WEST CARROLLTON — The season is one game in and Xenia has already received several lessons on how patience pays off.
The team had to wait to play its season opener after a doubleheader was canceled on Saturday.
When it finally got to take the field and get to the plate on Monday, applying the approach helped produced a lot of runs.
And building off the in-game patience, it nearly froze out the opposition during a race to beat the setting sun.
Several big innings helped overcome a midgame deficit and later pile on insurance runs in a 27-14 win on a chilly evening at West Carrollton.
Tied at 13 after five innings, nine runs in the sixth from the Bucs’ bats created the margin needed to keep the Pirates at bay.
“We just kept digging after each inning to come back in and bat and bat and bat really,” head coach John Miner said. “We almost played error free ball.”
Xenia’s production began at the top of its lineup, with Makyna Carr scoring seven runs from the leadoff spot in seven plate appearances. She went 3-for-5 with a double, walk, hit by pitch, a stolen base and two RBI.
Jada McAvene after not playing the last two years went 3-for-4 with two walks and six runs scored in her return to the diamond. Kynnydy Lewis was even more impressive with a 5-for-6 game in producing a double, eight RBI and three runs scored. Tori McPherson had three hits and got on base five times along with Megan Bradley.
“They all seem to contribute one time or another,” Miner said. “There’s not somebody that could really be picked out of a crowd that stood out.”
Xenia jumped out to a 2-0 lead with three walks and a single in the first and lead 3-0 into the bottom of the third. A grand slam for the Pirates capped a five-run frame to take its first lead.
It was a big bat from Pirates senior Riley Huffman that Morin was impressed with after watching.
“I didn’t expect that and we didn’t pitch around, we went right at her and she did what she was supposed to do,” he said.
Xenia immediately responded with a double by Logan Harlow and consecutive walks afterward to set the stage for a six-run inning.
West Carrollton in the bottom of the fourth would drive Lewis from the mound in favor of McAvene after scoring another five runs. McAvene got out of the inning and despite allowing the Pirates to tie things once again in the fifth, she settled in from the pitching circle to allow the Bucs to pull away.
The game was the first time Xenia has scored at least 20 runs since April 5, 2018, in a 20-4 win at Stebbins. It was also the team’s highest total since a 34-run outburst in 2014.
Temperatures remained in the mid-to-low 30s throughout the late afternoon and evening with only a warming sunshine available to assist with warmth during the near three-hour game. Several players wore jackets on the field at various points, and other games which were to take place were outright postponed, including a baseball contest between the two schools.
Miner said it was left up to the girls on both teams and all wanted to play.
“This was the girls call to play today,” he said. “The ADs were like okay, coaches and girls it’s all on you. Me and Doug [Hatcher] after talking today said if they want to play then we want to play, so dress warm.”
Chalk it up to only being able to stay patience so much to get onto the field. The saying goes, good things come to hose who wait.
“Happy that we’re out here playing and are ready for the season to get going,” Miner said. “Just hope for good and more better weather.”
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.