After going ahead 1-0 Archbold twice had to erase Swanton leads in what ended up being a 7-4 victory for the Blue Streaks in Northwest Ohio Athletic League softball on Thursday in Swanton.
“We tend to like to make things interesting sometimes,” explained Archbold Coach Andrea Thiel. “We’ve talked about, all year, about winning each inning and when that doesn’t happen we have to fight and battle. We get runners in scoring position we got to find a way to get them in. We left people stranded in the first and second inning and then we finally found a way to push them across. So that was huge, that was really huge.”
As mentioned, the Streaks took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Carsyn Hagans tripled and would make her way around the bases with the help of a Swanton throwing error.
But Bulldog pitcher Brianna Williams limited the damage, even stranding a two-out double by Bre Boysel. Williams then came through at the plate for the Bulldogs in the home half of the inning.
She drove in a pair of runs with a two-out double, putting the Dogs on top 2-1.
Archbold was good all game long in the clutch. In fact, they drove in six of their seven runs with two outs.
That trend started in the top of the fourth when Maddie Thiel hit a solo home run to left field tying the game at 2-2.
Swanton did manage to retake the lead in the bottom of the frame with two runs — the last being Jayden Hendricks getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it a 4-2 Bulldog advantage.
The Streaks began their half of the fifth with a groundball out, but then went to work. Natalie Nofziger walked and pinch-runner Alli Bickel stole second and later moved to third on a wild pitch.
Addi Ziegler followed with a walk, proceeding to steal second as well, before a Boysel strikeout made for the second out of the inning. However, the Streaks again put on their two-out hitting shoes.
Harley Phillips drove in both Bickel and Ziegler to tie the game, then a Kylee Miller RBI single gave Archbold the 5-4 lead.
“And we did that on Tuesday against Liberty Center,” said Coach Thiel of her team’s ability to hit with two outs. “I think almost all of our runs were scored on two outs. We just keep preaching ‘take good at bats, get good pitches you can handle, and good things will happen.’ Today was a really, really, really nice team win. Everybody kind of picked each other up and we found a way.”
Archbold added to its lead in the seventh thanks to Maddie Thiel’s two-run single with the bases loaded.
Nofziger perhaps was not on top of her game in the circle for the Streaks, but she came through when it counted. She set the Dogs down in order in the bottom of the fifth, plus left a pair of two-out walks stranded in both the sixth and seventh.
“Nat was a little frustrated today. She didn’t feel like she had her best stuff. But I said ‘that’s what your defense is for. You throw strikes and we’ll make plays for you, and that’s how this game gets won.’ She battled, and she knew she wasn’t as sharp as she normally is. But we found a way; teams find a way I guess,” Coach Thiel said.
Both teams had more games to close the week. Archbold bested Delta 11-1 on Friday before losing 9-0 versus Van Buren on Saturday. Swanton won at Start 12-6 Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.