The Wauseon softball team came out flat in the first game of a home doubleheader with Tinora Saturday, falling to the Rams 9-1. But, the Indians took charge in game two, building a 7-1 lead and not looking back from there for a 10-4 win.
“We came in sluggish. It was one of those where I don’t think we were quite awake on Saturday,” said Wauseon first-year coach Jen Croninger. “And I think it was a good lesson. That we’ve been rolling pretty steady here, and, no game is gonna be a cake walk for us. Especially when we are Wauseon. And we have Wauseon on the front of (our uniform). Everybody’s gonna come in to take us down.”
In game two, Tinora went ahead early when Quinn Slattman got a leadoff single in the top of the first and later scored on an errant throw from Wauseon.
The Indians would tie it in the next half inning.
They first got a pair of one-out doubles from Reagan Spadafore and Ally Tefft, putting runners on second and third. Following a lineout, Maddy Martinez’ infield single plated Reagan Spadafore to tie it at 1-1.
The Indians stayed hot in their next at bat beginning with a leadoff base on balls by Juli Spadafore. She moved up on a passed ball during Bralynn Blanton’s at bat, and Blanton singled to put runners on the corners.
Juli Spadafore made a break for, and successfully came home when the Rams tried to catch Blanton stealing second. This gave Wauseon a 2-1 lead.
Two batters later Alisa Shelt reached on an infield single, then Reagan Spadafore got a base hit, and Tefft reached on an error to score another run. A Christina Norman two-run single pushed Wauseon’s lead to 5-1 through two.
“The intensity was back up in the second game where it wasn’t in the first,” said Croninger of her team’s impressive start to game two. “We flat out weren’t ready to play in the first. And once we came and once we knew that it was game time, then we rolled.”
Wauseon added a two-run triple from Shelt in the bottom of the third which scored Katie Couts and Blanton to make the score 7-1.
However, the Rams responded with a pair of runs in the next half inning, the second via a bases loaded walk to Oakley Gonzalez to get them within four. The Indians fired back in the bottom of the fourth as Tefft hammered a double to the wall, stole third, and scored on a single by Martinez.
Juli Spadafore, who relieved Blanton in the circle with one down in the fourth, struck out five of the final six batters.
But, Tinora scored on one of those punchouts in the top of the fifth. The ball got away from the catcher after Erica Reike fanned, and during the completion of the out at first, Sierra Salinas made it home to put the score at 8-4.
Wauseon scored a pair of runs with two down in the home half of the fifth, equaling the final score. Shelt and pinch runner Skylar Reckner each crossed the plate in the frame.
In the top of the sixth, Juli Spadafore struck out three straight hitters to send the Rams down in order. And later, in Tinora’s last at bat, she fanned Sydney Greiser, Kendall Satler and Taylor Riley around a single and a walk to close them out.
“She knows what I need from her and she hits her spots very well,” said Croninger of her freshman hurler. “It was nice to see her back up Alisa (Shelt), who we always try to count on. I’m lucky that I have a couple pitchers that will do that.”
Juli Spadafore tossed 3 2/3 innings of relief to get the win, striking out nine and allowing only one run. Blanton started the game and struck out seven while giving up three runs on three hits.
Shelt (2 for 3), Tefft (4 for 4), Norman (1 for 4) and Martinez (1 for 4) each knocked in a pair of runs.
Tefft’s bomb over the fence in left field knotted the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning in game one, but a four-run top of the fifth propelled the Rams to victory.
The Rams got a one-out sacrifice fly from Aubrey Reineke to break the tie, then Greiser made it to second on a error in the outfield by Wauseon to score Slattman.
A Hanna Horn RBI double plated the fourth run of the game for Tinora, while Jenna Seither singled in another, making it 5-1. They added a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh to close it out.
After Monday’s NWOAL game at Swanton, the Indians remain on the road Tuesday when they travel to Otsego.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010