Wauseon raced out to a 3-0 lead after the second inning and despite some pushback from Archbold, who even tied it at three in their half of the third, the Indians were able to get the lead back and eventually hold on for an 8-5 win in Northwest Ohio Athletic League softball Thursday in Wauseon.
The Indians’ coach Mark Schang was thoroughly impressed with what he saw out of the Blue Streaks.
“Archbold’s a great team you know what I mean? They are young; they’re gonna be good coming up,” he said.
“We knew coming in here that it was gonna be a battle. It always is; I mean it’s the rivalry game,” said Archbold coach Andrea Thiel of the matchup. “Yeah, they are a nice team. We knew we were gonna have to play our best, and I don’t know that we did play our best today. A lot of little things tripped us up.”
Wauseon got the leadoff batter on base in the home half of the second when Alexis Haury got to second base after her shot at Blue Streak shortstop Kylie Sauder popped out of her glove on a diving attempt. Chelsie Raabe followed with a base hit which pushed Haury to third, then stole second putting both runners in scoring position.
Jayli Vasquez’s run-scoring single made it 1-0, while a ground out by Kiara Stutzman plated Raabe to double the margin. Then, Ella Albright’s sacrifice fly scored Vasquez for the 3-0 advantage.
However, that lead would be erased in the next half inning by the Streaks.
Alyssa McCoy led off the frame with a sharply hit single, then Addison Ziegler followed with a base on balls. After Emma Hall’s fielder’s choice to third got McCoy out, Sauder responded with a double that found a gap in center field, bringing home two runs.
A sacrifice fly by Reagan Kohler scored another to knot the score at 3-3 midway through the third.
Wauseon got going with two outs in the bottom of the inning. With runners on first and second, Raabe smacked a single scoring Macee Schang and grabbed the lead back. They made it 5-3 on a Vasquez RBI double plating Haury.
Archbold was set to have the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the fourth, but instead marked a run when after Ziegler’s walk to fill the bases, the Wauseon catcher threw a ball to third ill-advised that went to the outfield and brought home Harley Phillips from third.
But once again the Indians answered in the next half inning.
Olivia Gigax led off with a single, moved up on a wild pitch, then Payton Albright singled and made it to second after the throw from the outfield came to Archbold’s pitcher instead of second base. Now standing on third, Gigax came home on a wild pitch. Schang’s RBI single scored Payton Albright for a 7-4 Wauseon lead.
The first two Blue Streak batters reached in the fifth — Sauder on a double to right field and Kohler on a single that scored Sauder to trim the deficit at two.
The turning point in the game was probably the sixth inning. McCoy reached on an error to lead it off and Ziegler’s base hit put the first two runners on. However, Schang buckled down and struck out Hall, got Sauder to hit into the force at third, and drew a pop up off the bat of Kohler to stymie the threat.
“That was huge for us,” admitted coach Schang. “They were hitting the ball. Macee’s had quite a few strikeouts (in past games), well tonight wasn’t one of them. The weather was an issue. To get out of them innings was huge, because the top of their order is really good.”
“We had a chance there in the sixth inning to put some runs across and that really hurt that we didn’t do that. We had two people on with nobody out and didn’t cash in on that at all. That hurt big time. Credit to them, Macee throws a nice game and she always has good control. We knew she was gonna be around the plate and we just didn’t take advantage of it when we needed to,” stated Thiel.
Schang put momentum firmly in the hands of the Indians when in their half of the sixth she led off with a home run over the fence in center field.
“Every time we’re like down or even up and need more runs, (assistant coach) Roy (Norman) always says ‘we need one’, I said ‘no, we need six’. But we got the one that we needed — that was huge. She was overdue,” said coach Schang.
Getting the win in the circle was Schang who pitched all seven innings, allowed five runs — four earned — on seven hits with five strikeouts.
Archbold ran three pitchers out there: Mya Stuckey, Ella Bowman, and Maddie Thiel. Bowman, who pitched just one inning, took the loss for the Streaks.
Schang (2 for 4) and Vasquez (2 f0r 3) each had two runs batted in for the Indians’ offense. Leading the Streaks was Sauder who finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored.
Wauseon split a home doubleheader with Hilltop Saturday. They were victorious 14-4 in game one but fell 17-8 in the second game.
Schang allowed just four runs and struck out six in the first game to get the win; however, she allowed eight earned runs in game two and suffered the loss.
In the first game, Schang (2 for 4) and Vasquez (3 for 4) each had three RBIs.
Archbold won 5-3 at Tinora Friday, then bested Lima Bath 3-2 and fell 16-4 to Findlay in a doubleheader on Saturday in Findlay.
Wauseon (11-3, 2-0 NWOAL) travels to Bryan Monday in NWOAL play and is at Sylvania Northview on Tuesday. Archbold (6-5, 0-2) faces Delta on the road Monday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.