GREEN — The Archbishop Hoban softball team traveled to Green on Monday with a goal to flip the script.
And Hoban did just that with a 6-1 win over Green in a Division I sectional semifinal after the Bulldogs topped the Knights 5-0 in a regular season game on April 6.
Hoban (4-13) advanced to meet defending Division I state champion Perry in a sectional final at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Perry beat visiting Hoban 6-2 on March 28.
Seniors Allyssa Hagenbaugh and Jessica Knicely are no strangers to big games after helping the Knights finish as Division II state runner-up in 2017 and advancing to the Division II state semifinals in 2016.
“We have been working hard and we have been playing better,” Hoban coach Frank Voss said. “We are a completely different team than we were on April 6, and I think that has a lot to do with it. We have players playing in different positions than when we started at the beginning of the year and we have kind of evolved into what you saw today.”
Hoban junior Lily Botos pitched a complete game and limited Green (13-8) to one run and five hits.
“Keeping my pitches outside and keeping them low was working,” Botos said. “They were hitting the ball high in the air and that made for easy outs. … I focused on pitching and letting my defense work behind me.”
Hoban junior Maddy Susong hit three run-scoring singles.
“We were just watching the ball better,” Susong said. “When I was up, the pitcher seemed a lot slower and I could see the ball better today.”
Hoban took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Sophomore Hannah McGraw walked with one out, stole second base and scored on an error, and then Hagenbaugh reached base on a single and came around to score on Susong’s first single.
The Knights made it 4-0 in the third inning. Hagenbaugh hit a single and stole second base with one out and scored on Susong’s second single, and Knicely drew a walk and scored on a single by freshman Brynn Rheaume.
“Hoban came out and they were ready to go,” Green coach Sarah Shullick said.
Susong’s third single of the day scored Knicely in the fifth inning, and freshman Ellie Hardman scored a run in the sixth to make it 6-0 after McGraw hit an infield single. Knicely and Hardman each stole second base before scoring.
Green scored in the sixth when Carlie Chapman hit into a groundout that brought in Paityn Smith.
The Bulldogs will graduate two seniors — Kelly Daugherty and Grace Hammer.
“We have a lot of kids coming back,” Shullick said. “We have a very large junior class.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.