MILLER CITY — Maumee made great strides during the softball season, but its tournament trail ended Saturday against one of Ohio’s top teams.
Behind the pitching and hitting of Kimmy Reynolds, sixth-ranked Lima Bath (28-1) defeated the Panthers 5-0 in a Division II district championship game.
Under first-year coach Shawn Watson, Maumee bumped its record from 9-17 a year ago to 18-8 so far this year. The Panthers close the season with a Northern Lakes League contest on Tuesday against Southview.
“Today we just couldn’t string hits together,” Watson said. “We’ve hit .368 as a team this year, so we can put the ball in play. But Kimmy [Reynolds] just controlled us today. She throws a good rise ball, and it’s tough to catch up to.
“We played well enough to win, and we had our opportunities.”
Maumee, which had eight hits, stranded two runners in four different innings, and it left a runner at second base in the fourth.
Bath, which had four hits off Panther pitcher Sam Fowls, scored the only run it would need in the first inning and added two more in the fourth. The Wildkittens broke things open in the sixth, when Reynolds led off with a home run, and teammate Kara Dienstberger added a solo homer.
“It was an emotional day,” Watson said. “We had six girls graduate today, so they were a little bit amped up. Walking at graduation and coming right to a game is tough.
“All in all, it’s been a great season for us. We had a great turnaround, and I’m very proud of my kids."