BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Maumee’s softball team ran into a pitching buzz saw at Genoa on May 20 when the Panthers dropped their district championship game to Ashley Riley and No. 4 Oak Harbor, 4-0. The Rockets All-Ohio junior entered the contest with 281 strikeouts and added 14 more to that impressive total during a one-hit performance against Maumee. Riley also proved that her right arm was not the only thing opponents should fear when she belted a two-run homer to give Oak Harbor a 3-0 lead over the Panthers in the third inning. Freshman second baseman Olivia Rahm began the stanza with a one-out single and immediately scored when sophomore leftfielder Emily Lenke reached base on a Maumee throwing error. Lenke next came home when Riley’s bomb bounced off the mitt of Maumee’s leaping sophomore centerfielder Parris Hurt – who played the ball beautifully and nearly saved two runs with what would have been an incredible catch. Forced to bat as a designated player due to a shoulder injury she aggravated in the Panthers’ district semifinal win over Bowling Green, normal centerfielder and junior Shelby Bundy finally recorded Maumee’s first hit when she led off the sixth frame with a single. Maumee senior pitcher Kiara Hurley and classmate and catcher Kayla Wulf next reached base on a fielder’s choice and a walk – Wulf’s third intentional walk in as many at-bats – but Riley was able to get out of the jam by ordering up a groundout to end the inning. The Rockets then added an insurance run in the bottom of the stanza when senior rightfielder Emma Bergman reached on a fielder’s choice before scoring on a double from junior centerfielder Seree Petersen. Riley went on to close the game out by ordering up a pair of Panthers groundouts before notching her 295th strikeout of the season. Bergman led all batters on the evening by going 2-for-3 and scoring a run and All-Ohio sophomore catcher Maddy Rathbun also recorded an Oak Harbor hit. The game also saw a pair of defensive gems from Rockets sophomore first baseman Olivia Jensen and Maumee senior shortstop Ariel Moore. Oak Harbor improved to 28-1 with the win, while the Panthers dropped to 18-9 with the loss. Maumee will close out its successful 2017 season by trying to improve on its 7-4 Northern Lakes League mark with two final games against Southview (12-10) and Perrysburg (19-2).
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