Continuing the trend of making the district in even years, the Wauseon softball team will head to Genoa this week after holding off Sandusky 9-7 Friday in a Division II softball sectional final at Wauseon.
“It feels pretty good right now,” Wauseon coach Jen Croninger said of playing in the district. “We’ve been setting goals and had a lot of challenges set up for us this year. We live pitch-by-pitch, catch-by-catch. We’re taking things as baby steps and it’s paying off right now.”
The Indians held a 9-2 lead after four innings, then needed to hold off a late Sandusky rally to get the win.
Uncharacteristic errors in the field hurt the Indians in the fifth inning. A dropped fly ball plus a second error allowed a run to score and another runner to reach base. It also sent to yhr plate Mariah Clinton, who doubled in a pair of runs.
“We’re going back to practice and it’s going to be a defensive day,” mentioned Croninger. “It’s something we’ve hung our hat on. When they are taking shots like that, balls are going to fall.”
Sandusky added a run in the sixth, and had a chance for more but Harlee Floss made a grab in right field.
Clinton closed the gap to 9-7 in the top of the seventh inning when she slammed a home run over the scoreboard and to the top netting of the batting cages.
The visiting Blue Streaks took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to a dropped third strike. It kept the inning alive, and Andra Grant made Wauseon pay with a two-run single.
The Indians came back with three runs in the bottom of the first. A single and two walks loaded the bases for Floss, who singled in Alisa Shelt. Chelsie Raabe added a second run-scoring hit when she singled on the right field line. Reagan Spadafore plated a run on a fielder’s choice for a 3-2 Wauseon lead after the first inning.
Wauseon added three more runs in the second, with Floss blasting a two-run shot. In the fourth inning, Ally Tefft scored a run for Wauseon on a passed ball on the final pitch of a walk issued to Floss. Payton Albright scored before that play, plus Raabe drove in a run for a 9-2 Wauseon lead.
“Harlee has been one of my top hitters all year,” stated Croninger. “It comes back to putting the extra time in. She saw it (the pitch) come in and she just locked in on it.”
Floss had the home run and single to lead the Indian offense. Raabe and Maddy Martinez also had two hits each.
“They are seeing the ball really well,” the Wauseon coach said of her top hitters. “They are putting in a lot of extra time at practice.”
Juli Spadafore went the distance in the circle to get the win. She allowed eight hits and had nine strikeouts.
Wauseon will play Clyde Wednesday at approximately 6:30 p.m. in Genoa.
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