Unioto Shermans softball
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Derrick Webb

Derrick is SOSA's chief content coordinator and has worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, the Portsmouth Daily Times and Eleven Warriors. He's a 13-time award-winning journalist, a self-proclaimed baseball purist, a suffering Bengals fan and has never met a stranger.

Hull’s go-ahead home run catapults Unioto over South Webster

The Shermans move to 2-1 overall.

Derrick Webb, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

CHILLICOTHE — Haylee Hull’s first career home run couldn’t have come at a better time.

With the score tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning and teammate Megan Miller standing on first base after a leadoff single, Hull deposited the first pitch she saw over the left field fence to give her Shermans a two-run lead.

And, put simply, that’s all she wrote.

“The first pitch is always golden,” Hull said, with a smile. “So I’m always ready. I know the spin of the ball and [the team] needed me. So it was like, ‘I have to show something. I have to get a hit.’ It just felt so amazing that I was so great for the team and I had the opportunity to go up there and show my talent.”

Unioto’s Abbie Marshall celebrates a teammate’s home run during the Shermans’ win over South Webster on Monday evening in non-league action.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

While Hull’s home run was the eventual difference, it took two more round-trippers to finalize a 5-3 outcome. 

Enter Ava Dettwiller and Alexis Book, who each clubbed homers as well — Dettwiller’s being a two-run shot and Book’s a solo bomb. 

“We have a lot more depth this year,” Unioto coach Rob Hull said. “Once we get our injury situation under control, we’re going to be full all the way around. Our practices are just an all-out war. It’s a competition from the moment we hit the field. From senior to freshman, they’re out here working hard and that shows. The girls do all the work.”

South Webster (2-1) got the scoring started in the top of the third inning. Skylar Zimmerman laced a one-out single into the outfield grass before Bella Claxon doubled her in for a 1-0 lead.

PHOTOS: Images from Unioto’s win over South Webster

Dettwiller provided an answer in the bottom half of the fourth. After Hull singled with two outs, Dettwiller muscled an offering over the center field fence, giving her Shermans a 2-1 lead.

The Jeeps, however, stayed poised.

In the top half of the fifth, Addi Claxon singled before Zimmerman wrote her name in the scorebook in bold lettering. On a 1-1 count, Zimmerman put the Jeeps back in front at 3-2 with a two-run dinger.

Not to be outdone, though, Unioto jabbed right back in the bottom half of the inning when Alexis Book punched her ticket to the longball party, forcing a 3-3 tie.

That set the stage for Hull’s go-ahead heroics in the sixth, which was the eventual game-winner.

“I like how we responded,” Rob Hull said. “I knew we’d respond to a team like this. These girls are seasoned. They’ve been battle-tested and they know how to win a ballgame. I couldn’t be any more proud of how we got in there and were aggressive at the plate. We’re doing things right defensively, we’ve got great pitching … we’re showing that we’re a high-caliber ball team.”

Statistically, Haylee Hull led Unioto’s offense, going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, two runs and two RBIs. Halle Uhrig was 2-for-3, Dettwiller finished 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, Book ended the night 1-for-2 with a solo home run and a walk, and Miller was 1-for-3 with a run.

Hannah Hull earned the win in the circle, tossing a complete game while surrendering three earned runs on eight hits and striking out six hitters.

Zimmerman led South Webster, going 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. Bella Claxon went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Addi Claxon was 2-for-4 with a run, and both Jaiden White and Ava Messer each collected base hits.

“We knew what we had [in Haylee] coming in,” Rob Hull said. “We knew she could hit the ball and we knew she went up to the plate very confident. By the way she plays the game, you wouldn’t know that she’s a freshman. She’s been around the game a long time. I have all the confidence in the world in her. For her to have her first home run against a high-caliber team, that tells you what type of player she is.”

While South Webster attempts to get back in the win column on Wednesday with a trip to Waverly, the Shermans will make a trip of their own that night.

Unioto travels to Lancaster to continue navigating through a gauntlet-like non-league schedule.

“These girls know it’s one game at a time. They understand that philosophy,” Rob Hull said. “They knew coming into tonight what we were going to face. They know what they’re going to face on Wednesday. When you see this schedule, they understand it’s probably the hardest non-conference schedule in Southern Ohio. They wanted that because they know what it takes to get to where we want to get.”


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