ASHLAND -- Powerful thunderstorms broke up a well-paced pitchers' duel between Archbold's Sarah Wyse and Elmwood's Marissa Lee in a Division III softball regional semifinal Wednesday.
Both aces mixed speeds effectively and spotted their fastballs well. The game was scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning when rain and lightning halted play.
The contest will be continued here at 5 p.m. Thursday. It will pick up where it left off with Elmwood at the plate with one out.
Archbold (25-1) entered the game as the No. 1 ranked D-III team in the state and its only loss this season was a 3-2 setback at the hands of Elmwood (21-4). The Royals are ranked 10th in the final state coaches poll.
Wyse (23-1) had struck out nine and allowed just one hit. Lee (21-3) had yielded just three hits and had fanned four.
Archbold mounted the best scoring threat in the top of the second. Becca Gerig opened the inning with a solid single lined through the middle. Gerig then advanced to second on Morgan Cody's perfectly executed sac bunt.
An error on a grounder to short allowed Hanna Allison to reach safely and advanced Gerig to third. Allison later took second uncontested.
But with runners at second and third with no outs, Lee then fanned the next two batters. Lee got Mindy Rupp and Chelsea Goebel to strikeout to end the threat.
Archbold had a single in each of the first three innings. But Lee settled in, striking out four before the rains came.
Meanwhile, Wyse struck out seven of the first nine batters she faced, walking two. Wyse had a no hitter through 3⅔ innings. But Lee broke up Wyse's it up with a soft line single that dropped in on the right field foul line. Wyse then got the next batter to pop out that Goebel made a nice catch on.
The winner advances to play the winner of Thursday's semifinal between Bellville Clear Fork (29-0), ranked eighth, and Beverly Fort Frye (22-4). That game will be played immediately after the Archbold-Elmwood contest.
The final is scheduled for Saturday at noon.
Contact Mark Monroe at: email@example.com or 419-724-6354.