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Published: Thursday, 6/10/2010

Sidelines: Springfield makes historic trek to state

BLADE STAFF
Springfield's Ashlyn Michalak makes a delivery against Anthony Wayne in a Division I regional semifinal. Michalak  will pitch at Owens CC. Springfield's Ashlyn Michalak makes a delivery against Anthony Wayne in a Division I regional semifinal. Michalak will pitch at Owens CC.
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The Springfield softball team made the first trip to the state tournament in school history this spring, while Archbold made its eighth appearance in the final four.

However, both the Blue Devils and the Blue Steaks fell in the state semifinals.

The Blue Devils lost 5-0 in the Division I state semis to eventual state champion Massillon Perry at Firestone Stadium in Akron on May 27.

Springfield (22-7) managed to get just three hits against Perry pitcher Casi Rohr and Massillon Perry (26-3) broke it open with three runs in the fourth inning.

Senior pitcher Ashyln Michalak had an uncanny ability to stamp out fires in the postseason. But Michalak, who will pitch at Owens Community College, gave up seven hits to Perry. Jess Zappone, Emily Rockman, and Fayth Atkins, three of the Blue Devils' leaders at the plate, accounted for their team's only hits.

Springfield defeated defending state champion and perennial stalwart Elyria in the regional final.

In Division III, Archbold suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 setback to No. 4 ranked West Liberty-Salem in Akron.

Archbold outhit the Tigers 5-3, but committed two costly errors. Junior pitcher Sarah Wyse struck out three and drove in one of the runs. Devin Newman drove in the other run and Courtney Day had two hits for Archbold (26-5).

The season came down to the last swing when Newman's long fly that would have tied it was fielded awkwardly by the Tigers' leftfielder.

“From hope to despair,” Archbold coach Joe Frank said.

But Archbold won its fifth straight Northwest Ohio Athletic League title with a perfect 8-0 record this season. The Blue Streaks also reached the regional tournament for the fifth straight year. The last time they made it through to the state semifinals was in 2004.

The Blue Streaks averaged 9.2 runs per contest and had a team batting average of .389.

Springfield ousted City League champion and No. 8 ranked Clay from the postseason. The Blue Devils held on for a dramatic 5-4 win in a 13 inning Division I district title game. On May 21, Springfield held a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning when rain halted play. The next day Clay tied it when sophomore Kim Crawford tripled. Following five scoreless innings, Springfield won it on sophomore Marisa Shipman's two-run home run.

The Eagles bounced back however to win a second straight CL title and fourth crown in the last five years. Behind a three-hit, 11-strikeout performance by senior pitcher Kasey Graham and the hitting of Crawford, the Eagles (24-5) defeated St. Ursula 4-0 in the city championship game on May 24 at Scott Park.

The home run bashing Anthony Wayne Generals slammed their way to a Northern Lakes League title. AW set the state record for home runs hit by a team in a season with 27.

The Generals clinched the NLL title with a 12-2 record, losing to Perrysburg and Springfield. AW has won the title four out of the last five years. The Generals knocked the Yellow Jackets out of the playoffs with a 3-0 win in the district finals.

Generals senior pitcher Dani Haley, who will play at Ohio Wesleyan, struck out 11 in the regional semis and AW outhit Springfield 6-4. But the Blue Devils won 2-0.

Ottawa Hills captured the Toledo Area Athletic Conference title with an unblemished record (5-0). The Green Bears had six batters that had batting averages over .400. Junior pitcher Natalie Temme led the TAAC with a 1.03 ERA.

Elmwood captured its third Suburban Lakes League crown in the past six years. The Royals, who posted a 10-2 league record this season, also won titles in 2005 and 2008.

Junior catcher Morgan Arnold was named the SLL player of the year. Seniors Emily Reynolds (2B) and junior pitcher Marissa Lee earned first team all-league honors. Sophomore Whitney Striff (OF) and freshman Brittany George (3B) also were named to the first team.

Contact Mark Monroe at:mmonroe@theblade.comor 419-724-6354.



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