No. 12 A-W softball beats Gehlen on walk-off
AKRON — The Class 1A No. 12 ranked Akron-Westfield softball team beat War Eagle Conference rival Gehlen Catholic in walk-off fashion by a 2-1 score in Friday’s regional semifinal round game.
With the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the seventh and the Westerners trailing 1-0, the team went to the bench with pinch-hitter Audrey Miller. The sophomore had played in just four games prior to her appearance in Friday’s game and had just a few turns at the plate. That didn’t stop Miller from coming through with the clutch game-winning hit. The bunt hit got past Gehlen first baseman Nevaeh Hodgson who was over halfway to home plate charging the play. It continued down the first base line and got past second baseman Kenzi Alesch who was covering the bag at first on the play. The play brought two runners home, Boe Harris, the courtesy runner for catcher Taryn Wilken to tie the game, and Makenzie Hughes for the game-winning run.
The Westerners had struggled to get much offense going most of the game against Gehlen pitcher Rylee Schnepf who ended with eight strikeouts.
Emma Rolfes was on the other side of a fantastic battle between the pitchers, likewise scattering just a few hits while ending with a pair of strikeouts. The lone run scored against her came in the third inning as Schnepf drove in a run with an infield single to deep short which allowed Addison Kramer to score after she came in to run for Hodgson who reached on a single to right earlier in the inning.
Gehlen Catholic Head Coach Tony Gunter said it was a great game which ended up going in favor of the Westerners.
“It was a fabulous 1A softball game. Both teams played well and pitched well. It’s a shame our girls lost. Akron did what they needed to do to win and I wish them all the luck,” Gunter said. “My two seniors Rylee Schnepf and Alyssa Kolbeck, I want to give them a shoutout.”
The Lady Jays finish the season with a 16-12 record with three of those losses coming at the hands of the Westerners.
Akron-Westfield improved to 24-5 with the win as they advanced to the regional final round.