Panthers come back to down Flyers, 15-8


By Nicholas Huenefeld

Special to the Sentinel-Tribune

GENOA — The Lake softball team jumped out to a 7-1 lead through two and a half innings of Wednesday’s Division II district semifinal at Genoa High School, but Maumee responded with 14 straight runs to capture a 15-8 victory.

With the win, Maumee (19-7) extended its winning streak to nine and advances to face Otsego in the district final on Saturday at noon.

“I can’t believe the number of runs scored,” Lake coach Dave Rymers said. “I thought getting four in the first inning and having a 7-1 lead after two and a half was huge for us and where we were going.”

Diem Isbell opened the game with a leadoff home run to deep left, energizing the Lake dugout. After Ellie Rymers kept the momentum going with a single to center, Kali Bedford drove the third pitch she saw over the fence in left center for a quick three-run lead.

Sarah Patrick, who reached on a two-out error, then stole second and scored on a Lucy Boos RBI single as the Flyers led 4-0 through one.

Maumee got a run back in the second, but Lake padded its lead with three more in the third on an RBI single from Kylee Pietrzak, a sacrifice fly from Isbell and an RBI single from Rymers.

That’s when everything changed.

Maumee scored two runs in the home half of the third and then inserted Hailey Yarberry into the circle for starter, Hannah Ruiz.

Yarberrry proceded to bewilder Lake’s offense the rest of the way by retiring the side in order in the fourth en route to setting down nine of the next 10 batters. The only one to reach came via an error, and Lake didn’t get a hit until a leadoff double from Alayna Meadows in the seventh.

“I have to give all my credit to my assistant coaches,” Maumee coach Brian Jones said. “We talked about a pitching change and that we have Hayley, who throws a lot of drop balls and keeps it off-speed.

“We thought that would throw them off balance a little bit. Obviously, they didn’t score too much after we put her in, and I think that sparked the rest of the team to hit behind her.”

With Yarberry cruising, Lilly Duling and Maumee’s offense started raking. A leadoff error in the fourth opened the floodgates as Duling’s two-out grand slam to left center tied the game.

Four singles and another error ensued in the frame as the Panthers led 11-7 through four.

“I thought for as much as our energy dropped (after the third inning), it equally elevated theirs,” Rymers said. “I think it starts with that leadoff runner. I think what it was for them in the fourth was that leadoff batter got on. They turned it over to the top of the lineup, and they’re pretty good up there.”

From there, it was all Maumee as they racked up 19 hits offensively, led by a 4-for-5 performance from Duling, who also chipped in five RBIs and a pair of runs. Five Panthers had multi-hit games.

“I think for as good of an offense as Maumee has, I thought we were going to have to weather some of their innings,” Rymers said. “I didn’t think we were going to have to weather an eight-run inning, and I think some of that was self-inflicted on our part defensively.

“We have to be more consistent defensively, but Maumee is a really, really good hitting team. They put pressure on you all sorts of ways one through nine.”

Patrick, Bedford, Rymers and Boos led Lake with two hits apiece while Pietrzak, Bedford and Isbell notched multi-RBI performances.

“We’re a team that doesn’t quit,” Jones said. “We got down early. Lake came in and hit the crap out of the ball the first couple innings, and I think it caught the girls off guard a little bit, but this team fights to the end.”

No posts to display