NORTH ROBINSON — Colonel Crawford is moving on in postseason play after defeating Upper Sandusky 6-3 to win a Division III sectional softball title on Friday at Chuck Huggins Field in North Robinson.
Up next for Colonel Crawford (19-6) is a district semifinal matchup against No. 2 seed Edison (16-6) on Wednesday, May 19 at New Riegel High School. First pitch is at 6 p.m. Edison eliminated No. 8 seed Carey 13-6 on Friday.
Junior Alivia Studer hit a 3-run home run to fuel the Lady Eagles offense while sophomore Lauren Frietchen turned in a solid performance in the pitching circle for Colonel Crawford. Studer finished 1-for-3 at the plate and also contributed to a Lady Eagles defensive effort that held Upper Sandusky in check.
Frietchen tossed a complete game and earned the win for Colonel Crawford. She gave up nine hits and recorded four strikeouts and just two walks.
Colonel Crawford Coach Sarah Fraser said it was a “great win” over a conference rival.
“You know we know each very well, which plays into both of our favors,” Frasers said. “Upper’s amazing. They’re a team you can never, ever take lightly.”
Fraser credited her team’s timely hitting, Frietchen’s solid pitching performance, and the Lady Eagles’ defense as the keys to the win.
“We had hits when we needed them and we scored some extra insurance runs to give Lauren a little momentum and we got the job done toward the end,” Fraser said. “I definitely think she got stronger as the game went on. Maybe some nerves early because it was her first big tournament game. But she definitely got stronger as the game went on. We made it work.”
Despite giving up a double to Upper Sandusky’s Brooke Swavel in the first inning, Frietchen settled in and recorded three of her four strikeouts in the frame to retire the Lady Rams without surrendering a run.
In the home half of the first inning, the Lady Eagles set the stage for Studer’s big blast when Frietchen singled and Kaylyn Risner drew a walk in successive at-bats. Studer drove the pitch from Upper Sandusky’s Liv Gier over the right center field fence to give Colonel Crawford a 3-0 cushion.
The Lady Rams (15-11) trimmed the deficit to 3-1 in the second inning and pulled to within 3-2 in the third inning. Jenna Kurtz drove in Hannah Plymale with a sacrifice fly to to right field in the third inning.
Colonel Crawford pushed its advantage to 5-2 after scoring two more runs with two outs in the fourth inning. Gier got a ground ball for the final out before Colonel Crawford could do any more damage.
The Lady Eagles collected their final run of the game in the fifth inning.
Upper Sandusky pulled back a run in the top of the seventh inning but was unable to make a dent in the Lady Eagles’ lead.