Tri-Village clinches WOAC softball championship with 9-7 win over Ansonia

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Tri-Village celebrate their 9-7 win over Ansonia Friday night. The win clinched a share of the WOAC softball championship and a win over Newton on May 7th would give them an outright title. (Dale Barger photo)

ANSONIA – It was a game that featured two of the top pitchers in the league with 8-1 Ansonia hosting 9-0 Tri-Village but in the end it would be the bats by both teams doing the talking with the Patriots bats speaking the loudest to edge out the Tigers 9-7.

Tri-Village improved to 10-0 in the league and with the win clinched at least a share of the WOAC title.  They can claim an outright championship with a win over Newton on May 7th.

It is the first league championship for Tri-Village since 2008.

Ansonia earned the right to compete for a league title after taking down now 7-3 Tri-County North Thursday night. With a win over the Patriots, they could have created a three-way tie with Arcanum who is 10-1 in the WOAC.  The Tigers fall to 8-2 in the conference and has one game remaining with Bradford Monday evening.

Going in you knew it was going to be a special game between the #1 seed Patriots in the OHSAA DIV Sectional Softball Tournament against the #2 seed Tigers.

Ansonia sent senior pitcher Abby Kramer on the hill, and she came into the game with 13 wins, and had 123 strikeouts this year and nearly 300 in her two-year career as a pitcher.

Ansonia senior Abby Kramer came into the game with 123 strikeouts but the Patriot offense avoided being struck out during the game.  (Dale Barger photo)

Tri-Village sophomore Elizabeth Poling took the bump, and she came in with 11 wins and 72 strikeouts this year.

The Patriots however came out swinging and quickly put a 5 spot on the board to start the game.

Emma Greer, Mylee Bierly and Hailey Burk all doubled to knock in the 5 runs.

The Tigers responded in the bottom of the inning off a double from Addison Geyer scoring Ava Thacker.  Kelsey Muhlenkamp flies to center scoring Lilly Perry to make the score 5-2.

Greer doubled again in the 2nd inning and later scored, and the Patriots went up 6-2.

Tri-Village freshman Emma Greer hit two doubles, scored two runs and had 2 rbi’s in win over Ansonia. (Dale Barger photo)

The Patriots added two more runs in the 3rd inning to go up 8-2 … but once again the Tigers found a way to battle back by adding two more runs on a double from Kramer scoring Thacker and then Geyer singled to score Perry to close the gap to 8-4 in the bottom half of the inning.

The Tigers put pressure on the Patriots in the bottom half of the 4th inning adding 3 more runs.  A big double from Maddie Buckingham scored Walls and Schmitt.  Buckingham scored later on a Geyer fielder’s choice to make the score 8-7 causing Tri-Village coach Emily Osborne to visit the mound.

Ansonia Freshman Addison Geyer has been swinging a big bat all season and came up big with two hits and 2 rbi’s in game verses Tri-Village. (Dale Barger photo)

“Obviously, momentum has been something we’ve been working on all year long. We had it at the beginning, and we wanted to keep it on our side, I felt like we kind of slipped up a little bit and I had to go to the mound and give them a little pep talk. And then after that, we were able to kind of bring it back around and get out of it,” Osborne said on the big 4thinning by the Tigers.”

After getting the last out of the 4th inning the Patriots were able to add an insurance run in the 5th after a single by Hailey Burk got things going.  Katie Brandon got the big knock hitting a double to push Burk across the plate allowing TV to go up 9-7.

From there the defense of Tri-Village would thwart any comeback attempt.

Tri-Village freshman Katie Brandon hit a big double to give the Patriots an insurance run to go up 9-7. (Dale Barger photo)

After Maddie Buckingham got on base from being hit by the ball, a hard-hit ball to 3rd baseman Emma Greer from Ava Thacker turned into a nice double play.  Greer threw a strike to Mize at 2nd base who then relayed onto Kiersten Wilcox at 1st base edging out the runner.

Elizabeth Poling then threw a strikeout for the 3rd out to keep the Tigers at bay.

Neither team had a scoring opportunity in the final inning as Tri-Village claimed the 9-7 win.

“A couple hustle plays in a game like this is key, they had the big double play, and we had a drop ball giving them a base as well and in these types of games you cannot give free outs … but as you can see, we came back to make it a game,” Ansonia coach Dave Fisherback stated.

“You can’t complain after getting down five to nothing, it would be easy to get rattled, kind of shake your confidence but our girls battled, they put the bat on the ball, put it out there and made them work for it,” Fisherback beamed.

The Tigers collected 9 hits and drew 3 walks.  Ava Thacker went 2-for-4 and score 2 runs, Addison Geyer was 2-for-4 with a double and two rbi’s, Maddie Buckingham was 1-for-3, drew a walk, had a double with 2 rbi’s and scored 1 run.  Abby Kramer was 1-for-2, drew two walks with an rbi.

Ansonia senior Brenna Schmitt had a big double but the Tigers were unable to score late in the game. (Dale Barger photo)

The Tigers fall short of a WOAC title but showed a will to win with their backs to the wall something that pleased coach Fisherback heading into the post season.

“We battled and scored most of our runs with two outs and that goes to show you, we’re a very good hitting team. We’ve got good hitters you seen that we moved the ball around and scored with two outs.  Our kids got a little bit excited today and that’s what we need to take into tournament play,” Fisherback concluded.

Tri-Village also collected nine hits in the game and hit the ball hard something that pleased coach Emily Osborne along with their defense to lock down the win.

“That was a tough game. If you missed it, you’re losing out. We knew coming into this, this was going to be a tough game. They’re a good team from top to bottom especially on the mound. I’m proud of the girls for coming out and hitting the ball well,” Osborne said.

The Patriots had several players with a multi-hit game.  Emma Greer 2-for-4, two doubles, two runs scored and two rbi’s.  Mylie Bierly was 2-for-4, a double and single, three rbi’s and one run scored.  Hailey Burk was 2-for-4, a double and single, two runs scored and one rbi and Camryn Osborne 2-for-3, two doubles and one run scored.

Elizabeth Poling went the distance for Tri-Village giving up 9 hits, 7 runs with 5 earned and had 3 strikeouts.

Coach Osborne said the Patriots are on track to break some additional records if her teams finish the regular season well and into post season.  Now 18-1 overall the team record for wins is 21.

Tri-Village will play Coldwater, Monday May 6th and Newton on Tuesday May 7th both in New Madison.  A win over Newton gives them an outright league title.

Tri-Village’s “K-Dub” (Kiersten Wilcox) does a senior slide after their win over Ansonia. (Dale Barger photo)