To vie for title, Rockets must meet challenge head-on

J. Patrick Eaken

Oak Harbor softball coach Chris Rawski’s team returned to Ottawa County after going 3-2 on a spring trip to Florida.

Since returning, they have gone 3-3 to improve to 6-5, but two of those losses came in the most important games, Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division match-ups.

The Rockets returned home to sweep a doubleheader from visiting Genoa, 14-4 and 10-2. Junior pitcher Reagan Schultz got the win in both games, and in the opener junior Remi Gregory went 2-for-3 with a double, walk, three RBIs and two runs. In the second game, senior Ellie Hanselman went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Oak Harbor outhit Genoa by only 16 to 15 in the two games. The Rockets took advantage of a combined 12 Comet errors while playing near flawless in the field, committing just one. 

However, in the Bay Division opener at Margaretta, the Polar Bears scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to win 6-5, even though Oak Harbor outhit the Bears 13 to 8. This time it was Oak Harbor which had four errors as Schultz took the loss, falling to 4-3 on the season.

In another Bay Division contest at Sports Force Park in Sandusky, the Rockets committed five errors and were outhit 14-5 in a 12-4 loss to Huron. The Tigers scored six runs in the fourth inning.

Tenth-year coach Chris Rawski says it could be that kind of season, explaining that this team can win but says every game most go smoothly.

“This team has tremendous potential for an excellent season. They work very hard each and every day at practice,” Rawski said. “They will have to embrace the challenge of playing in a very tough league and a difficult schedule. We are looking to contend for an SBC title and make a worthy tournament run.”

Two years ago, Oak Harbor went 15-11 overall, 8-4 in the Bay Division, won the Croll Tournament but lost to Maumee, 1-0, in the Division II sectional finals. Rawski’s teams are an accumulated 165-76 in his nine-plus years and counting.

Schultz, in her third season, returns to the circle with a career record of 6-3 (now 10-6), 39 strikeouts and a 2.46 ERA in 59.2 innings. At the plate, she is batting .333 with 26 hits, 28 runs, 14 RBIs, three doubles, one triple and a home run. In 2019, Schultz was a second team All-SBC and honorable mention all-district outfielder.

Gregory, a third-year first baseman, batted .268 with 19 hits, 20 runs, eight RBIs and five doubles, and Hanselman, a third-year left fielder batted .235 with eight hits, 11 runs, five RBIs and four doubles.

Senior right fielder Lauren St. Clair is the Rockets’ only fourth-year player, batting .313 with 41 hits, 33 runs, 22 RBIs and eight doubles over her career. Third-year center fielder Emma Martin has batted .273 with 33 hits, 16 runs, six RBIs, four doubles and one triple.

Helping Schultz in the circle is third year junior Tori Smith, who also plays third base. Smith is 3-3 over her career with a 4.41 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 39.2 innings.

New to the varsity this year are (juniors) catcher Kennedy Miller, second baseman/catcher/designated player Kori Helle, first baseman/catcher Sydney Overmyer, first/second baseman Jaycee Snyder, pitcher/third baseman Cienna Henneman, (sophomores) outfielder Emily Sommers, shortstop Ashley Schiller, (freshmen) third baseman/utility Reese Adkins and outfielders Porter Gregory and Alyse Sorg.

The Rockets lost plenty to graduation over the last two years, including seniors last year who did not get to play. They include second baseman Olivia Rahm, outfielder/DP Katie Shadoan, third baseman Shelby Adkins, outfielder/DP Jazmyn Jefferson, catcher Olivia Jensen shortstop Kaytlynn Sandwisch, third baseman Dani Epling and DP Chloe Roosen. Jensen is now playing softball at the University of Findlay.


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