BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — The Anthony Wayne softball team began its potential tournament run the right way.
The Generals advanced to the Division I district semifinals after a 5-1 victory over Northview in Whitehouse on May 12.
Brooklyn Patchen struck out nine, walked three and allowed six hits and no earned runs in the complete-game victory. AW coach Ron Myers said Patchen was chosen to pitch for a reason.
“We had some intel that we thought Northview was going to come in and try to bunt against us and we wanted Brooklyn in the circle,” Myers said.
“She controlled her zones and her pitches and her locations and had an outstanding day in the circle.”
Myers said the defense stepped up, too, especially during an unorthodox double play with two runners on base and no outs in the sixth inning.
“A game-changer there was that pop-up to (AW catcher) Trinity Nowicki at the plate where we had our centerfielder come in and cover second base to get us out of that big inning,” Myers said.
“Credit to (outfielder) Abby Meyer on that and Trinity Nowicki.”
Lauren Curry led Anthony Wayne at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two doubles. Patchen was 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.
Curry started the scoring in the second inning with a one-out double to right field and scored when Patchen singled to right.
Patchen proceeded to steal third base and score on a sacrifice fly by Hannah Pfundt to left field.
The Generals added three more runs in the sixth, as Kennedy Cowan led off with a walk and reached third when Curry doubled to left.
Patchen reached on a walk, loading the bases, and Pfundt doubled in Cowan and Curry.
Pfundt managed to get through an eight-pitch at-bat, including three foul balls with two strikes on her, before she hit her shot that scored two runners.
“Where we had those bases juiced, we had Hannah Pfundt up there, and she is battling, battling and battling, and she is hitting home runs foul,” Myers said.
“A lot of times when you hit those home runs foul, the percentages do not pay off overall, but she came through and drove that ball into the gap in the outfield and scored those big insurance runs for us.”
Patchen followed by scoring on heads-up baserunning when the Lady Kats committed an error at first base.
Abby Kennelly also had a base hit for AW, and Emily Liskai laid down a sacrifice bunt in the third that advanced Kennelly to second, although she ended up being stranded.
For Northview, Olivia Enright and Jessica Leggett had two base hits and Jillian Turner, Sophia McKarus, Molly Rutkowski and Sophia Koch all had singles.
Sydney Eggers pitched for the Wildcats, striking out two, walking three and allowing six hits and five runs over six innings.
Myers said everyone did what they needed to do to keep the Generals advancing into the district tournament.
“We talk about playing as a team and having roles as a team and these kids came together for those roles and supported each other today,” Myers said.
On Tuesday, AW (21-3) took on Start in the district semifinal. The Generals defeated the Spartans 13-8 during a regular season matchup.
A victory would send AW into the district final against the Perrysburg-Findlay winner at 5:00 p.m. on Friday at Rolf Park in Maumee.