MAUMEE – Archbold softball added to its recent success in the district tournament with a 2-1 victory over Otsego Wednesday in the Division III district semifinal at Rolf Park.
“That was a phenomenal game of fastpitch softball,” said Archbold coach Andrea Thiel on the win. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be played. It was two good teams going at it. Good pitching, timely hitting, good defense.
“We were actually able to scout them (Otsego) a little bit. We knew they were great hitters. Give credit to coach (Greg) Kuhlman, he spent a lot of time going over scouting reports. We had practice that day so he went to see them. He got to watch them against Rossford I believe. And he came back and said they can hit the ball. So we are gonna have to keep them off balance and we are gonna have to play good defense. We sure did that today.”
After a couple of at-bats, the Blue Streaks were able to tag a run in the top of the third inning.
Madison Roth started the two-out rally with a walk. She then stole second, where she was brought home on a Peyton Dickman single to make it 1-0.
Archbold pitcher Alyssa Ziegler, who collected 10 strikeouts through five innings and 14 for the game, continued to mow down Otsego batters until the home half of the sixth.
First Hannah Smoyer drew a one-out walk, then Hailey Asmus singled and stole second which put both runners in scoring position, and Aubrey Mazey’s base hit plated Smoyer to tie the game. However, Ziegler would get Peyton Blandy out on strikes, and Shelbey Spurlock’s swinging bunt allowed the Streaks to tag Asmus out at the plate to end the threat.
“She just kept them off balance,” said Thiel of Ziegler’s effort in the circle. “And her change-up wasn’t as good as it has been in the past, but just enough I think to keep them honest.”
Archbold wasted no time in answering the Knights, as they scraped out a run with two outs in the top of the seventh.
Gabby Nafziger led off the frame with a base hit back up the middle, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Ziegler to advance her to second. Roth flew out sharply to center for the second out, but Dickman kept the inning going with a walk. Kaitlyn Beck was next for the Streaks and she came through with a run-scoring single to score Nafziger for the eventual deciding run.
Otsego went down in order in the next half inning to close it out.
Dickman went 2 for 2 with a pair of walks and an RBI to lead the Blue Streak offense. Beck went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
In the circle, Ziegler got the win as she allowed a run on four hits over seven innings. Spurlock took the loss for the Knights.
Archbold is back at Rolf Park on Saturday where they will take on top-seeded Eastwood in the district final beginning at 12 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010