Hawks get by Madrid, advance to regional quarters

JEWELL – Softball wise beyond her years, South Hamilton freshman pitcher Ady Wintermote appears unshakable when she steps inside the circle.

That calm demeanor doesn’t go away even when she knows she got away with one.

Wintermote worked out of several jams and helped herself with a 3-for-4 night at the dish last night at the Mike Penning Athletic Complex, as she helped South Hamilton prevail over Madrid, 8-5, in a Class 2A Region 6 first-round contest.

The Hawks (15-14) advanced to tonight’s regional quarterfinal round against Woodward-Granger (22-8) in Woodward. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Wintermote slapped three singles and drove in one run, part of South Hamilton’s 11-hit attack. Madrid touched her for 10 hits, but the Tigers stranded eight runners on base, including five in scoring position.

“I don’t really get nervous out there because I know I have a great defense behind me,” Wintermote said after striking out four against just one walk. “When my team is doing well, I’m doing well.”

Wintermote surely had some butterflies churning as she found herself in a pickle in the bottom of the fifth inning. With South Hamilton clinging to a 3-2 lead, Wintermote got Madrid clean-up hitter Naomi Dalton to pop out on the infield with a pair of Tigers in scoring position.

Dalton entered the game hitting .402 with seven home runs on the season. Wintermote threw her pitch after pitch low and outside, but she missed her mark on the final offering in the fifth inning. Luckily, Dalton missed her sweet spot as well.

“We knew that she was a pretty good hitter, so we tried to throw the pitches (outside),” Wintermote said. “She just kept scooting closer to the plate and attacking the ball.”

The key out fueled the South Hamilton offense, which tacked on two runs in the sixth inning and three in the seventh to pull away from the Tigers.

“I think we came out very strong and very aggressive,” South Hamilton head coach Laura Read said. “It’s encouraging.”

Ronnie Olson delivered an pinch-hit RBI single, and Leandra Diersen plated another run on an RBI groundout to extend the lead to 5-2 in the sixth. South Hamilton took advantage of three Madrid miscues and an RBI single by Kayla Lucas to plate three more runs in the seventh.

Madrid didn’t go quietly. A lead-off double by Jordyn Achenbach in the bottom of the seventh ignited a rally and Dalton got the better of Wintermote later in the frame with a two-run base knock to pull the Tigers within 8-5.

Ashley Moore hit a liner into center two pitches later, but Hawks’ outfielder Kayla Lucas made a nice stab at the shallow shot and immediately threw to first for the double play to end the game.

Dalton finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Moore added a pair of hits.

Wintermote laced the first hit of the game – a single to left in the first inning – and eventually scored. She added a base knock to center in the third and an RBI liner into left in the fifth.

Kali Lucas went 2-for-4, highlighted by a lead-off double in the sixth inning that turned into a run. Kayla Lucas, Alyssa Hegland, Kenzie Busch, Tiffany Jacobson and Leandra Diersen all added singles.

Madrid and Woodward-Granger split a pair of regular season meetings. South Hamilton will face a daunting offense, powered by sophomore Delaney Bice. She enters the postseason hitting .568 with a 2A-leading 12 home runs and 56 RBIs.

“I know they’ve got some very good hitters and they’re aggressive,” Read said of Woodward-Granger.