SHELBY — The Upper Sandusky Rams softball team defeated the Wynford Royals, 9-4, on Saturday morning in sectional final play.
The Rams used a big 6-run second inning to get past the Royals.
After a scoreless first inning for both teams, Upper Sandusky hit a hot streak as the ensuing inning began with leadoff batter Brigitte Snow starting the snowball effect with a single. A couple of more singles by Lexa Cheney and Michaela Wolfe followed, before Teahl Rice picked up an RBI with a squeeze bunt.
Paige Perry followed Rice with a squeeze bunt of her own to drive in a run to give the Rams a two-run lead. Piecha added to the score with a two-run double. After a Maranda Stansbery RBI single, Piecha scored on a wild pitch.
Piecha and Stansbery each had two hits in the win, while Stansbery added a pair of stolen bases.
Upper Sandusky scored three additional runs on a Piecha sacrifice fly ball in the fourth inning, and on RBI by Stansbery and Snow.
The Royals were held scoreless until the sixth inning when Upper Sandusky’s Allie Smith (14-7) walked Wynford’s Kayle Ort with the bases loaded to bring in the Royals’ first run of the day.
Smith picked up the victory as she held the Royals to four hits and five walks, while striking out five.
Wynford put together a three-run seventh inning made up of runs by Shannon Miller, Colleen Hord and KarLee Schiefer to pull the Royals closer, but the comeback effort came to an end, however, as Reegan Scott popped out to second base.
Miller, Schiefer, Andi Perdue and Kelsey Redden all singled for the Royals in the game, while Miller also took the pitching loss as she walked one and stuck out five.
“We had to keep stressing the fact to the girls that Wynford never gives up,” Young said, “The girls realized that in the end (during Wynford’s run).”
In regards to their next tournament game coach Young is focused on practice.
“Practice has got to be tough,” Young said. “Small mistakes, like dropped balls, are going to beat us.”
“We made poor mental mistakes,” Wynford coach Dave Ujvari said. “When you get yourselves down by six runs that early on it’s tough to come back.”
Wynford kept playing hard and it began to pay off in the end.
“We kept telling (the girls) to be patient,” Ujvari said. “It began to pay off in the last few innings but it came just too little, too late.”
The two teams meet against today and Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. to round out North Central Conference action.
Upper Sandusky moves on in the tournament to face the winner of No. 3 Edison and Margaretta, who play Tuesday, at 5 p.m. May 16 at Clyde.
Score by innings
Wynford 000 001 3 — 4 4
Upper Sandusky 060 120 — 9 5
WP: Smith (14-7); LP: Miller.
2B: Piecha (US), Rice (US).
By JAMES MASSARA