BG softball advancing to district tourney


Bowling Green softball advanced to the Division I district tournament after defeating Toledo Notre Dame, 12-2, on the Bobcats’ field Wednesday.

BG assistant coach Tony Kramp, filling in for head coach Cassie Nauman, estimates it has been close to six years since the Bobcats have advanced to the district.

BG, 11-13, will play at 4 p.m. next Tuesday at Bowling Green State University’s Meserve Field in a district semifinal against state-ranked Anthony Wayne, 10-3 winners over Wapakoneta.

One must remember that six of BG’s 13 losses have come to three Northern Lakes League teams that are ranked in the Division I state coaches’ poll — top-ranked Springfield, No. 3 AW, and No. 8 Perrysburg. Take those games out, and the Bobcats are 11-7.

“It’s definitely a really hard league,” said BG senior pitcher Meghan Kramp. “To be making it to the tournament and confidently winning this game, it is huge for us. I’m excited to see where we go.”

It’s a team that has found itself, too, with seven seniors, four juniors, and a strong sophomore class, plus some junior varsity players who have demonstrated their playing skills and are now contributing to the varsity.

“We’ve had a great season,” Tony Kramp said. “From where we started out in February, we did a lot of building and a lot of development since then.

“The girls have finally bought in, they are hitting the ball, and everybody is coming together and playing nicely.”

The confidence level in BG’s dugout was visible during the win over Notre Dame, historically a strong program but only 1-24 this year. The Eagles, in rebuilding mode, have only one senior on their squad and started multiple freshmen.

Meghan Kramp got the win in the circle, striking out nine, walking two, and allowing five hits and two runs, but neither were earned. She also had a base hit and two RBIs.

“We’ve gotten more confident,” Meghan Kramp said. “To come out and have this much fun playing a game and also playing our hardest is really fun. At the beginning of the year, we could not have done that.”

Wednesday’s win over Notre Dame was BG’s third straight over the Eagles. The Bobcats traveled to Toledo Saturday and swept the Eagles, 13-2 and 12-4, in a doubleheader.

However, the Eagles put a scare into the Bobcats in the early innings Wednesday, grabbing a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first on two unearned runs.

In the bottom of the second, BG junior Makenna Oates hit a line drive base hit to center field, sophomore Baylee Irvin belted a double to the right-center field fence, and both scored when junior Brynn Wilhelm’s fly ball was dropped by the Eagles’ right fielder.

In the third, senior catcher Cassidy Kroggel was hit by a pitch, and senior courtesy runner Kennedy Brown advanced to third when junior Taylor Rothenbuhler doubled off the outfield wall. Brown scored when Oates’ grounder found a hole in the left side of the infield for an RBI single.

The Bobcats never looked back, adding two more runs in the third, two in the fourth and five in the fifth to walk off with a mercy rule five-inning 10-run win.

Oates led BG at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs, Irvin was 2-for-3 with a double and scored twice, and junior Samantha Trimpey was 2-for-4 and scored a run.

Sophomore Zoe Ziems had a double and stolen base, senior Sarah Konecny was hit by a pitch, had an RBI and scored two runs, Kroggel was hit by a pitch twice, Brown scored two runs, senior Ella Manley scored a run, and junior Brynn Wilhelm reached all three plate appearances on errors, scoring once.

For Notre Dame, junior Madelyn Ropp, and freshmen Camdyn Escobar, Payton Shively, Zoi Zahradnik, and Lillian Phillips had base hits.

Zahradnik started in the circle, striking out four, walking none, and allowing eight hits and seven runs, but only three were earned, through four innings. Sophomore Jaylynn Baldwin closed, and of five runs scored, none were earned as the Bobcats took advantage of six errors.

Doubleheader sweep

In BG’s 13-2 win over Notre Dame Saturday, the Bobcats outhit the Eagles, 15-3. Oates was 3-for-3 with two RBIs, Rothenbuhler was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI, and Kroggel was 2-for-2 with a double.

Trimpey was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Konecny was 2-for-5, Ziems was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Kramp and sophomore Hannah Yarger had base hits.

Rothenbuhler, Oates, Kroggel, and senior Katelynn Rashley reached after getting hit by a pitch, and the Bobcats had nine stolen bases — two each by Oates and Kramp and Manley, Rothenbuhler, Trimpey, Konecny and Ziems had one apiece.

Rashley got the complete game win in the circle, striking out two, walking two, and allowing three hits and one earned run in five innings.

For Notre Dame, Shively doubled, and Baldwin and junior Ava Morris had base hits. Zahradnik started, taking the loss in the circle, and Baldwin got the final two outs in the fifth inning. Escobar had a stolen base for the Eagles.

Rashley also started game two of the doubleheader, striking out and walking none while allowing five hits and two earned runs through three innings to get her second win of the day. Ziems pitched four innings, striking out five, walking one, and allowing no hits and one run.

That game was tied 3-3 until the Bobcats exploded for seven runs in the top of the fifth. BG tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh. BG had six extra base hits.

Konecny went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, Oates was 3-for-3, Ziems had a triple, double, and RBI, Brown was 2-for-3 with a double, and Kramp was 2-for-5.

Rothenbuhler and Yarger both hit doubles, and Trimpey and Kroggel had base hits. Kroggel, Yarger, and Brown all reached after getting hit by pitches.

The Bobcats had 10 stolen bases — three by Oates, two each from Trimpey and Brown, and one each from Rothenbuhler, Yarger, and Kramp.

For Notre Dame, Zahradnik went 2-for-3 and took the loss in the circle. Escobar, Shively, and Morris had base hits.

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