BUCYRUS, Ohio – Maumee yielded seven runs to Lima Bath in the first two innings of a Division II regional final today and could not dig out of the hole in a 12-3 loss.
The Panthers (19-10) had nine hits but starting pitcher Sam Fowls struggled with her control and the Wildcats took full advantage.
Lima Bath (27-1), ranked No. 4 in the state, finished with 10 hits. But three Panther pitchers combined to walk seven batters and hit two others.
Fowls, who was dominate in Maumee's 4-1 upset of powerhouse LaGrange Keystone in the regional semifinal on Thursday, walked the first four batters. Fowls threw 20 pitches to start the game and 16 were balls.
Evyn Kachenmeister relieved Fowls, who did not record an out in the first inning. Lima Bath scored five runs on just one hit to take a 5-0 lead.
Maumee made it 5-1 in the bottom of the inning when Fowls, who singled, scored on Salwa Al-Hajabed's double.
But the Wildcats added two more in the second inning. Fowls, who was reinserted on the mound, walked two. Kachenmeister came back into the circle and struck out two batters. But the Wildcats also got an two-run single to go up 7-1.
Maumee bounced back with another run in the bottom of the inning on Kachenmeister's RBI single.
However, Lima Bath added single runs in the fourth and fifth off of freshman relief pitcher Kiara Hurley.
Maumee freshman Kayla Wulf tripled in the sixth and then scored on Janie Hudson's RBI single to make it 9-3.
But the Wildcats then erupted for three more runs in the seventh inning for a 12-3 cushion.
All nine players in the Maumee batting order reached base and seven had hits. Kachenmeister and Alex Perkins each had two hits.
The young Panthers had four sophomores and three freshmen that saw action in the regional final.
Maumee reached the regional final for the first time since 2001 when Maumee made back-to-back appearances. Maumee knocked out Eastwood, Sandusky Perkins, and No. 2-ranked Keystone, during this season's tournament run.