The West Liberty-Salem Tigers have made mincemeat of pretty much everyone they’ve played in the last month, and Coach Kenleigh Farris’ squad looks to continue that trend when the Tigers take on Bishop Ready on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in a regional semifinal.
The game will take place at Wright State University, but that stage is unlikely to rattle the Tigers, who have been beating the cover off the ball and playing great defense – a winning combination, for sure.
“I’m really proud of our defense backing up our pitcher throughout the year, especially during tournament. Our hitting has been great all year long with different girls in the lineup stepping up each game,” Farris said.
The top five hitters in the order are each hitting better than .350, with leadoff batter Kenedie Cox hitting .609 and pitcher Kelsey Day sporting a .537 average with 41 RBI. Olivia Ames (.387), Mady Stratton (.375) and Kiana Reames (.388) are also raking it.
Those gaudy offensive numbers rose again on Saturday, with the Tigers blowing out Reading 16-2 in the district final.
“On Saturday, I’m pleased with how relaxed the girls played, especially under unusual weather circumstances. As we continue to play, we are encouraging the girls to take everything one game at a time,” Farris said.
Day has been solid, if not overpowering, in the circle, striking out 125 batters this season with a 2.04 ERA. The defense has certainly flashed the leather behind her, especially in the postseason – WL-S is outscoring opponents 221-60 (8.5 runs per game, 2.3 allowed).
As a unit, the defense has a fielding percentage of .965 with about one error per game.
“Throughout the season, we preach to our girls to work hard and get better every day. We also want the girls to really enjoy this experience and have fun playing. We’re excited for what’s to come,” Farris said.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.