If you showed up in the second inning of the Archbold-Evergreen Division III softball sectional final, you missed every score.
That’s because the Vikings outscored the Blue Streaks 3-1 in the first and Brooklyn Richardson did the rest as Evergreen advanced to the Holland District with the sectional title win.
“She has just been a constant leader through the whole season,” Viking coach Jim Zoltowski expressed of his senior right-hander. “She has been stellar in the circle and with her bat too. Her leadership and her constant perseverance gives us someone we can always count on.”
Reagan Kohler rammed a double to center to open the game, where a sacrifice and sacrifice fly gave Archbold a 1-0 lead.
That would be all Richardson would allow as the senior right-hander stifled the Streaks on one hit over the next five innings.
The Vikings came right back in their end of the first.
Macy Chamberlin singled to right and Skylee Raker drilled a single to left to put runners on first and second.
A botched pickoff throw allowed Chamberlin to score and Raker raced in from second on the same error to put Evergreen up 2-1.
Then Marissa VanDenk and Jocelyn Schuster lined back-to-back doubles to add a third run.
Evergreen blew a golden chance to add on in the third when singles from Chamberlin and Richardson around a walk loaded the bags with no one down.
However, Harley Phillips started a 5-2-3 double play on Kennedy Coolman’s grounder to get the Streaks out of that jam.
Meanwhile Richardson was breezing, at one point retiring 11 straight through the sixth.
Archbold threatened in the seventh when Natalie Nofzinger and Bre Boysel both singled to start the inning.
However, Richardson got the next three hitters to pop to the infield, the last to Coolman to complete the victory.
Richardson threw just 67 pitches — including 44 strikes — in what was a blur of a game timewise.
“The senior class has been a constant all year, they are that way,” Zoltowski said after the win of his elder statesmen of Richardson, Schuster, Raker, Coolman, Jessica Riggs and Emma Vaculik. “We are fortunate to have those kids who are leaders the way they are. Whenever the season is over and they move on, we are going to miss those kids.”
The Vikings will now face top-seed Otsego at 4 p.m. Wednesday in a district semifinal at Springfield.