Ottawa-Glandorf shortstop Stephanie Hempfling makes a throw to first base after fielding a grounder in the Titans game against Van Wert. (Putnam Sentinel/Charlie Warnimont)
Ottawa-Glandorf shortstop Stephanie Hempfling makes a throw to first base after fielding a grounder in the Titans game against Van Wert. (Putnam Sentinel/Charlie Warnimont)

GLANDORF —It took an inning in the circle for Van Wert pitcher Brooke Brown to get really loosened up.

That one inning was all Ottawa-Glandorf needed to stake their starter, Megan Kitchen, with a lead. And it was lead she never allowed to disappear as the Titans posted a 3-0 Western Buckeye League win in a makeup game Thursday evening.

The loss dropped the Cougars to 2-4 in the league and 10-7 overall, while O-G is 4-2 in the league and 11-3 overall.

After Kitchen struck out three Van Wert batters in the top of the first inning, the Titans sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning as they scored twice.

Kristen Miller started the O-G first reaching on a wild pitch after striking out. Emily Annesser followed with a single before Brown got an out on a popup to the circle. A single to short left field by Michelle Sdao loaded the bases before Tasha Cass walked to force in a run. Lindsey Prichard followed with a groundball to second base and Annesser scored when the throw to home plate was late. Van Wert got out of the inning when they forced a runner at home plate on a groundball to shortstop and a groundball to third base as the Titans left the bases loaded.

After the opening inning, Brown allowed just one more run and two hits.

“I don’t think she was quite warmed up when we started,” Van Wert coach Mike McClure said. “When she got warmed up she threw a pretty good ball game. We gave them a couple early runs there and shut them down the rest of the game.”

After falling behind, the Cougars threatened to cut into their deficit in the top of the second inning as Sage Royer started the inning with a double off the left field wall and Kateri Steinecker reached on an infield single. Van Wert was unable to plate a run as Steinecker was caught stealing, Kitchen registered a strikeout and used a groundball to shortstop to end the inning.

After Steinecker’s single in the second, Kitchen (9-2) retired nine straight batters before Steinecker reached on an error in the fifth inning. Steinecker was caught stealing and Kitchen finished the game retiring the next eight batters as only one ball left the infield.

“We swung at a lot of balls and not a lot of strikes,” McClure said. “We faced (Bath’s) Kimmie Reynolds the other day and she throws in the 60’s, then we come over here and face this. We were a little off-balance. She threw a nice ballgame. She kept the ball right around the strike zone and we didn’t force her to make mistakes.”

Kitchen finished with eight strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter.

“Megan did a great job for us again,” O-G coach Troy Yant said. “That’s really nice when she can come out and go one-two-three and you come up and get some runs or runners on base. That’s helps you get the monkey off your back. It doesn’t always happen that way, but when we are able to do that it makes it easier for us as a team.”

Ottawa-Glandorf added to their lead in the third inning as Sdao doubled to right-center and took third on a sacrifice bunt. A wild pitch allowed her to score.

The Titans had a chance to break the game open in the fifth as they loaded the bases with two outs, but were unable to get a run home as a groundball to third base ended the threat.

Brown had three strikeouts and walked just the one batter.

* * *

Van Wert 000 000 0 - 0 2 3

Ottawa-Glandorf 201 000 x - 3 4 1

WP-Kitchen (9-2). LP-Brown.