By Garth Shanklin
With two swings of the bat on Friday, April 27, Williamsburg senior Carly Wagers continued her assault on the Ohio High School Athletic Association record books.
The record holder for single-season home runs (23) and RBI (86) broke the career home run record with a walk-off two-run shot, her 49th, in the bottom of the sixth inning against Felicity, giving her team an 11-1 win.
“It feels great,” Wagers said. “I’ve worked my whole life for this, so it’s definitely a relief.”
Wagers hit two home runs against Felicity in a sectional tournament game on May 18, 2017 to break the single-season record last year. Those two bombs came roughly two weeks after Wagers tied the record in late April. This time around, she wasted no time setting the new mark.
“Last year I was really nervous,” Wagers said. “There was a lot of pressure on me, I felt like. This year, I felt like ‘You just have to go out and do your thing.’ It worked.”
Felicity freshman Reagan Lowe allowed three runs in the first inning, two of which came on a single by Wagers. Another run scored on a double by Madi Ogden.
Williamsburg struck for three more runs in the bottom of the second. Faith Golden singled into left field, scoring Peyton Fisher to make it 5-0. Bailey’s groundout scored Golden to make it 6-0.
The Lady Wildcats added another run in the bottom of the third on a single by Hailey Speeg, which scored pinch-runner Kayla Ilg.
Felicity’s lone run came on a solo home run to right field in the top of the fourth, which Wagers matched in the bottom of the frame to make it 8-1.
Williamsburg scored another lone run in the bottom of the fifth, setting the stage for Wagers’ historic blast in the bottom of the sixth. With the win, the Williamsburg senior class clinched their fourth consecutive Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference National Division title.
“I’m excited for the kids,” Williamsburg head coach Rick Healey said. “I do what I do, but this means a lot to them. It means a lot to our community and our school, I’m excited for them. Our seniors, that’s four in a row for them.”
Healey added praise for Wagers, emphasizing her actions as a teammate.
“She’s such a phenomenal kid,” Healey said. “There are a lot of games that she runs off the mound and high-fives the other players that have come in. She wants to make sure that everyone knows that I’m running from my position to slap your hand as you come in, so let’s get busy. From that standpoint, she’s a leader.”
The win ran Williamsburg’s streak to four straight games, following a loss to Western Brown on April 19.
“I think we got really up for that, and we kind of took one on the chin a little bit,” Healey said. “Afterwords, we sat down and talked about it and the kids said, ‘You know what, it’s a game. Tomorrow is going to come.’”
The team’s winning streak reached eight games before a 6-4 loss to Ursuline in the Cincinnati Reds High School Showcase. The team rallied with a 12-0 win over Clermont Northeastern on Monday, April 30 thanks to 14 strikeouts in the circle by Wagers.
Williamsburg returns to action on Thursday, May 3 with a road game at Clinton-Massie. The Lady Wildcats also travel to Wilmington on May 5.