By JAMIE BAKER
UPPER SANDUSKY — Upper Sandusky’s softball was playing a tweener Tuesday night.
Coming off an emotional walkoff win against Galion on Monday, the Rams faced a young and struggling Western Reserve team Tuesday with a possible sectional final matchup at Mohawk on Friday.
There were few worries for Upper Sandusky as it sent 12 batters to the plate during a six-run first inning en route to an 11-0 five-inning Division III sectional win over the Roughriders.
“It was a win, it wasn’t a great win but it was a win,” Upper Sandusky coach David Young said. “Their pitcher helped us out quite a bit. We didn’t hit the ball extremely well tonight; at least we didn’t hit the ball like we did last night.”
Western Reserve pitcher Jacy Riley walked six batters in the opening frame. Upper Sandusky’s Maranda Stansbery and Kelsi Knapp had RBI hits in first inning for the Rams. Stansbery also added the big blow in Upper Sandusky’s three-run second inning with a two-run double.
Upper Sandusky tacked on two more runs in the third on Kalene Johnson’s walk that forced in a run and a single by Kyla Cusac.
While Riley (4 IP, 9 H, 9 BB, 2 K) was struggling with her control for the Roughriders (1-18), Upper Sandusky pitcher Sara Gier had few problems in the circle.
Gier allowed just two hits and two walks with four strikeouts in five innings to get the win. Taylor Good broke up her no-hit bid with one out in the fourth. Emmalee Cooke also singled for Western Reserve.
Knapp and Cusac both had a pair of singles, and Stansbery and Gier added doubles for the Rams. Teammate Jaya Smalley didn’t have a hit but managed to drive in three runs.
Young knows his Rams will have to get back to their hard-hitting ways to get past a tough Mohawk squad in Friday’s 5 p.m. sectional final.
“We have to come out swinging the bats and be aggressive at the plate and on the bases,” Young said. “We have to hit the ball hard and take advantage of every opportunity we get.”
Western Reserve 000 00 — 0 2 4
Upper Sandusky 632 0x — 11 9 1
WP — Gier. LP — Riley. top hitters: (US) Knapp 2-1B; Cusac 2-1B; Stansbery 2B; Gier 2B; Smalley 3 RBI. (WR) Cooke 1B; Good 1B.
records: Upper Sandusky 16-6, Western Reserve 1-18.