Yellowjackets don’t go quietly in final game of Class A, Region IV softball tournament

Photos by Steve Hemmelgarn Williamstown’s Kayla Scott keeps Sherman’s Sydnee Ferrell close to third base during the Tide’s 6-2 win over the Yellowjackets in a Class A, Region IV softball tournament game Wednesday in Williamstown.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Visiting Sherman scored the first four runs Wednesday afternoon and Williamstown never got any closer than three as the Tide rolled to a 6-2 win in capturing the deciding third game in the best-of-three Class A Region IV championship to earn a berth in next week’s state softball tournament in Vienna.

Sherman, which was victorious in both road regional games at Williamstown, which won game 2 on the Tide’s field, will now take a 15-10 record into the state tournament beginning next Wednesday at Jackson Park, with Wheeling Central its initial opposition.

For Williamstown, which finished 18-15, the Yellowjackets were just one win away from a second straight state-tourney berth. Last year was Williamstown’s first-ever state softball tournament appearance.

A two-run first frame right off the bat put the Tide on top early — and for keeps. Winning freshman pitching ace Autumn Thompson led off the game by doubling past the right fielder and an out later, Katlyn Jenkins socked a homer just over the center-field fence for a 2-0 lead.

Williamstown center fielder Kristin Harmon backed up as far as she could, but Jenkins’ jolt went over the fence in straight-away center.

Williamstown hurler Nellie King delivers a pitch to home plate during a regional tournament game against Sherman.

The Yellowjackets had two base-runners on in both the bottom of the first and second.

But Jenkins, Sherman’s first baseman, made a diving catch on a foul pop-up for out 3 in the first, and in the second, Williamstown had a base-runner thrown out stealing second base and another runner gunned down trying to advance to third base from first.

Then the Tide tacked on two more tallies in the third for a 4-0 advantage, as Sydney Seagraves singled in a run and Zoie Hess delivered a sacrifice fly.

A leadoff solo homer for the ‘Jackets that Harmon hammered in the fourth hit right on the top of the center-field fence and then went over to make it 4-1 game.

In the fifth, a bases-loaded walk forced in another Sherman run and in the sixth, Jenkins singled in her third run of the game for the Tide.

Williamstown got a two-out RBI single from Courtney Dotson in the top of the seventh before a groundout spelled the end of the game and season for the Yellowjackets.

Ironically for Williamstown this season, “we usually played a lot better away,” said ‘Jacket head coach Kayla Stanley, “which was kind of odd.”

But even after her team fell behind early Wednesday and never caught up, Stanley “gave them credit; they didn’t give up the whole entire game. I think we started a little sluggish the first inning, and things happened. And today wasn’t a good game for us hitting-wise.”

And Stanley said, “You can’t really complain about the last three years; we advanced to three regional finals and made it to state last year.”