Willard pitcher Taylor Chaffins started the contest in the circle, allowing the first two Lady Tigers to reach base. She quickly cleaned things up though, sitting down the next three batters to get out of the inning unscathed. Chaffins backed that up with a five-pitch second inning to keep Galion at bay.
“Taylor has been rock-solid all year,” Willard coach Fred Mock said. “She had a few jitters there early on — this is a big game for us. Our girls were jittery and Taylor, once she got settled down we’ve come to expect what she did. She settled down and was able to move the ball around. When she moves the ball around, she’s tough to hit.”
The Tigers (16-9) got on the board in the third inning with a two-out RBI. They struck again in the fourth on an RBI triple to make it 2-0 heading into the fifth inning.
Willard (8-14), who was unable to get anything going offensively, finally had a base-runner with no outs after Caiten Weiss reached on an error. Weiss then made it to third on sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice ground ball. Kathleen Schaaf then flied out to end the inning, leaving Weiss stranded at third base.
Then it was Tiger Time, as Galion exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to run-rule the Flashes and cut their postseason short.
“They were getting their bunts down for base-hits,” Mock said. “They’re a quick team out of the box and when you get runners on via the bunt early it creates havoc. They got some and then they came up with some big hits there. 2-0 going into the fifth, I mean it was a good game for four innings, but they just exploded.”
Chaffins hit the first batter, then gave up a single to center, followed by an infield single to load the bases with no outs. Morgan Hamons replaced Chaffins in the circle, but later came out of the game after being stepped on while trying to tag a runner out at home plate.
Chaffins re-entered the game to close it out. The Tigers won the game on a walk-off RBI single by Gabby Kaple. Chaffins finished with five earned runs on nine hits and one strikeout.
Mock is proud of his team’s effort throughout the season.
“We play in a tough league,” he said. “The NOL is just loaded from top to bottom. Tiffin and Ontario, teams that have been down in the past, have improved big time this year and the league is just tough from top to bottom. I hate to see the league go away, these teams are fun to play with, the coaches are great and there is a bunch of great-coached teams.
“With that being said, though, playing those teams non-stop and going through the fire is rough in the regular season, but it does prepare us for the postseason and it prepared us for last Friday night (in the sectional championship),” Mock said.
The Crimson Flashes still have a regular season outing against NOL foe Sandusky on Friday.
Monroeville 3, Plymouth 2
MONROEVILLE — The Lady Eagles were able to hold off a Big Red rally and earn a Firelands Conference win on Wednesday.
Plymouth started out the contest with a run in the first inning, but were held scoreless through the next five innings before they added another run in the seventh. Monroeville was able to take the lead with a two-run fifth inning.
The pitching was strong on both sides, but it was Carley Helmstetter who claimed the win, striking out seven. Mallory Miller took the loss, punching out one.
Plymouth captured the lead in the first inning, when Tristen Wiley singled on a 2-2 count to drive in a run.
Taylor Reer led the Eagles at plated with a pair of hits and an RBI, while Hannah Laney drove in two runs.