Off to a sub-par start for Archbold softball standards at 6-6 on the season, the Blue Streaks were looking to make a statement in their NWOAL game against Bryan Monday afternoon. They came out attacking with three runs in the bottom of the second inning and did not look back, scoring a 9-0 victory over the Golden Bears.
“I just think we finally put a game together top to bottom,” said first-year Archbold coach Andrea Thiel. “We’ve had little pieces throughout the season where we’ve seen glimmers of what we can do. But finally, today was the day we put it all together. And a great day to do it.”
Bryan looked to get on the board in the top of the fifth with Archbold already holding a three run advantage.
After a strikeout, Kelly Miller doubled to left center field for the Golden Bears. However, Blue Streak pitcher Alyssa Ziegler got a pair of pop ups from Bailee Speelman and Emily Gorzelanczyk to leave Miller stranded.
Archbold’s Gabby Nafziger drew a leadoff walk in the home half of the fifth, but then Bryan hurler Trista Savage got consecutive outs. The Streaks would come through in the clutch though, as Peyton Dickman drew a walk and Kaitlyn Beck reached on an error to load the bases.
Alexa Wilson then belted a two-run double to increase Archbold’s lead to 5-0. Another two-run double, this time off the bat of Faith Wyse, made it a seven run cushion.
“She’s been hitting the ball really well here lately. And just putting the ball in play consistently,” said Thiel, speaking of Wilson’s effort at the plate. “One through nine, these are the best swings we’ve taken so far (this season). Everybody’s kind of putting it together. It was great to see.”
Bryan looked to answer in the next half inning, beginning with Grace Voigt who was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Instead, Ziegler shut the Golden Bear offense down. She first got a ground out from April Rickenberg, then she struck out both Kenzie Andrews and Savage to end the threat.
Ziegler earned the win in the circle, allowing just three hits and striking out 12 in her complete game effort.
“We had to be solid in the circle. And Alyssa was lights out today. She really was,” said Thiel. “When she goes we go. It was a big day for her and for our team.”
The Streaks got hits from Chloe Schramm, Madison Roth, Dickman and Beck in the bottom of the sixth. The big knock was Dickman’s two-run single with two down to equal the game’s final tally.
Archbold was led on offense by Wilson who finished 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Wyse (2 for 2), Schramm (2 for 3), and Dickman (1 for 3) also had two RBIs.
Gorzelanczyk, Voigt and Miller had the lone hits for Bryan.
The Streaks improved to 3-0 in the league with the win while Bryan dropped to 2-1.
“This was a big game for the league. We all knew that,” said Thiel. “And again, we have so many players that are so unproven and so young. So, we knew we had a battle on our hands. They are a good team.
“We are just glad, feel fortunate, to come out on top today.”
Archbold now has a pair of road games coming up as they are at Evergreen Thursday and Elmwood on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010