Maumee Falls In Regional Final, Ends Season In First Elite 8 Appearance

Maumee’s Danielle Schriner lays down a clean bunt in a game against Tallmadge. MIRROR PHOTO BY JOE NEGRICH

BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — All season long, the Maumee softball team has made a habit of pulling off rallies and storming back from deficits to win games.

In the Division II regional final last week, though, the Panthers dug themselves into too deep of a hole and couldn’t pull off any magic to keep their season alive, falling 10-5 to Tallmadge at New Riegel.

The Blue Devils struck first, scoring four runs in the top of the third inning, adding another two in the fifth for a 6-0 lead. Maumee put two on the board in the bottom of the fifth, but Tallmadge opened up the game with a four-run sixth and an insurmountable 10-2 lead.

The Panthers scored three times in the bottom of the seventh and had the bases loaded, but that was as close as they could get.

Maumee struggled defensively, as it committed seven errors. Of Tall-madge’s 10 runs, seven were earned.

Taylor Smith went 2-for-4 with a run, Danielle Schriner was 1-for-4 and two RBI and Lilly Duling scored twice while drawing three walks. The Panthers had five hits, compared to 11 for the Blue Devils.

Maumee starter Hannah Ruiz picked up the loss, allowing four earned runs (seven total) in 5-1/3 innings. Tallmadge had eight hits and two walks off Ruiz, while the freshman struck out seven.

The Panthers made it to the regional final with a dramatic walk-off win over Ontario in the semifinals. The Warriors tied the game at 5-5 in the top of the seventh, but Duling smoked a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning to close the books.

Duling also had a home run in the first inning. She went 2-for-4 with two runs and five RBI. Freshman Katie Rapp was 3-for-3 with two RBI.

Ruiz went the distance, allowing four earned runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out a season-high 16 batters.

Maumee also played a pair of non-tournament games last week, falling 10-0 to Anthony Wayne in the Panthers’ final Northern Lakes League game. They also beat Clay, 9-2.

Duling went 2-for-4 with four RBI and one run against the Eagles, while Rapp went 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI. Ruiz also went 3-for-4 with two RBI.

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