Sometimes you win.
Sometimes you get beat.
Sometimes you lose.
In a Division III softball sectional final Friday, Evergreen made costly mistakes in the field and on the bases as Archbold emerged victorious, 8-4, to advance to the district tournament at Maumee.
The crucial miscues began in a four-run Archbold first inning.
After Gabby Nafziger rocketed a lead-off double, Viking catcher Kennedy Keller couldn’t find the handle on a bunt putting runners on first and third.
Courtney Couts then plunked Madison Roth with a pitch to load the bases with no one down.
Two batters later, starting pitcher Bralynn Blanton doubled home two to give Archbold an early lead.
After a walk loaded the bases, Evergreen had a chance to get out of trouble on a possible force at the plate. But the throw pulled Keller off the plate and instead of a 2-0 lead and two outs, Archbold had a 3-0 advantage and still the bases jacked where Alexa Wilson’s grounder through the infield made it 4-0.
The Vikings battled back in the fourth to close the gap to 4-3.
Breanna Huffman singled and was chased to third on Zoe VanOstrand’s double.
Keller’s base hit marked Huffman and one out later Sarah Myers’ bunt scored one more. Plus, when Faith Wyse threw wide to the plate, Keller romped home for the third run of the inning.
Archbold got one back in the bottom of the inning on singles from Grace Meyer and Kylie Sauder, then a throwing error on a first-and-third situation to push the Blue Streak lead to 5-3.
The Vikings had a golden opportunity to knot the game in the fifth.
Andrea Smithmyer singled and Couts doubled to open the inning, putting Vikings on second and third.
Huffman followed with a ground ball in which Wyse couldn’t handle the throw at first that would’ve loaded the bases with no one out.
However, Smithmyer tried to score from third and was an easy out at the plate, taking the air out of the threat.
Archbold added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a walk, a ground ball and an error to make it 6-3.
The final straw came in the top of the sixth.
With two down, Myers singled and Komisarek followed with a line drive double.
However, Myers tried to score from first and was shot down by a good distance for the third out.
That out was amplified when the next Viking hitter, the dangerous Myra Kuszmaul, singled leading off the seventh, a shot that would’ve plated both runs in the sixth.
An RBI single from Sauder and a run-scoring double by Roth extended the Archbold lead in the sixth.
Evergreen threatened one last time in the seventh, scoring on VanOstrand’s second double of the game, but with runners on second and third, Sauder snagged Keller’s line drive to end the game.
In a game where both pitchers were far from dominating, Blanton got the win giving up 11 hits.
The Blue Streaks moved to 17-8 on the year, while Evergreen fell to 13-10. Archbold takes on Otsego Monday in a district semifinal.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org