Tri-Village softball claims WOAC title with road win over Ansonia


By Drew Terhall

ANSONIA — For the first time since 2008, the Tri-Village softball team are WOAC champions. The Lady Patriots won 9-7 at Ansonia on May 3 to clinch their share of the WOAC title.

Tri-Village head coach Emily Osborne said she was proud of her team for coming out swinging in this win.

“That was a tough game. If you missed it, you’re losing out. We knew coming into this, this was going to be a tough game. They’re a good team from top to bottom and especially on the mound. I’m proud of the girls for coming out and hitting the ball well,” Osborne said.

Ansonia head coach David Fisherback said Tri-Village deserves the credit for getting this win. They are a great hitting team that punished them for their mistakes.

“They hit the ball that first inning. We might have had an error in there. In the second inning, they scored and we had a dropped ball at first base. In these types of games, you cannot give free outs,” Fisherback said.

Tri-Village put up five runs in the top of the first inning. After sophomore Tai Mize got on base, freshman Emma Greer drove her in with a double.

With one out and bases loaded, freshman Mylee Bierly hit a two-run triple. A RBI double by sophomore Hailey Burk and Burk scoring on a wild pitch made it a 5-0 game.

Ansonia responded with two runs in the bottom of the first. Freshman Addison Geyer and senior Kelsey Muhlenkamp each drove in a run.

Tri-Village got the bats out again in the second inning. Greer had another RBI double. Sophomore Aereonna Baker walked in a run with the bases loaded. Then senior Macy Howell drove in a run on a sacrifice flyout.

Osborne said the lineup from top to bottom was consistent and disciplined. The team didn’t strikeout at the plate against Ansonia senior Abby Kramer who is second in the WOAC in strikeouts.

“We’re up there to battle. That’s what they were doing and that’s what I was proud of for the girls. We got to continue to do that as we finish out the season and get into the tournament,” Osborne said.

Then the Lady Tigers started to chip into the deficit. Geyer and Kramer both had a RBI in the third inning. In the bottom of the fourth inning with two outs, senior Maddie Buckingham had a two-run double. Then sophomore Ava Thatcher had a RBI single.

Ansonia was only down 8-7 after four innings. Fisherback said he knew his team could keep up offensively with Tri-Village.

“Very proud of our kids. Most of our runs, we scored with two outs. They’re (Tri-Village) a very good hitting team, but I’m looking at the stats and I said, ‘Guys, you got to believe. In the stats that’s in the system, we got just as good as hitters as they do,’ We moved the ball around and scored with two outs,” Fisherback said.

Tri-Village scored an insurance run in the fifth inning with a RBI double by freshman Kaley Brandon.

From that point, the Tri-Village defense kept making plays to keep momentum on their side. Osborne said after struggling with the wet field at first, the hard work the team has put in their defense started to shine.

“Momentum has been something we’ve been working on all year long. We had it at the beginning and we wanted to keep it on our side. I felt like we kind of slipped a little bit. Had to go to the mound and give them a pep talk. After that, we were able to bring it back around and get out of it,” Osborne said.

Both teams had scoring opportunities late, but couldn’t capitalize. Even in the bottom of the sixth with Buckingham leading off for the Tigers, she got on base after getting hit by a pitch.

The next batter up, Tri-Village forced a ground ball and got the double play. Fisherback said those kinds of plays Tri-Village made were the difference.

Sophomore Elizabeth Poling pitched the whole game for Tri-Village and finished with three strikeouts. She threw strikes and let her defense get to work.

Ansonia is 17-6 on the season with an 8-2 WOAC record. They will be at Bradford on May 6 and then host National Trail for their first playoff game on May 7 at 5 p.m.

Fisherback said the team got a jolt of energy from playing in a big game like this. He wants them to take that energy with them as the tournament is just around the corner.

“The kids got a little bit excited today. That’s what we need to take. We talked about we have to take that into tournament play,” Fisherback said.

Tri-Village is 18-1 on the season with a 10-0 WOAC record. Osborne said they are on stride to break some season records individually and as a team. She said the current record for wins in a season sits at 21 wins.

The Lady Patriots will host Coldwater on May 6 and then host Newton on May 7 with both games at 5 p.m. A win against Newton gives the Lady Patriots the WOAC title all to themselves.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected].

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