Northwest Ohio Huddle: Defiance, Archbold, Ottawa Hills and Springfield swinging for state titles


Northwest Ohio Huddle

Like the great Alice Cooper once sang “Schools Out.”

But before the barbeques, the fireworks, and the myriad of summer
rituals and festivities can officially start, there is one last order of
business to take care of: state tournaments.  

Like the great Alice Cooper once sang “Schools Out.”

But before the barbeques, the fireworks, and the myriad of summer rituals and festivities can officially start, there is one last order of business to take care of: state tournaments.

The Defiance baseball team is hoping to kick-off its summer properly. And with the way the Bulldogs dispatched Wapakoneta in the Division II regional final, summer may start off pretty sweet.

Third-ranked Defiance advanced to its first state tournament since 2002 with a 4-1 win over ninth-ranked Wapakoneta in the regional title game Saturday at Tiffin University’s Heminger Field.

“It was a great high school game,” Defiance coach Tom Held told Lima News. “There were some double plays by both teams, good defense, some timely hitting and some really good pitching on both sides and we’re just lucky to come away with a ‘W.’”

Defiance (29-1) – the third-ranked team in the final coaches’ poll – heads to the Final Four to face top-ranked Jonathan Alder (31-0) Friday at 4 p.m. at Huntington Park in Columbus.

Wapakoneta bows out 25-5.

Wapakoneta scored once in the second to lead 1-0, but Defiance scored four times in the sixth, pulling ahead for good.

Wapakoneta first baseman Dustin Gerlach misfielded Dakota Westrick’s bunt in the sixth, throwing wild to third base and allowing Corbin Stykemain and Anthony Kinston to easily score as Defiance pushed ahead 2-1.Aaron Helland’s sacrifice fly put the final in place.

Defiance – winners of 24 straight – beat Wapakoneta for the second time this season, edging the Redskins 11-8 in Western Buckeye League action.


Kendall Homan, Napoleon, girls’ track and field: Senior Kendall Homan is making her jaw-dropping fourth trip to the Division II state track and field tournament at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this spring.

Homan qualified after winning both the 100-meter hurdles and long jump in last weekend’s regional meet at Lexington High. In the 100-hurdles, the senior finished in 14.79 seconds, while leaping 17 feet, 11.75 inches to claim the long jump title.

At state, she placed in both events as a junior, finishing second in the long jump and fourth in the 100-hurdles.

Findlay Liberty-Benton Boys’ track and field: Seth Butler earned two regional titles and Dakota Conkle picked up one, leading six Eagles to the Division III state track and field meet at last week’s regional tournament at Tiffin.

Butler was first in the 800-meter run in 1 minute, 53.97 seconds, breaking Holgate’s Kurt Michaelis’ meet record of 1:54.2 set in 1999. The senior then handedly won the 1,600 in 4:22.60.

Butler also advanced as part of the 1,600 (third, 3:25.06) and 3,200-meter (second, 8:11.58) relays teams. Hunter Rosenberger and Joseph Sherrieb joined Butler in the 3,200, while Jacob Clagg and Conkle teamed up on the 1,600 sqaud.

Conkle won the 110-meter hurdles regional title in 14.96 seconds, and then nabbed the fourth and final qualifying spot in the 300 in 40.59.

Brad Keller vaulted 15-feet to claim runner-up honors.


Springfield Earns 1st State Softball Bid: Senior pitcher Ashlyn Michalak was fantastic, and Springfield won its first regional title in program history, knocking off defending state champs fifth-ranked Elyria 2-1 at Clyde High and advancing to the Division I state softball tournament.

Michalak had 10 strikeouts and appeared calm and collected as she finished off the powerful Pioneers (24-6) and pitched her Blue Devils (23-6) into the Final Four.

Elyria – the fifth-ranked team in the final coaches’ poll – was planning on its fourth straight trip to the state semifinals before Springfield spoiled its plans, making the journey to Columbus for its first time.

Senior Jess Zappone led off the game with a home run. The second baseman scored both runs and went 2 for 3.

The Blue Devils will play Massillon Perry (24-3) Today at Firestone Stadium at Akron.

Ottawa Hills Ends 8-Year Dry Spell, Returns to Final Four: Ottawa Hills simply slugged its way into the state tournament, beating Delphos St. John 13-8 in the Division IV regional championship at Parratt Field.

Ottawa Hills returns to the state semifinal after an eight year layoff. The Green Bears (19-10) will meet Fort Loramie at 10 a.m. Thursday at Huntington Park at Columbus.

The Blue Jays scored four times in the second to jump in front 5-2, but the Green Bears rallied with four runs in the top of the third.

St. John answered with three runs in the third, although Ottawa Hills had the last laugh with a six-run fourth fueled by Jon Shollenberger’s game-tying two-run home run off Blue Jays starter Joel Pohlman.

Six Year Wait Over As Archbold Advances to State Tourney:
The Archbold softball program waited six long years to get back to the Division III state tournament. That drought came to an end last Saturday as the Blue Streaks beat Elmwood 5-2 at Ashland’s Brookside Park, rolling to their first Final Four since 2004.

Archbold (26-4) will face West Liberty-Salem (26-3) at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Akron’s Firestone Stadium. The 26 wins match the Blue Streaks’ record for wins in a season.

Archbold’s Alyssa Schaub hit a homer in the bottom of the first, kicking things off early for the Blue Streaks.

The Blue Streaks added a run in the third on Sarah Wyse’s RBI double, and made it 4-0 in the fifth on Morgan Cody’s RBI single.

Eastwood Sends 4 to State Track Tournament:
Eastwood discus standout Jena Jacoby threw a staggering 123 feet, 8 inches – 13 feet further than her seeded distance – to win the Division II regional title at Lexington High and advance to this weekend’s state meet at the Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Jacoby will have company as teammates, Cody Seifert (100 and 200-meter dashes), Justin Welch (shot put and discus), Nick Twining (800-meter run), and Whitney Hoodlebrink (long jump) also earned state berths.

Welch – who finished third in shot put at last year’s state tournament – was fourth with a throw of 55-6.75, a 6-feet dip from his seeded distance. In the discus, the defending state champion was the top thrower with 195-05, matching the meet record.

Napoleon sophomore Steve Weaver (1,600), and Wauseon’s Todd Christy (shot put, discus) and Michael Becker (3200) also qualified for the state meet as did Genoa’s Jon Lester (high jump), Maumee’s Kyle Rubini (high jump), Port Clinton’s Macy Caldwell (100 hurdles) and Allie Reynolds (discus).

Eastwood’s boys finished fourth in the team standings with 39 points, closely behind Sandusky Perkins (43) and Orrville (40). Peninsula Woodridge won with 65 points.

Toledo CC Captures CL Title: Toledo Central Catholic left-hander Travis Mielcarek pitched a complete-game four-hitter and hit two RBI singles, lifting the Fighting Irish to an 8-1 win over top-seeded St. John’s Jesuit in the City League championship at Scott Park.

It was the second CL title in three tries Central Catholic (19-6), which lost 9-8 during the regular season to St. John’s (24-4).

Mielcarek (7-2), who worked a shutout into the sixth inning, was selected as the most valuable player of the CL playoffs with his father, Central coach Jeff Mielcarek, giving him the first postgame hug.

Central scored twice in the second off St. John’s starter Jacob Ray (2-1), proving to be all the offense the Irish would need to put away the Titans. Travis Mielcarek’s infield single plated the first run.

Athletes Shine at D-I Regional Meet: Perrysburg’s Cameron Gardner won the 100-meter dash and placed fourth in the 400 and 800-meter relays, highlighting a big day at the Division I regional track and field meet at Amherst Steele.

Gardner’s teammates Andrea Wismer, Alyssa Goins and Kirsten Goins will join her next week in Columbus.

St. John’s Jesuit’s Cody Riffle set a regional record in shot put with a toss of 68 feet, 7 inches, to complement the discus title he won Wednesday.

Notre Dame’s 800 and 1600 relay teams – each considered legit state contenders – earned state berths, nearly setting regional records in both events in the process.  Relay member and junior Kaila Gardner also took fourth in the 200.

Central Catholic’s Gerren Duhart qualified for state in both hurdle events, finishing second in the 300 and fourth in the 110. Like Duhart, Rogers’ Brianna Scott-Glover also qualified in both hurdle events, finishing second in the 100 and third in the 300.

Impressively, Whitmer senior Samantha Gwin is making her fourth trip to state, coming in second in the 400 in 56.17.

After posting a disappointing qualifying time, Whitmer’s Alex Palicki, Dareon Jones, Alonzo Lucas and T.J. Rowland finished third in the 1,600 relay in 3:20.75, booking their trip to state.

Other’s making the D-I state cut were: Whitmer’s Darlene Anderson (100 hurdles) and Craig Nowak (high jump); Bowsher’s 400 relay of Janae Garrett, Jade Brown, Shoshanah Coleman, and Joy Franklin, and Brown individually (200), Denzel Fitzgerald (200) and William Fink (1600); Northview’s Jarred Bowens (110 hurdles), Meredith Wagner (3200), Alison Work (800) and Jacobs Barnes (3200); Anthony Wayne’s Brittany Green (long jump); Clay’s Noah Buehrer (300 hurdles); and Notre Dame’s Lauren Duncan (1600).

Bevy of Warriors Qualify at State:
Mohawk’s Craig Parker and Drew Trusty joined Zach Keller and the boys’ 3,200 relay team as the Warriors wrapped-up a successful week, advancing five to this week’s Division III state track and field tournament at the regional meet at Fairfield Union High.

Levi Edgington and Kyle Parker support Craig Parker and Trusty on the 3,200 team.

Craig Parker paced Mohawk, finishing second in the 800 in 1:59.22, a personal record. Trusty qualified individually in the 3,200 run as did Keller in the pole vault.

Carey’s Morgan Wentling earned a state bid in the pole vault, placing third.

Perrysburg Falls in Regional Final: Olmstead Falls held-off a late Perrysburg rally as the Bulldogs kept their Cinderella season alive, beating the third-ranked Yellow Jackets 7-6 in the Division I regional final at Mansfield Madison and advancing to their first ever state Final Four.

Olmsted Falls (16-17) – which defeated 2002 state champion Cleveland St. Ignatius in the district final and then 2006 state champ Strongsville in the regional semifinal – needs to win the state title Saturday just to achieve a winning record.

Perrysburg (26-6), which trailed 7-2 after five innings, scored four runs in the sixth and pulled within a run following freshman Steve Slocum’s first high school home run.

Senior pitcher Cameron Trefny, however, kept the Yellow Jackets off-balance and limited the damage, getting out of the jam in the sixth and closing out Perrysburg 1-2-3 in the seventh. 

Trefny delivered what proved to Olmstead Falls’ winning runs, hitting a three-run double in the fifth for the 7-2 lead and putting the Bulldogs up 4-1 in the fourth on an RBI.

A game earlier, Perrysburg avenged a pair of regular season losses against No. 10 Southview (24-4), pulling out a 5-4 victory over its Northern Lakes League rival in the Division I regional semifinal at Bowling Green University’s Stellar Field. Alec Schmenk was 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles for the Yellow Jackets.

Elmwood Runs Out of Magic, Loses to No. 2 Clear Fork:
Twenty-four hours after upsetting top-ranked Coldwater, the Elmwood baseball team seemingly lost its juice, falling to No. 2-ranked Clear Fork 6-4 in the Division III regional championship.

Logan Perkins’ three-run home run highlighted a five-run Clear Fork (30-2) fourth and lifted the Colts to the win.

Clear Fork left-hander Brendan Liberti limited Elmwood (24-5) to just two hits without giving up an earned run, striking out four to earn the victory.

Elmwood – which beat No. 1 Coldwater 5-3 in a regional semifinal last Friday – scored twice in the seventh without the benefit of a hit.


Division I, II, & III state track and field tournament, Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, Friday and Saturday: Jesse Owens Stadium will host 1,902 athletes from Divisions I, II and III (642 represented from D-I, 645 from D-II, 615 athletes from D-III). Eastwood’s Justin Welch will attempt to win his third discus title in a row at discus, and teammate Cody Seifert will go for wins in the 100 and 200-meter dashes in the D-II meet. St. John’s Jesuit’s Cody Riffle – who fell 1-inch shy of a state discus championship a season ago – will go for D-I titles in the discus and shot put, while Seth Butler (800, 1,600-meter runs) and Dakota Conkle (110, 300-meter hurdles) of Findlay Liberty-Benton also hope to leave Columbus with some hardware.

No. 3 Defiance vs. No. 1 Jonathan Alder baseball, Division II state semifinal, Huntington Park, Columbus, Friday, 4 p.m.: Third-ranked Defiance (29-1) looks for its 25th straight win in the D-II Final Four against unbeaten and top-ranked Plain City Jonathan Alder (32-0). The Pioneers are attempting to become the first team since Toledo Start in 1994 to finish off an undefeated state title season.

Toledo Ottawa Hills vs. No. 9 Fort Loramie baseball, Division IV state semifinal, Huntington Park, Columbus, Today, 10 a.m.:
Ottawa Hills (20-9) will battle No. 9 Fort Loramie (28-3) – the last remaining state ranked team in Division IV – in its first state tournament appearance since 2002.
Springfield vs. Massillon Perry softball, Division I state semifinal, Firestone Stadium, Akron, Today, 3 p.m.:
As a prize for making its first ever state tournament appearance, Sprinfield (21-6) will face Perry (24-3), which is making its third trip to Akron. The Blue Devils are fresh off a huge win over defending state champ Elyria. Top-ranked Grove City (27-4) – making its second state trip in three tries – is playing Lakota East (26-5) in the other semifinal matchup.

Archbold vs. West Liberty-Salem softball, Division III state semifinal, Firestone Stadium, Akron, Friday, 5:30 p.m.: Archbold (26-4) will look for its fourth state title against West Liberty-Salem (27-3), a state semifinalist in 2008. No. 10 Jeromesville Hillsdale (26-5), making its 13th Final Four appearance, will face tournament rookie second-ranked Piketon (25-2) in the other semifinal bracket.

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