Northwest Ohio Huddle: Lacrosse revenge, 29-game win streak snapped and 15 HRs in softball


Northwest Ohio Huddle

Track and field fans, welcome to your favorite time of year. And in Northwest Ohio, there is plenty to be excited about this season.

Track and field fans, welcome to your favorite time of year.

And in Northwest Ohio, there is plenty to be excited about this season.

With league meets and state tournaments on the horizon, the 12th annual St. Francis de Sales Knight Relays last Friday served as the perfect precursor, showing off some of the area’s top boys teams and individuals.  

Three-time defending City League champ St. John’s Jesuit was winner with 123 points, beating out CL foes Whitmer (106) and Clay (104), which placed second and third, respectively.

Sylvania rivals Southview (72) and Northview (64), expected to be contenders in the Northern Lakes League, were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Whitmer won a meet-best six of the 19 events, while St. John’s and Clay taking three each.

The Titans were led by senior Cody Riffle, perhaps Ohio’s top discus and shot put thrower. Riffle took the meet’s outstanding field-event performer award, hooking-up with Kyle French to win the discus relay, and then Christian Zaciewski to place second in the shot put relay.

Riffle threw 188-feet, 9-inches and 63-8 3/4 in the two events, respectively. Sharp numbers, but low for Riffle, who hit 196-4 in the discus, and 65-8 in the shot earlier this season… both good for personal records.
The award for the meet’s outstanding track performer went to Clay junior Noah Buehrer, who won the 110-meter hurdle (15.08 seconds) and the 300-hurdles (39.80), breaking school records in the process.

Buehrer long-jumped 20-4, adding to his outstanding day.


Melissa Hoffbauer, Buckeye Central, softball: A day after tying the Ohio single-season record for home runs, Buckeye Central’s Melissa Hoffbauer claimed the record all for herself, hitting two homers in a 17-8 rout of Mansfield St. Peter’s.

Hoffbauer hit home runs in each of first two trips to the plate, and then drew a walk before being replaced. She added four RBIs.

Her 15 homers surpassed the mark of 13 set by Burton Berkshire’s Brittany Reynolds in 2008 and tied by Hoffbauer in a 13-7 win over Seneca East last Friday.

Hoffbauer entered the season with eight homers and now sits tied for fourth on the state career home run list at 23 with Thornville Sheridan’s Rona Roffey.


St. Francis lacrosse: St. Francis tagged unbeaten Sylvania Southview with its first loss, 11-8, of the season Tuesday, and in the process, won the Toledo Area Lacrosse Association title.

The Knights (11-1), who play in Division II, are the ninth-ranked team in the combined D-I and D-II state poll. The Cougars are No. 11 in the D-I poll.

Senior midfielder Scott Loy scored four goals and senior striker Will Hartkopf kicked in three for St. Francis, winners of the fifth annual TALA tournament. The Knights goalkeeper Al Kenzie stopped an impressive 17 shots.

St. Francis avenged an early season 15-10 loss to Southview at Ottawa Hills High.


Kool Runnings – Kaiser Strong at Owens Classic: Bedford’s Nick Kaiser, nationally ranked in the 800-meter run, pitted himself against some of the top collegiate talent in the Midwest yesterday, placing 19th out of 59 runners at the 25th annual Jesse Owens Track Classic at Ohio State University.

Kaiser ran independently in accordance with Michigan high school rules. The junior was the only prep runner in the 800, competing against college and post-college runners.

Crestline’s 29-Game Win Streak Snapped: Well, it finally happened.

Colonel Crawford’s Alexa Crase singled home two runs with a key two-out bunt Monday, and the Eagles beat top-ranked Crestline 2-0.

The win put the kibosh on Crestline’s 29-game North Central Conference win streak. The Bulldogs’ last loss came on April 30, 2008 to, guess who, yup, Colonel Crawford.

The win placed the Bulldogs -the No. 1 softball team in Division IV – into a deadlock with the Eagles for first place in the NCC, both are 10-1. The Bulldogs are now 21-3 overall. Colonel Crawford is 15-8.

Crestline starter Rose Salvati conceded three hits, with two coming to Crase. She struck out 12 and walked one in the tough-luck loss.

Titans Torch Toledo Start:
St. John’s Jesuit pitcher Zach Leffler bounced back from a loss to No. 7 Southview in a big way, pitching a two-hitter with one earned run as the Titans topped No. 20 Toledo Start 7-2 at Rich Arbinger Field.

In his first start since experiencing shoulder pain in St. John’s 10-4 win over St. Francis de Sales on April 14, Leffler struck out nine in 107 pitches.

Spartan starter Austin Baker struggled with his control, and St. John’s (15-1, 7-0 City League) cashed in, taking a 2-0 lead in the first.

Jacob Ray’s RBI single in third put the Titans up a comfy 4-0.

Start (15-4, 7-1) got its first run on Aaron Newman’s fielder’s-choice grounder to short stop, and its second on an error at first base.

Wildcats Run Wild at Hardin Co. Meet: With a run-away win at the Hardin County track meet, the Kenton boys broke one record and tied another Monday.

The Wildcats claimed nine of the 17 events, including all four relays, and scored 171 points to outdistance runner-up Upper Scioto Valley (117).

Hardin Northern was third with 61, followed by Ridgemont with 58, Riverdale with 54 and Ada with 46.

The Wildcats’ 400-meter relay team (Daniel Lombardo, Dustin Howell, Maty Mauk and Andrew Tillman) set a new program standard with a time of 43.5 seconds, edging the former record of 43.7 seconds set in 1985 by Hardin Northern.

The same foursome added a first place in the 800 relay, finishing in 1:32.56.

Lombardo also made it into the record books in the 100-meter dash, winning in 11.0 seconds. His time tied a mark set in 1998 by Kenton’s Paul Shipp.

Howell added two more wins, claiming both hurdle events (110, 16.5; 300, 42.1).
The Wildcats’ Nathan Hicks won the shot put (41-3) and Derek Snider took the 3,200-meter run (11:04.4).

Kenton also won the 3,200 relay (8:46.78) and the 1,600 relay (3:38.4).

The Hardin Northern girls track star Shelby Stump once again shined, winning four titles. Stump tied a meet record in the 200, finishing in 26.4 seconds, which matched a mark that set in 1981. The Polar Bear junior added wins in the high jump (4-10), the 100 (13.0) and the 400 (60.1).

Hardin Northern won the girls’ team title with 133 points, topping Riverdale by two points (131).

Lubinski Takes Over: Criag Lubinski, a long-time assistant coach, is stepping out of the shadows, and appears ready for the spotlight, taking over football head coaching duties at Toledo Bowsher.

 Lubinski was recently approved by the school’s athletic committee, succeeding Wondell Hills, who stepped down after one season and a forgettable 4-7 record.

The 45-year-old Lubinski worked as an assistant under eight different head coaches at six City League schools (Scott, Rogers, DeVilbiss, Waite, and Bowsher) before spending the last two seasons at Anthony Wayne.

“I spent 24 years preparing for this opportunity,” Lubinski told the Toledo Blade. “I’ve learned from some great coaches. I’ve learned some positives and some negatives from each one of them, and I think it’s my turn.” 

Lubinski – who also coached wrestling for 24 years – played football and wrestling at both St. Francis de Sales (1982) and the University of Toledo (1986, bachelor’s degree).

Lubinski has taught health and physical education for the better part of 16 years at Bowsher.

No. 7 Southview Slugs 4 HR in Rout of BG:
David Vandercook and Kirk Stambaugh hit two home runs apiece as No. 7 Sylvania Southview beat Bowling Green 12-1, earning a season sweep of the Bobcats.

Four of the Cougars 13-hits were home runs.

Stambaugh, also the Cougars’ pitcher, allowed three hits in seven innings with six strikeouts for Southview (15-1, 8-1) – the seventh-ranked baseball team in Division I.

The Bobcats (10-8, 6-3) – who lost 15-5 earlier in the season to the Cougars – committed all three of their errors in the first two innings, falling behind 6-1. Starter Max Beattie lasted just 11-3 innings, yielding six runs on five hits and six runs.

Messersmith Pitches Perfection:  Mohawk’s Jackie Messersmith pitched a five-inning perfect game as the Warriors’ dumptrucked Tiffin Calvert 13-0 in Midland Athletic League softball play last week.

Messersmith (10-3) struck out nine and did not allow a walk or hit in the game.
She got plenty of help along the way. Tracey Lonsway singled three times with three RBIs, Ashley Cooper singled twice with three RBIs for the Warriors (11-5, 4-1 MAL), who scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second and third and six runs in the fourth.

Dani Tyree also doubled and scored three times for Mohawk.

Henderson Lands at BG: Start basketball star Anthony Henderson announced he will attend Bowling Green State University, the Toledo Blade reported.

Henderson, a 6-foot-2 guard, scored 27.7 ppg this season.

AW Climbs Atop NLL:
Anthony Wayne moved into first place of the Northern Lakes League by securing a big 2-1 win over Perrysburg in extra innings in softball action last week.

Starter Dani Haley scored the game-winning run on Sarah Boles’ eighth-inning single to center field. Haley, who doubled to open the inning, allowed four hits with 13 strikeouts.

Anthony Wayne (15-1 overall, 6-1 NLL) avenged an early loss to Perrysburg (11-3, 5-2), 4-1 winners in the first go-around.

Haley, who threw a perfect game a week ago, fell behind 1-0 in the second when sophomore Kimmy Granata led off with a solo home run. Anthony Wayne capitalized on two Perrysburg errors in the third to tie the game at 1-all.

Perrysburg starter Kim Bryson scattered seven hits, striking out 12.

Elmwood Picks Up 16-Straight Win:
Elmwood won its 16-straight game, beating rival Eastwood 4-2 last Friday in front of an estimated 600 fans at Bowling Green’s Carter Park.

The Royals, which opened the season 0-2 and haven’t lost since, are 16-2 overall and 6-0 in the Suburban Lakes League. Eastwood is 12-6, 5-2, with both league losses to Elmwood.

Elmwood ace Adam Tyson, a University of Toledo recruit, was fantastic, allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings with nine strikeouts. Eastwood’s bottom four hitter’s were 0 for 9 with six strikeouts against Tyson.

Parks to Swim at Urbana; Kenton Pair Sign at Tiffin: Upper Sandusky’s Alex Parks, who helped build the Rams’ into a strong program, signed a national letter of intent to swim collegiately at Urbana University, a NCAA D-II program.

Parks broke a 30-year drought last season, becoming one of four swimmers from Upper Sandusky to qualify for the state swim meet last season. Parks, along with Jacob Beach, Sam Molnar and Tyler Billeg, placed eighth in the 200 free relay, setting a new school record in the preliminary round with a time of 1-minute, 30.7 seconds.

Kenton baseball stars Cody Barker and Derek Doornbos both signed letters of intent to play baseball at Tiffin University, an NCAA D-II school.

Jackets Sting Wildcats: Perrysburg starter David Gordon pitched a five-inning, three-hit shutout, and hit a home run as the Yellow Jackets clubbed Northview 10-0 in Northern Lakes League action Monday.

The Yellow Jackets – the No. 8 team in Division I – improved to 17-2, 7-1 NLL.

Maze Throws 1-Hitter:
Flyers ace Branden Maze pitched a one-hitter, lifting Lake to a 6-1 win over Eastwood in a Suburban Lakes League game Monday at Millbury.
Lake is now 16-5 overall and 5-3 in the SLL. Eastwood is 12-7, 5-3.


Oak Harbor Invitational at Oak Harbor High, Saturday:
Eastwood’s Justin Welch, a University of Georgia recruit, appears poised to win his third straight discus title at the 12-team Oak Harbor Invitational. His Eagles, Division II state champs a season ago, are the three-time defending champs at Oak Harbor.

Coldwater at Wapakoneta baseball, Tonight, 5 p.m.:
Top-ranked Coldwater (D-III) travels to ninth-ranked Wapakoneta (D-II) in a tune-up before the upcoming sectional tournament. The Redskins are fresh off a win over Shawnee, winning their record 19th game.
Wynford at Crestline softball, Monday, 4:30 p.m.:
After having its 29-game North Central Conference win streak broken on a loss to Colonel Crawford, Crestline – the No. 1 softball team in D-IV – is looking for a rebound win, bad. NCC foe Wynford will serve as another test before the Bulldogs enter the Division IV postseason.
47th Annual Fremont Track Invitational at Fremont Ross High, Saturday:
Toledo St. John’s Jesuit’s super thrower Cody Riffle is set to defend his shot put and discus titles at this year’s Fremont Invitational.  Toledo St. Ignatius beat host Ross for the boys’ title, while Toledo Central Catholic edged Notre Dame Academy by half a point to win the girls’ side. 

Bucyrus at Buckeye Central baseball, Monday, 4:30 p.m.:
Third-ranked New Washington Buckeye Central preps for the Division IV sectional tournament by welcoming NCC rival Bucyrus – the No. 5 ranked squad in D-III. The Bucks open tournament play Tuesday against either Mansfield St. Peters or Mansfield Christian, while the Redmen also play Tuesday against the winner of the Mansfield Ontario/Ashland Crestview game.

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