Waubonsie Valley's 6-5 win over Geneva Wednesday marked the third straight year the Warriors beat the Vikings by a run in their Upstate Eight Conference crossover matchup.
They did it a little differently this time.
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After getting silenced by Shannon Hohman the past two years, Geneva's bats came alive for 10 hits against the Warriors ace. That included three straight two-out doubles in the seventh inning as the Vikings scored two runs and nearly rallied from a 3-run deficit.
Hohman, though, retired Madison Keith on a fly ball to center for the final out to improve her record to 3-2.
"Me and Shannon, the wind ws pushing her screwball to the middle of the plate and we weren't getting it in on their hands as much," Waubonsie Valley catcher Amanda Lack explained. "The last batter (Keith) we went to the changeup."
Lack also ignited Waubonsie Valley (7-5, 3-1) rallies in the second and sixth innings. Her leadoff single in the second led to a 2-run inning to match the two runs Geneva scored in the top of the second.
Hohman helped herself with a sacrifice fly for a 3-2 lead in the third, scoring Morgan James who had led off with a walk against Vikings sophomore Rachel Fanella (2-2).
Geneva (5-3, 1-2) tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth on a two-out single to left by Rylie Porretto, one of four freshmen in the lineup.
Waubonsie Valley regained in the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Lack ripped a leadoff double to the gap in left center, which actually was the opposite of her plan heading into the at-bat.
"I had my hitting lesson on Sunday and worked on waiting back on the ball," Lack said. "I was thinking for right-center, and it ended up going to left-center but it went hard and I'm happy with that."
Melaina Koulos drove a 2-2 pitch into left field to score Lack for a 4-3 lead. The Warriors added a pair of insurance runs on RBI singles from Jordan Kurth and Meghan Grannan to make it 6-3, which proved to be the difference in the game when Geneva plated two runs in the seventh.
"We've been working on getting the hits going and something sparked with them in the sixth inning which was good," said Warriors coach Valerie Wood, whose team won despite being outhit 10-8.
"The wind was a factor today. Sometimes when it happens they leave pitches hanging a little bit but she (Hohman) did a good job composing herself. I thought the defense did a good job backing her up."
The Warriors lost shortstop Sabrina Calabrese in the second inning when she was spiked near her nose while making a tag at third base.
Lack, a four-year starter and one of just three seniors among the 18 players on the two teams in the starting lineups, finished as the only Warrior with 2 hits.
"I'm a leader on this team," Lack said. "There's been so many good players that have come through this program and I've learned so much from them that leadership is really key to this game especially because it's such a mental game. I tell the girls to always visualize success. I've been trying to step up as a leader."
Geneva made two quick outs in the seventh before Porretto, Emily Plocinski and Kaitlyn Plocinski -- all freshmen -- each blasted doubles deep in the outfield to make it 6-5 and put the tying run at second.
Keith also hit her ball hard but it was caught in center.
"I thought out our approach today was excellent," Geneva coach Greg Dierks said. "We have a ton of respect for what she (Hohman) can do on the mound. The other games we didn't touch her. I was thrilled with the approach especially two outs the last inning, those were good, healthy cuts including the last out of the game. She went up there aggressive."
The fourth freshman starter, Annika Radabaugh, also doubled. Every Geneva starter had at least 1 hit.
Geneva hurt itself with 3 errors including dropping a ball on a rundown that let a run score and kept the inning alive for the Warriors to plate another unearned run. The Vikings also ran into a double play to end a rally in the second inning.
"We have very high expectations," Dierks said. "Today would have been a nice breakthrough day for us. We came up a little short. We have a couple mistakes we have to clean up."