Archbold softball hopes to make the most of its 2021 season after not being able to compete in 2020. The Blue Streaks return a pair of all-league performers from 2019, hoping to make this year a memorable one.
Notable returnees include Kylie Sauder (SS) who was first team All-Northwest Ohio Athletic League and honorable mention in the Northwest District, as well as Alyssa McCoy (C/OF) who was honorable mention All-NWOAL. Sauder posted a .405 batting average in 2019 and McCoy .250.
Also returning for the Streaks is Reagan Kohler (OF).
Coach Andrea Thiel lists hard-working, a strong focus and desire to get better every day, and team chemistry as strengths for the season. She also notes they should be pretty solid defensively.
“Our goal is to be playing our best softball of the year as we approach tournament time,” Thiel said. “We will have another very challenging non-league schedule, which will help us prepare for our NWOAL contests. It will probably take some time for us to fit all the pieces together and to adapt to the new roles that many of our newcomers are being asked to fill. Every year our goal is to battle for the NWOAL title and make a nice tournament run, and this year is no different. It will take a group of young ladies that can maintain a strong focus through the ups and downs that come along the way, and who are committed and determined to work together for that to happen. After losing our 2020 season to COVID, there is a great deal of excitement to get back on the field and compete.”
Archbold will have to replace Chloe Schramm, Madison Roth and Bralynn Blanton. Looking to help fill the void are newcomers Lucia Rodriguez, Addi Ziegler, Harley Phillips, Carsyn Hagans, Emma Hall, Mya Stuckey, Bre Boysel, Maddie Thiel and Ella Bowman.
Having to replace losses at several key positions will be a weakness for the Streaks, according to coach Thiel. Another concern is their youth and having an inexperienced pitching staff.
The Streaks hope they can compete for an NWOAL title, which would be their first since 2017 if they are able to do so.
“There will be some great competition in the NWOAL again this year as we attempt to bring a league title back to Archbold. Several league teams return key players that will make each and every league opponent we face a tough test. I believe that there could be several teams fighting for the right to call themselves NWOAL champs at the end of the season, with Wauseon being at the top of the list,” said Thiel of the league race.
Archbold’s first game is slated for at home versus Liberty-Benton Monday, March 29.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.