Home run keys Bristol win

Tribune Chronicle / Brian Yauger Alayna Sines delivers a pitch for Bristol on Wednesday.

BAZETTA — The Bristol Panthers return to the Division IV Warren District final for the second year in a row after taking down Badger, 10-0, on Wednesday.

“It took us a little bit to get going with the bats,” Panthers coach Alisha Kugler said. “Once we did, they were fired up. We made things happen offensively and took advantage of some errors that they had.”

What got the Panthers startedwas a three-run bomb from Kendyl Switzer in the third inning. The team talked about needing an icebreaker just before Switzer took the plate, and she delivered.

“It was pretty exciting,” Switzer said. “We were talking about it in the dugout, how that was our inning, we needed to break the ice. Luckily, I was the one that was able to do that. It was pretty cool.”

Kugler noted how the ball was gone right when the ball made contact.

Tribune Chronicle / Brian Yauger Ashlee Lennox rounds second base and gets ready to run to third. Lennox scored two runs in Bristol's 10-0 win over Badger..

“The energy really came up,” Kugler said. “Man that was a goner, as soon as it came off the bat.”

The energy definitely came up as the Panthers went on to score six more runs in the third inning, giving them a 9-0 lead after the third.

Leadoff hitter for the Panthers Lindsay Miller rounded the bases twice in the third inning.

In her second year as coach for the Panthers, Kugler has made just as many district title game appearances. She credits all of it to her team.

“It’s really exciting, but I’m lucky. I have, you know, great players that work hard,” Kugler said. “They’re talented and they work together.”

Tribune Chronicle / Brian Yauger The Panthers celebrate after Kendyl Switzer’s three-run home run in the third inning of Bristol’s shutout win.

On the mound for Bristol was junior Alayna Sines. Sines recorded five strikeouts

As a senior, Switzer was a member of last year’s team and brings some extra experience to a Panthers team already familiar with the stakes of a district final matchup.

“It’s very exciting, especially since it’s my last year,” Switzer said. “It’s really exciting for me and the other seniors.”

Switzer also ended the game, scoring the final run off of a hit by Bella Homchosky. Her thoughts running home from third were to just not fall.

“Don’t get out,” Switzer said. “Just thinking, just sprint, don’t fall, because I tend to do that. Just get home safely.”

Despite the loss, Badger coach Bengie Bengala had optimism about his team’s performance this season, and is looking forward to next year.

“I think our season was very good,” Bengala said. “We could have finished a little better than we did, but I’m very proud of the way the girls played. They played strong the whole season. This game here started off pretty well but around the third inning, the wheels just kind of fell off the bus. We started making some errors and I think it got in our head.

“It is what it is. Let’s see what happens next year.”

The Panthers take on Mathews in the district final today. Bristol took down Mathews 10-0 in their second game of the year, so the Mustangs are going to be looking for revenge.

“We’ve got to take it one pitch at a time because they’re going to be ready for us,” Kugler said. “They have a little bit of revenge to take becauase we beat them earlier this season.”