ONARGA — Over in mid-state Onarga, the softball field there is called White Field. After the Gardner-South Wilmington opened up the Class 1A Gilman Sectional there with a 20-2 win over Westminster Christian on Wednesday, the Lady Panthers just may be referring to it as White Hot Field.
“I’m very happy,” GSW coach Jon Posing said. “Lately the girls have been in the frame of mind that they can hit every pitch, but we’ve been talking to them about being patient and getting their pitch. They did that today and they hit the ball hard.”
GSW belted out 15 hits on the day in beating the Warriors.
The Panthers got off the bus ready for action and responded with seven runs in the top of the first inning.
“I was not upset at all that we lost the coin toss,” Posing said. “I asked the girls to go out and get me six runs in the first and they got me seven. They were generous.”
Actually, the Panthers only garnered one hit in the first inning, but took advantage of four walks and three errors by an overwhelmed and bewildered Westminster Christian team.
“That’s the best feeling, to come out and get that many runs on the board,” Abby Horrie said. “That really pumped us up.”
“It was an awesome feeling because, at that time we knew we were going to win,” Becca Bernardy said.
Horrie had the lone hit in the first, on her way to a 3-for-4 game at the plate. Two of her hits were doubles. Bernardy was 2-for-4 at the plate with one of her hits being a double.
“This team has a lot of offense,” Posing said. “Up and down the lineup, they did a good job tonight.”
Also at the plate for GSW, Maranda Residori was 3-for-4, Lexi Posing 2-for-3 with a double and Paige Lardi was 2-for-3 with a double.
About the only drama remaining after the seven-run first was when the Warriors opened their half of the frame with three straight hits against winning pitcher Emily Foley, in the process scoring both of their runs.
“Emily’s tough and she settled in after that first inning,” Coach Posing said. “I was happy with everything today. The way we hit, the way we pitched and the way we fielded.”
Foley went all five innings allowing four hits and one walk while striking out eight.
GSW will now play Donovan on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the championship game. Donovan beat St. Francis De Sales on Wednesday 10-4.
“I’ve never been this far before and it’s exciting,” Horrie said. “We know we have to play hard to keep it going.”