HAMILTON — Halle Klaiber didn’t feel the ball hit the bat at all. It was the type of situation she’s been wanting back for a while.
“It was like butter,” the junior said. “I’ve been in a slump, so it was definitely a feeling I’ve missed a lot.”
Klaiber scorched a two-run homer in the fifth inning to help boost Badin past Clinton-Massie, 6-3, in a Division II sectional contest at Carl Schatt Field in Mueller Stadium.
“We came into this game with a knowing-we’re-going-to-win mindset,” said Klaiber, who went 3 for 3 at the plate and struck out nine in the pitcher’s circle. “That really helps us — especially in playoff games.
“I knew I had to perform, and I knew I had to hit to help win this game. I knew I had to throw strikes.”
Rams senior third baseman Erin Beeber, who ended the game with a nifty double play assist, was 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI.
“It shows that anyone can do it. Anyone can end the game. Anybody can make that big play,” Beeber said. “It really meant a lot to have any senior close out our last game on this field. That meant a lot.”
Badin (16-10), the Greater Catholic League Coed champion, has won three out of its last four and travels to Taylor in a Division II district semifinal on Tuesday.
“We know from here on out, we’re going to have to battle to win games like this,” said Badin coach Greg Stitzel, who attributed his Rams’ battle-tested mindset to their regular season schedule. “One of the big things for us is that we’re ready for these types of games. We’ve got a really brutal schedule this year. I did that intentionally.”
Senior Rachel Nusky walked and came around to score, which gave the Rams a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Clinton-Massie (6-12) threatened with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth, but Badin got out of the inning unscathed. Then the Rams notched two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 3-0 advantage.
Falcons junior Laila Davis clubbed a three-RBI double to tie it up at 3-3 in the top of the fifth. Klaiber followed that up with her two-run blast in the bottom half of the inning.
“That was a laser shot,” Stitzel said of Klaiber’s eighth home run of the season.
The Rams added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth to seal it.
“Our goal is to have fun,” Beeber said. “Obviously the goal is to win, but we just wanted to come out here, do what we do and come out with the win.”
FENWICK 10, ALTER 0, 5 INNS.
FRANKLIN — Mackenzie Gibbons tossed a two-hit shutout, and host Fenwick beat Alter in a Division II sectional contest on Thursday.
Caitlyn Augspurger (2 for 3, four RBI), Evelyn Sulesky (2 for 3, two runs) and Kati Levo (1 for 3, two runs, two RBIs) led the Falcons, who scored five runs in the first and five in the fifth.
Fenwick (11-8) plays at No. 1 seed Greenville on Tuesday in a Division II district semifinal.
FRANKLIN 9, VALLEY VIEW 7
FRANKLIN — Franklin collected 14 hits in a Division II sectional victory over Valley View on Thursday.
Susan Gray went 3 for 3 with two RBIs for the Wildcats, while teammates Adrian Allen, Sarah Brooks, Kylie Day, Shelby Lamb and Josie Whitt each had two hits.
Franklin (18-8) has won six out of its last seven and faces Eaton in a Division II district semifinal on Tuesday at Community Park.
CIN. CHRISTIAN 15, LOCKLAND 14, 9 INNS.
LOCKLAND — Cincinnati Christian defeated host Lockland in a nine-inning affair on Thursday to advance in Division IV postseason play.
Seleste Brinker (3 for 4, four runs, three RBIs), Reese McCord (3 for 3, five RBI) and Stephanie Veldkamp (3 for 5, four runs) led the Cougars at the plate. Veldkamp went all nine innings in the pitcher’s circle and struck out 14.
CCS (9-8) has won three out of its last four and travels to Williamsburg on Tuesday in a Division IV district semifinal.