FINDLAY Hopefully Mohawk softball scorekeeper Becky Lust saved her receipt.
Because not only is the monkey off Mohawk's back. It can go back to the store.
Mohawk shook the Findlay monkey off its back Friday night, finishing the Division IV district tourney sweep with an 8-1 thrashing of North Baltimore in the final Friday night.
"We don't need that monkey because we don't want him on our back at all," Mohawk coach Jenny Weinandy said.
Consider that monkey extinct.
Mohawk had traditionally struggled at Findlay High School in the past, winning just one tournament game there in the 21st century. So the longtime scorekeeper bought the stuffed animal as a reminder of the monkey the Warriors were trying to shake.
In 2009, Mohawk lost in the regional semifinal there to Patrick Henry. In 2007, the Warriors beat Miller City in the regional semi but lost in the final to Convoy Crestview. In 2006, Crestview bested the Warriors in the regional semifinal.
Now that it's won two straight there, returning there Wednesday for the regional semifinal won't be as big a deal any more.
"We're here again Wednesday, same field. It has the regional ring to it, if you would call it that," Weinandy said. "I have a young but experienced team. My young ones are aggressive and my seniors don't want to stop playing. We'll have the edge on (whomever) it is we play (because we've played our last two games here). I hope things keep going our way."
While it took six innings for Mohawk to score on Thursday against McComb, it took just three at-bats Friday.
Sarah Runion led off the game with a single to right, stole two bases and with one out, was driven home by Taylor McClain's double.
Runion scored Mohawk's second run in the third. She reached on an error with one out and Ashley Cooper came two inches shy of a home run as her blast to left field bounced off the top of the fence and back into the field of play. By the time the ball was back to the infield, Cooper was on third and Runion was in the dugout being congratulated by her teammates.
In the fifth, Brooke Weinandy walked to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Runion. She landed on third on a wild pitch. When Cooper walked, Weinandy took her time getting back to third, drawing a throw from Tiger pitcher Jessica Frost, which went past Jasmine Bretz, off the fence and into left field, scoring Weinandy.
Clara Adelsperger drove in Nikki Kieffer in the sixth on a sharp single to left center. Kieffer, who had reached on a dropped pop fly to right field, made it 4-0 Mohawk.
The Warriors (20-5) put the game out of reach in the seventh. Three walks sandwiched around a flyout loaded the bases for Kieffer who grounded to Frost, who threw home to force out Cooper. But a double by Molli Cartwright drove in two followed by a two-RBI single by Adelsperger.
"We kept trying to fight but it just wasn't enough," North Baltimore coach Frankie Hernandez said. "We came into this game as a revenge game but it just didn't work out that way."
Despite the all the walks, Hernandez said he gave no thought of pulling Frost in the seventh.
"I wasn't pulling her at all. She's been my workhorse all season long," Hernandez said. "I have my individuals playing where they shine and she shines on the mound."
Kasey Adelsperger (18-4) won the pitcher's duel, striking out eight, walking three and scattering four hits. Frost (17-10) had six strikeouts to finish her career with 705. She walked seven, all in the fifth inning or later.
Clara Adelsperger drove in three on the day and Cartwright plated two, hitting eighth and seventh in the lineup, respectively. Coach Weinandy said she can depend on production from anywhere in the lineup.
"I have a solid nine, 10 girls that hit and I have people on the bench that can come up and hit to the grass," coach Weinandy said. "I'm loaded this year with players that hit the ball hard."
Clara Adelsperger said she was just trying to make contact at the plate, going for 2 for 4 on the day.
"I was just trying to be aggressive and not let any strikes go by without swinging," Adelsperger said. "It was helpful (seeing her a week ago) because we knew her speed. And we knew she threw a riseball which helps us not to swing at that."
Both the slugger and her coach said the playing on consecutive days helped. In fact, if coach Weinandy had her druthers, she'd begin the regional semifinal today.
"Kasey definitely needs to rest but our hitting needs to keep going and when we have a break like this, (our hitting) will probably start out slow but hopefully we can attack," she said.
Instead, she'll have to wait until Wednesday at 5 p.m. when Mohawk returns to Diamond Savings Memorial Field at Findlay High School for its regional matchup against Fremont St. Joseph, who the Warriors beat earlier this year, 7-3.
The team will likely be wearing its new AP sweatbands that McComb gave them after its game with them Thursday in honor of their classmate Audrey Perkins, who was killed in a car crash Tuesday morning on her way to school.
North Baltimore (17-12) also had a tribute to Perkins for the Mohawk team after the game. The two teams met at the pitcher's circle and the Tigers presented each Mohawk player a balloon with a poem and a flower. The North Baltimore players also each had a balloon and the two teams simultaneously released the balloons with a copy of the poem attached to them. The moment wasn't lost on coach Weinandy.
"The courtesy of their thoughts and their gifts after the game (was great). That's pure sportsmanship when they lose and are still sympathetic to our loss of a classmate," coach Weinandy said. "North Baltimore has a lot of class."
Hernandez said Mohawk would have done the same thing if the tables were turned.
"We basically told them that it doesn't matter what sport we're playing when we're playing these guys. We're on this softball field. We're competitors but all in all, we're just a big (Midland Athletic League) family," Hernandez said. "Their loss was our loss and the same would go for them as well or anybody else in our league. We're there for each other. Like I said, we're competitors on the field here but we're just a huge MAL family."