Grove City roughs up Watterson to win district title
Sophomore catcher Kennedy Beach doubled twice, singled and drove in three and junior Emma Cornell pitched a complete game, leading the Grove City High School softball team to a 9-1 win over Watterson in a Division I district final May 25 at Pickerington Central.
The second-seeded Greyhounds improved to 25-4 and will play Pickerington Central in a regional semifinal May 29 at Ohio State.
Pickerington Central, the ninth seed, defeated top-seeded Delaware 8-6 in eight innings in another district final May 25.
Grove City won both OCC-Ohio Division games against the Tigers, 16-3 in five innings April 15 and 15-5 in five innings May 1.
The winner plays OCC-Ohio rival Gahanna or North Canton Hoover in a regional final June 1 at Ohio State.
Last season, the Greyhounds lost to Hoover 3-1 in a regional semifinal to finish 25-4.
Against Watterson, Grove City took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Senior center fielder Ashton Salyers led off with a walk and scored on Beach’s double, and Beach later scored on junior designated player Jordan Kennaw’s groundout.
Sophomore first baseman Katie Manahan homered with one out in the second to pull Watterson to within 2-1, but that was as close as the eighth-seeded Eagles would get. Watterson finished 19-5.
Grove City sent 10 batters to the plate in the third, scoring five runs for a 7-1 lead. Beach had a two-run double and sophomore shortstop Destini Ewing and senior second baseman Haylea Garner each put down a squeeze bunt to drive in a run.
Cornell allowed seven hits, struck out four and walked two.
“Kennedy Beach got her three hits and Ashton gets on base and sets the table, things like that (make a difference),” coach Ted Williams said. “It makes the game a little fun when … we can steal, we can hit and run and do those kind of things.”