WADSWORTH: Wadsworth survived both Tallmadge’s comeback attempt late in the game and winds that gusted to 30 mph Wednesday afternoon to take down the Grizzlies 3-2 at Weatherstone Park.
Wadsworth (2-0) starting pitcher Hannah Simmons and Tallmadge’s Paige Schertzinger each threw four scoreless innings, partially aided by strong defenses and an even stronger wind blowing in from left field. The flurries caused several breaks in action as the dust became too much to handle.
Wadsworth sophomore Mariah Gunselman finally broke the deadlock in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-out, two-run single that found its way through the hole between shortstop and third base.
“Mariah’s hit was huge because we always talk about how if we push one across, more will come,” said Wadsworth coach Michelle DeAngelis. “[Gunselman] has been hitting the ball very well and coming through for us in clutch situations.”
Tallmadge quickly answered after a deep ball off the bat of Kirsten Lightel couldn’t be played due to the wind. Lightel scored on the error. Shortstop Sierra Bennett later roped an RBI single to right field to tie the score.
Wadsworth regained the lead just as quickly as it was lost. Savannah Brown pinch ran for sophomore Sam Ryan after Ryan singled to open the inning. Brown stole second and then advanced to third on a ground ball. Kelsie Wenger’s grounder was knocked down but scored Brown.
With the defense and the wind playing such a big factor, DeAngelis knew runs would have to be manufactured.
“The wind was very tough today, and that’s just what happens when two good teams play each other,” she said. “The defense was solid for both sides. There weren’t a lot of strikeouts but defensively, both teams came to play.”
The Blue Devils (0-1) had the tying run on third in the top of the seventh with Karley Salter’s two-out triple to right-center field. Simmons got a couple of quick strikes and a weak ground ball to end the game.
“The nerves kinda kicked in during that last inning,” Simmons said. “You just have to believe in your defense, and I do. And I always believe in my offense. It’s always nice to have a lead.”
Simmons threw a complete game, allowing two runs on nine hits. Schertzinger was just about equally impressive in her seven innings. She allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out two.
Ryan and junior Jordan Labus each went 2-for-3 for Wadsworth, as did Bennett and Morgan Stack for the Blue Devils.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.