WEEDSPORT — Weedsport coach Sandy Donahue believes her team's work in the batting cage is paying off.
The Warriors scored multiple runs in all but one of their turns at the plate, as the Weedsport softball team topped Cato-Meridian, 17-2, in a five-inning game at Weedsport High School Wednesday.
For Donahue, her team was able to use what was given to them and remained patient through bad pitches to get to ones they could drive.
"The biggest thing we kept preaching to the kids was about pitch selection," Donahue said. "A lot of times we've gone in and helped the pitchers out by swinging at balls that are above their heads or at their shoelaces. I said 'You just have to have patience, and when you get a strike, swing at them.' This is good practice. You want to put the bat on the ball, especially going into the postseason."
Weedsport had five players with multiple hits. Lochlyn Brown registered four hits, three runs and two RBIs, while Karena Ward (three runs, two RBIs) and Alesha Look (two runs, two RBIs) each tallied two hits.
Aubrey Ouderkirk recorded two hits, two runs and four RBIs, including a two-RBI single to end the game via the mercy rule.
"Big game for her today hitting-wise," Donahue said. "She was struggling the last couple games. She was getting down on herself and knows she can do better. I think in the cage yesterday she was trying to get some swings. She was frustrated and we did some tee work with her. Today she was positive and I thought she did well at the plate."
Lauren Spingler went the distance in the circle for the Warriors. The junior scattered three hits and two walks, and struck out six. She helped her own cause at the plate with two hits, a run and four RBIs.
"I thought she pitched phenomenal today," Donahue said. "When she was down in the count, she held true to herself and came back. Their big hitters got some good hits off her, but she pitched some really good balls. ... Then she got into the batter's box and she's really been working on her hitting all year. She told me at the beginning of the season she wanted to hit and didn't want a DH. I thought she came out and really swung well."
Olivia Ford had two hits and two runs for Cato-Meridian. Donja Griffin also singled.
The Blue Devils opened the scoring in the top of the first when Ford singled, advanced on an error, stole third and came home on a sacrifice fly by Jacey Phillips.
The Warriors answered with three runs in the bottom of the first. Weedsport tacked on three more runs in the second, and after being held off the board in the third, brought 12 batters to the plate in a six-run fourth.
Cato-Meridian scored a run on an error in the top of the fifth, but Weedsport scored five runs to end the game in the bottom half.
"I wasn't really keeping track and didn't realize we had that many, so that's kind of cool," Donahue said.
Weedsport hosts Bishop Ludden Thursday before wrapping up the regular season with a doubleheader in Pulaski Saturday.
"I just told the girls 'This is what I want to see. The energy. Everybody was up and cheering. The positive vibes and being ready to play,'" Donahue said.