HARROD - Erin Conkle and Kylie Wyss each pounded first inning home runs to lead Allen East to a 12-0 defeat of backyard rival Ada in a Northwest Conference varsity softball makeup game Friday evening.
The Lady Bulldogs fell to 3-11 overall and 1-6 in the NWC with the loss, while the Lady Mustangs improved to 11-7 and 3-4 in the league with the run-rule shortened, five-inning victory.
"It has kind of been our M.O. that if we get a couple of runs early or hang some zeroes on defense at the start we are ok," explained Ada head coach Ken Jochims. "But we've struggled at the plate. Coming out of the first inning 4-0 down made it tough. We are not making as many mental mistakes on defense, though."
Behind their power hitters and solid pitching, AE jumped to an 8-0 lead after two innings and was never headed.
In the bottom of the third, the Mustangs added another run. A sharp single to left field and a walk with two outs brought pitcher Kaycee Rowe to the plate. She grounded a hard two-hopper through the hole into left field to build their lead to 9-0.
Bulldog catcher Ashley Windle ended the threat by gunning down a would-be base stealer at third base, with Katelyn Guagenti planting the tag.
In the top of the fourth, Ada center fielder Alexis Gonzaga reached base by beating out a two-out infield looper that dropped in front of the second baseman. But the side was retired on a grounder to third base.
In the bottom of the fourth, the hosts extended their lead. Madison Schantz stroked a one-out single to center field to start the rally. Conkle legged out an infield single to shortstop and Alex Mertz drove in a run with a single to center field.
A second run came around and Mertz ended up at third when the Ada throw from the outfield skipped into the Mustang dugout, making it 11-0.
The next hitter grounded out on a play from Guagenti to Sam Wildman, but as Wildman threw a strike home, Mertz sped home and knocked the ball out of Windle's glove to score at the plate.
Aubren Davis came on to pitch the fifth in relief of Rowe. She retired the first two batters on a pop-out to first and a soft liner to second.
Madison Pinks then lofted a single to center field to keep Ada alive. But Kaylee Spangler then grounded into an unassisted force-out by the shortstop to end the game in five frames due to the 10-run rule.
Rowe doubled and singled in addition to pitching four shutout innings. Conkle drove in four runs on a home run and a double. Wyss knocked in a pair of runs with a homer and a two-bagger.
Audrey Rodriguez and Kennedy Rex also contributed a single apiece to the Mustang offense.
Bulldog senior Kendra Paul came off the disabled list and made her season debut as the designated hitter. She hit a sharp grounder to shortstop in the third, but was thrown out.
Senior Trista Douce singled for the other Ada hit. AE out-hit the Bulldogs 10-3 and took advantage of five Ada errors while playing error-less defense themselves.
"We are through our tough stretch of the schedule and playing almost every day," said Jochims. "Now with some time between games coming up, we have a chance to fix swings and clean up some fundamental stuff."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Ada 0 0 0 0 0 x x 0 3 5
AE 4 4 1 3 x x x 12 10 0
2B-Conkle (AE), Wyss (AE), Rowe (AE)
HR-Conkle (AE), Wyss (AE)
Ada tries to snap its eight-game losing skid Monday when they host conference foe Spencerville (3-9, 2-2 NWC).
Drawing for the sectionals starting May 11 at USV will be held this Sunday at McGuffey, with Perry and Hardin Northern expected to receive the top seeds.
"Anything can happen when you get into sectionals," said Jochims.