scored four runs on one hit.
After two walks and two sacrifices, Peyton Fisher had a RBI single. An intentional walk to Wagers with the bases loaded made it 2-0 and when Rylee Clark’s popup was dropped, two more runs scored to make it 4-0.
In third, an infield single by Clark after a hit batter and walk with two outs scored a run and when a throw to home from first went to the backstop, another run scored to make it 6-0.
Faith Golden led off the fourth with a home run to make it 7-0 and Dammeyer replaced Kenzie Long on the mound.
After another intentional walk to Wagers, Wiliamsburg scored when Clark reached on an error, making it 8-0.
The final run scored after another intentional walk to Wagers and McKayla Kirschner had a RBI single.
“I don’t know how many errors we had, but they all were costly,” Heitkamp said. “You can’t make those kind of mistakes.”
It was a tough way to end another successful season.
“When you look at having to replace big holes in the middle, I think we had a good year,” Heitkamp said. “The one thing we didn’t have that they have had in the past is a dominant pitcher. I am really proud of the girls and what we accomplished.”
A perfect game was just a little too much to ask.
Rob Kiser can be reached at (937) 451-3334.