Schultz, Maynard shared bond as former teammates

J. Patrick Eaken

The voting to make Oak Harbor senior Reagan Schultz the Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Pitcher of the Year and Eastwood junior Delaney Maynard the All-Press Offensive Player of the Year was overwhelmingly in their favor.

If the pair had played for the same team, how good would that team be? Actually, last summer they did suit up together for Finesse-Blackswamp travel softball and since have remained close friends. 

What they have now is a respect for each other.

“She’s just a really great teammate, always positive and uplifting,” said Maynard about Schultz, who will play NCAA Division I softball at Kent State University. 

“She’s always pushing others to be better. For high school, I faced her last year. She’s really good at shortstop and that is why she is going to Kent. She is also a real good pitcher. She took her team to the (state) semis this year and I really look up to her. As a player, I really respect her.”

Schultz returned the compliment, saying, “We’re good friends still. She is the sweetest person ever. She brings so much energy to the team and she always got hits when we needed them. I really miss playing with her. It was great fun.”

This spring, Schultz led Oak Harbor to a 24-9 season, Division II state final four appearance, Croll Family Tournament championship, district and regional championship and Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division runner-up finish.

“The tournament run to the state final four was a dream-come-true,” Oak Harbor coach Chris Rawski said. “As a coach, you dream that the players, coaches, and community can experience that together. I am just elated that this group of players and coaches will always be known as part of that 2022 team that made school history.

“We had 15 selfless players on that roster who knew their role, and it all came together at the right time. No matter what happens from here, they will always have that memory and bond.”

Schultz added, “I think it was the energy that all the seniors brought. We just refused to lose, which is what brought us together. We had a super strong bond on and off the field and great friendships. We always have each other’s back. We tried not to get down on each other’s mistakes and just bring each other up more.

“I’m just super proud of my team and I’m so glad we made history and made a name for ourselves because we were doubted by lots of people.” 


Astronomical pitching/hitting numbers

Schultz, a first team All-Ohio selection and two-time first team All-SBC pitcher, was 20-4 in the circle with 139 strikeouts, 47 walks, allowing 116 hits and 63 runs, but just 36 earned runs in 138.2 innings for a 1.82 ERA. Those are numbers you rarely see since the mound was moved back years ago.

For her career, Schultz has 312 strikeouts, 122 walks, and allowed 118 earned runs in 322.2 innings for a 2.56 ERA over 67 games in three seasons. That includes 16 games her freshman season, but none her sophomore season because a global pandemic kept everyone sidelined.

At the plate, her numbers are even more outlandish. This season, she batted .511 (45-for-88) with 14 walks, two triples, six home runs, 30 RBIs, 40 runs, seven stolen bases, 12 walks, and she had a .458 on-base percentage and .920 slugging percentage.

For her three-year career, she batted .436 (109-for-250) with 25 doubles, seven triples, 12 HR, 69 RBIs, 116 runs, 39 walks, and she was 29-for-31 in stealing bases. She also laid down two sacrifice bunts, hit seven sac flies, and had a .474 OBP and .726 slugging. 

Her 116 career runs are tied for a school record, but remember, she was cheated out of a year, too, by a virus that affected every athlete. Rawski says he is “sure she would have broken about every career record if we would have played in 2020.” Over Schultz’ three years, the Rockets went 61-27.

Now, Schultz is already receiving daily workouts from Kent State coach Eric Oakley, and they keep her busy.

“My coach has been sending me things. It is tiring,” Schultz said Wednesday. “We ran like a mile and a half today. It’s crazy.” 

Schultz says Kent State was only one of several offers, but added that Oakley and the campus won her over.

“I was getting looked at by Toledo, Kent, Findlay, and Tiffin and so I just went on lots of campus tours. I lived in Oak Harbor all my life, so I wanted something bigger, so as soon as I stepped foot on campus at Kent I absolutely loved it. It was beautiful, I love the coaches, and I just knew it was my home pretty much. It’s really pretty,” Schultz said.


Credits Szypka the catalyst

Schultz’s performance in the circle has been well-established, but that doesn’t keep her from continuing to work on her game.

“Reagan, and her pitching coach, Andy Szypka, worked so hard leading up to the season to get her ready and have her best season yet in the circle,” Rawski said. “She worked with personal trainer Tyson Smith to improve her strength and quickness, and that showed up in her endurance as a pitcher and numbers offensively.”

Andy Szypka’s daughter, Shana, was a high performing pitcher for the University of Toledo coming out of Genoa. Rawski said the winter workouts with coach Andy in the high school gym paid off.

“He cares about me a lot. As a freshman I never wanted to pitch. He had to push me and push me until I finally gave in,” Schultz said. “He and I got to be good buddies, though.

“The training over the winter season was super hard. Sometimes we got to about 200 pitches a day and sometimes I was over it, sick of it, but when you are in those seventh inning stretches you remember why you did all that hard training, and it actually made the season easier from the hard offseason,” Schultz added.

More than anything, Schultz just wants to win. Like Schultz and Maynard, Rawski received an overwhelming majority of votes to earn All-Press Coach of the Year honors, but if you ask Rawski, he’d likely hand that plaque to Schultz or have her name engraved on it because she helped him earn it.

“Reagan was the epitome of a team player. She always did what it took for her team to win, and never was looking for the glory,” Rawski said. “She has outstanding parents that have taught her team first and how to be humble, yet successful. Reagan is never looking for the notoriety, but it always finds her because of the hard work she put in and the success she had.”

Rawski, who saw his junior varsity team finish 17-2 and win an SBC title (7-0) this year, is 206-90 in 11 years as a head coach, including 82-42 in the SBC. The Rockets were 8-2 in the SBC this year, losing only to league champion Margaretta.

A distant second in All-Press Pitcher of the Year voting was Eastwood sophomore Cassi Kieper. Northwood freshman Lea Wauford, Cardinal Stritch freshman Shelby Mercer and Gibsonburg junior Jenna Bloomfield also got votes.

In Coach of the Year voting, Eastwood coach Joe Wyant and Genoa coach Troy Susor were tied for a distant second and Gibsonburg coach Sarah Gruner and Stritch coach Tony Esposito also got votes.



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