WAUPUN – Tiffany Killam didn’t need help the way she was throwing Friday.
Visiting Plymouth was quick to assist with six errors in Waupun’s 3-1 Division 2 softball regional final. The Warriors (17-7), ranked 16th by the Fastpitch Chronicle, kept the seventh-ranked Panthers (18-3) from hosting Tuesday’s sectional semifinal and will square off with Mayville (18-2) at Plymouth.
Killam threw a two-hitter and fanned 12 while issuing three walks. Waupun and Plymouth split a doubleheader in Eastern Wisconsin play earlier this year.
“That’s as good as I’ve seen her throw in three years,” Waupun coach Tom Hagstrom said. “She came up big. Her velocity was up and the key early was to pound the strike zone.”
Killam struck out seven of the first eight batters she faced. She moved the ball around in the strike zone and changed speeds effectively to the point where both Panther hits were infield singles and one ball was hit to the outfield
“I was more confident in the beginning,” Killam said. “Then my nerves started coming at the end.”.
Waupun got on the board in the fourth without a hit. Killam drew a walk and after Holly Loomans sacrificed, Kesley Thompson’s fly ball to center was dropped by Marissa Grapentine.
Caitlyn Winning led off the fifth with a single as the Warriors doubled the lead. Third baseman Mikaela Holdridge dove for a Jocelyn Kounelis bunt but lost it before Kenzie Winning’s grounder up the middle was misplayed by second baseman Sara Thompson.
That plated another run and McKenna Keach bunted for a hit to laod the bases with one out. Plymouth starter Rachel Romps induced a pair of pop outs to escape further damage.
Killam issued a pair of one-out walks in the sixth. Joa Cain’s infield bloop landed just over the pitching circle and in front of second baseman Taylor Brown to cut the lead in half.
Plymouth crumbled again defensively to give the Warriors an insurance run. Thompson reached when her grounder handcuffed shortstop Miranda Stauss.
With one out, Romps pulled Cain off the bag at first on Caitlyn Winning’s bunt. Brown popped her bunt to Cain, who overthrew first in her attempt to turn a double play so Thompson could score.
“That was the game plan,” Hagstrom said. “We wanted to put pressure on them to make plays.”
Killam caught Emily Marty looking to end the game. Waupun lost earlier in the season by an 11-1 score to Mayville but Killam did not pitch in that contest.
“These ladies have worked hard all year,” Hagstrom said. “Anything can happen at sectionals and we like to get that rematch with Mayville.”
Waupun 3, Plymouth 1
Plymouth 000 001 0 - 1 2 6
Waupun 000 111 x - 3 3 2
WP: Killam (7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 12 K)
LP: R. Romps (6 IP, 3 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K)
Leading hitters: W- Thompson 2B.