BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Attorney Beth Tischler was named law director during the May 20 Maumee city council meeting. Tischler, who will be paid an annual salary of $72,500, will be responsible for all civil legal matters related to Maumee and will advise city council, board and commission members and the administration on legal matters. She will also supervise the municipal prosecutor and oversee outside counsel. A search committee consisting of Maumee Mayor Richard Carr, council member Brent Buehrer, interim human resource director Susan Noble, Sylvania prosecutor Robert Pyzik and attorney Connie Snyder narrowed the field of 27 applicants to six potential candidates. Carr said that following the interview process the choice for Tischler was unanimous. “We look forward to working with her,” Carr said. Since 2006, Tischler has worked as an assistant prosecuting attorney for the Sandusky County prosecutor’s office. She also spent two years as an associate attorney for the law firm Dewey & Dewey Attorneys in Clyde, Ohio. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Rio Grande. She also earned a master’s degree in business and law degree from the University of Toledo. She and her husband Dave have two children and plan to move from Clyde to Maumee soon. “I’m very excited about this new opportunity,” she said. In January, the personnel committee recommended hiring a full-time law director following an outside advisory committee report that concluded the position should be in-house if 1,000 hours of legal services are logged annually, said personnel committee and council member Brent Buehrer. The previous law director, Sheilah McAdams, who was a contract employee, was paid $135 an hour. McAdams worked an average of 1,100 hours annually and was paid $148,500 for her services, Buehrer said. In other action council also: • Approved the appointments of Jason Blair and Devon Becker as Summer Laborers. • Approved the resignation of Michael Piatz, radio/telephone operator, division of police. • Approved the Ohio police and fire pension fund employer pick-up plan. • Authorized an agreement with Vance’s Law Enforcement for $27,414.80 to purchase 20 Tasers and associated equipment. • Approved a $3,990.70 agreement with Sound Communication for a radio and telephone recording system for the Maumee police and fire divisions. • Authorized an agreement with Midwest Golf and Turf for $43,345 to purchase an athletic field mower with trade-in utilizing the state purchase program. • Asked to the building and lands committee to investigate expanding the parking lot in the 100 block of West Broadway.
BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Chris Young can’t imagine being anything other than a firefighter. “I was a typical little kid – when I would see the fire trucks go by, that’s what I wanted to do,” the 23-year-old said. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Young, who was only in grade school at the time, knew for sure he would become a firefighter. Three years ago, he joined the Maumee Fire Division. Fellow firefighter Jeremy Chesser felt the same way after September 11. “I was in college watching it all unfold and it broke my heart,” the 31-year-old said. “It took a few years later for me to begin training, but once I set my mind to it and got it going I knew it was right for me.” Both Young and Chesser are among the 49 volunteer firefighters with the Maumee Fire Division, which has the capacity to maintain a fire fighting staff of 55. “We do currently have openings for volunteer firefighters,” Maumee Fire Chief Richard Monto said. To become a Maumee firefighter, an applicant must be at least 18 years old and a trained emergency medical technician, or EMT. According to Monto, the EMT training requirement is necessary because 80 percent of the calls in Maumee are for EMTs. Applicants must also reside in Maumee and pass a physical examination and a physical agility test, which includes swinging a sledgehammer 52 times, dragging and rolling a hose and climbing and raising a ladder. Volunteer firefighters sign up for the shifts they can work but are required to work a minimum of 24 hours per month. When signed up to be on call, volunteer firefighters are paid $4.50 per hour during the week and $5.00 on the weekends. If called on a run, the starting pay for EMTs and firefighters can range from $18.00 to $20.00 per hour. Firefighters have eight minutes to get to the fire station. Calls can happen at any time. “You get used to eating a lot of cold dinners,” Young said. The types of calls vary, which is the part of the job that Chesser enjoys most. “You learn something new every time you go out on a fire or emergency run. You have to adapt and overcome, you have to be fluid,” he said. To prepare for the situations they encounter, firefighters are required to participate in two-hour training sessions every Tuesday, which includes training drills, fire association meetings and vehicle and equipment maintenance duties. Various positions within the department also require additional training exercises, Monto said. “We’re pretty fortunate here in Maumee, we have a great group of people who work well together,” he said. Chesser and Young said the benefit of knowing the positive impact firefighters have on the community outweighs the personal sacrifice that comes with the job. “This job is for someone who doesn’t mind giving up personal time or gain for the benefit of the community. Doing this is definitely a choice, it’s not a casual thing to do,” he said. Maumee Mayor Rich Carr said volunteer firefighters play a vital role in the community. “The volunteer fire department is a great asset to the city and continuing to maintain full strength is important to us,” Carr said. “We want to encourage anyone who has ever been interested in applying or getting information about the department to do so,” he said. Those interested may call the Maumee Municipal Building at (419) 897-7100.
BY EMILY GORDON | MIRROR REPORTER — A historical marker dedication and wreath laying ceremony was conducted at Fort Miamis on May 4 to honor those who lost their lives fighting in the War of 1812. The ceremony, Honoring our Ancestors: Fort Miamis and the War of 1812, drew about 300 people, including historical re-enactors, said historical programs intern Jennifer Christensen. “It was a great event. We were hoping for 200 people, so getting 300 was fabulous,” she said. The ceremony featured a 21-gun salute, music from the 41st Regiment of Foot Fife and Drum Corps and a keynote speech about partnership and peace from Dr. Roy Norton, the consul general of Canada. The event was timed to occur during the week of the bicentennial anniversary of the First Siege of Fort Meigs, May 1-9, 1813. About 2,200 U.S. Regulars and militia were stationed at Fort Meigs. A mix of 2,200 British Regulars, Canadian militia and Native American allies were camped near Fort Miamis. On May 5, 1813, 800 Kentucky Militia, led by Col. William Dudley, attacked the British batteries across from Fort Meigs and took a cannon. Instead of leaving the scene, Dudley let his men stay and they were ambushed by Native Americans. The British infantry units then marched from Fort Miamis to recapture the British batteries and took the Kentuckians as prisoners of war. The Kentuckians were forced to march to Fort Miamis to run a gauntlet, which did not end until Shawnee Chief Tecumseh came to the fort, Christensen said. One side of the Ohio Historical Society marker dedicated during the ceremony honors Pvt. Patrick Russell, a soldier of the 41st Regiment of Foot, who died while attempting to stop the gauntlet. Attending the ceremony was a couple that flew in from Texas, to honor an ancestor who survived the gauntlet. That ancestor was taken to Canada and later released to make his way back south. “It was a great experience to really see that people are still connected to the stories. It brought the event to a personal level,” Christensen said. Northwest Ohio is rich with historical events that had lasting effects on the western front of the U.S. “For me, it’s just local pride. We have a lot to be proud of and remember,” Christensen said.
BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Bill and Janet Weyandt knew something was wrong with their front window when they felt a blast of cold air seeping into their living room last December. The Maumee couple discovered that the wood below the 10-year-old window had rotted, causing a large gap in the frame. “It was defective installation,” said Bill, who contacted Dunright Building Services to replace the faulty window. “They were very professional and they did a great job.” Dunright owner Bill McConnell, who has 30 years of experience in the construction industry, said that new quality windows don’t have to be expensive. “Our windows enable our clients that need windows to be able to afford windows,” he said. A locally owned and operated business, Dunright offers double hung windows starting at $179.00, which includes installation, a lifetime warranty and maintenance, McConnell said. What usually drives up the cost of competitor window prices – marketing and overhead costs – doesn’t apply to Dunright Windows, which are made in Michigan. “We have bigger volume and factory pricing,” he said. In addition, Dunright does not use telemarketing techniques or have sales people canvass neighborhoods, he said. Spring and summer are busy times for window installation, and McConnell employs 10 installers. In addition to replacing the living room window, the Weyandts also had Dunright replace the roof on their garage and house, replace family room ceiling tiles, remove a free standing fireplace and install a rubber roof on an airing deck. “I was in the construction business for 30 years and I can spot quality, and they really do quality work,” Bill said. In addition to McConnell, Joe Fath serves as vice president of sales and Bryan Orwig serves as installation manager. McConnell credits his wife Robin and his employees for his success in the business. “I’m surrounded by wonderful people and I’m thankful to God who has blessed us with so much,” he said. Free estimates are available. Dunright Building Services is located at 1057 Custer Dr. in Toledo. For information, please visit www.dunrightbuildingservices.com or call (419) 897-7988.
BY KAREN BERGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Cycling may be his first love, but Cycle Werks owner Dave Pickering spends a lot of time running. Two Metroparks trail patrol volunteers stop in with a question, a man wheels in a bike that needs air in the tire, a mom and young boy search for accessories; and several calls come into the store – all within 10 minutes. “It’s been busy,” Pickering said, looking from the repair area out onto the Whitehouse sales floor. “It’s a balancing act. I just got 15 bikes in that we put together.” Just a few yards from the Wabash Cannonball Trail, Cycle Werks opened in Whitehouse in October 2010. Combined with its Bowling Green location, Cycle Werks’ sales were the highest since Pickering opened the specialty shop 32 years ago. During that time, he’s raced to keep up with the consumer-driven changes in the industry. For instance, when bike manufacturers saw that city-dwelling cyclists were taking mountain bikes and making their own adjustments to make them more urban-friendly, they responded with a hybrid that does the same. The sturdy frame has smaller tires that are suitable for riding in town or on a paved trail. “That happens over and over again. There are more categories of bikes now than I’ve ever seen,” Pickering said. Hybrids are now the No. 1 category, because they fit the recreational rider who likes riding the Wabash Cannonball Trail and through neighborhoods or on streets. The fitness bike is also big, especially among younger adults who want to maximize the efficiency of how a bike rolls with less power. “It’s a tool to stay active. It may be a runner who wants to get a workout but not spend $1,000 on a road bike,” Pickering said. “Instead, they can spend $500 on a fitness bike.” The newest iteration is a dual sport bike – a fitness bike with off-road features, he said.
Because so many choices exist, employees have to quiz customers who come in looking for a bike, Pickering said. “We ask how they plan to use the bike and what position they want to be in.” Gary Switzer, an avid cyclist who rode a hybrid, researched options for a more comfortable seating after some health issues, Pickering said. Switzer asked about Bacchetta recumbent bikes, a unique, niche product that is radically different from a regular bike. While it’s a challenge to learn to ride and turn – as some models require the knees be trapped within the handlebars – it also meets the needs of changing bodies, Pickering said. “As we grow and our bodies change, we don’t give up and quit,” Pickering said. Switzer was instrumental in Pickering’s choosing Bacchetta for Cycle Werks – which is now the only area shop to carry the brand. Cycling has become increasingly popular for several reasons, Pickering said. The sport is covered more regularly on TV and the explosion in the number of bike trails has given the public a reason to pedal. “People feel safer on bike trails,” he said, The economy only had a positive effect. “For some reason, bike shops do better in a down economy. One man last night said he rides 8 miles each way to work – something he started doing when gas topped $4.00 a gallon,” Pickering said. Cycle Werks carries new bikes and accessories and offers repairs. For more information, visit www.shopcyclewerks.com.
BY EMILY GORDON | MIRROR REPORTER — The 12th annual Claire’s Day festival celebrated character – that of the local children who won awards for improved reading skills, as well as the characters that reside in books. The event took place last Saturday on the campus of the Maumee Branch Library in honor of Claire Lynsey Rubini, a 10-year-old who loved to read but died unexpectedly in 2000 of an undiagnosed heart condition. Claire’s parents Julie and Brad Rubini founded the event. Authors and illustrators Valiska Gregory, Mark Crilley, Rhonda Gowler Greene, John Manders, Kristin Nitz, Bruce Langton, Betsy Snyder, Lisa Wheeler, Elizabeth Raum and Cinda Williams Chima were on hand to read to children, demonstrate illustration techniques and gave advice to budding writers. Crilley, who served as a presenter in the teen tent, considers Claire’s Day one of the best book festivals in the country. “This is the greatest and most meaningful book festival because of the story behind it. Anyone who has taken part in it is touched by the story and I am honored to be a part of it,” he said. Over 400 local students received Claire’s Award for Reading Excellence, or C.A.R.E. Awards. Many of those students – who were nominated by their teachers for having significant improvements in their reading skills – were on hand to receive their award. Crystal and Justin Ickes of Defiance brought their four children to Claire’s Day to cheer on their 10-year-old daughter Faith Rose, who received a C.A.R.E. award. “She worked so hard, there was no way we were going to miss this,” Crystal said. Older children who attended Claire’s Day were able to write poems, go on a photography scavenger hunt, and make a bookmark in the teen tent. Twelve-year-old Thomas Hanson, who traveled from Westlake, Ohio with his family to attend Claire’s Day, enjoyed the activities in the teen tent. “Thomas likes to write,” said his mother, Robin Thomas. “This is a good opportunity for him to learn about writing.” Brad Rubini presented C.A.R.E. Awards and Julie Rubini served as a celebrity reader along with Toledo Mud Hens pitcher Kenny Faulk. Author Elizabeth Raum was thrilled to attend this year’s Claire’s Day. “This is a phenomenal event. To have this many kids excited about reading – I love it,” she said.
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BY NATE LOWE | MIRROR SPORTS — Helped by catcher Brad Cousino’s game-winning double in the eighth inning, Maumee (11-12 overall, 5-8 Northern Lakes League) survived a late-inning comeback with a 12-11 win at Anthony Wayne on Monday. Cousino’s two-run two-bagger broke a 10-10 tie and proved to be the difference-maker in a heated league matchup that featured 23 runs, 25 hits, two home runs, four pitching changes, 17 walks, four hit batsmen, multiple ejections and several controversial calls. “There was a lot of action and some distractions, but we kept playing and I’m proud of my kids,” said veteran Maumee coach Cam Coutcher. Cousino, an intense competitor with a flair for the dramatic, dashed Anthony Wayne’s hopes of winning an outright league title with his clutch extra-inning smash, one that came after Generals coach Mark Dell elected to intentionally walk Jordan Spellis to set up a force play. “I loved it,” Cousino said, reacting to Dell’s decision to walk Spellis and pitch to him. “That’s what I’ve worked hard for all these years, for that moment right there. I knew what I had to do, stayed calm, sat back and just drove the pitch.” Cousino’s double one-hopped the outfield fence, plating Spellis from first and Joe Szymanski, the go-ahead run, from second. “That was huge, a great at-bat,” Coutcher said of Cousino’s eighth-inning plate appearance. “He has the ability to drive the baseball, and he did right there.” Normally known more for his glove work behind the plate than his bat, Cousino finished 2-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored. The senior catcher called his extra-inning smash the biggest hit of his career. “There are not too many teams I’d rather do that against,” he said. “We wanted to beat Anthony Wayne before we graduate. We made that goal for ourselves and we accomplished what we set out for.” Cousino, who also made a key defensive play, blocking the plate and tagging out a runner at home in the third inning, applauded Maumee’s pitching staff for its ability to recover from a blown lead and nail down a win in a pressure-packed game. Maumee led 9-3 midway through the sixth. “I knew they were capable, but I wasn’t sure their nerves could handle it,” Cousino said of Maumee’s pitching staff of Jordan Spellis, Jason Burkett and Dave McCrum. “It was nerve-wracking, but we work all offseason to make sure we are ready for these situations.” No Maumee pitcher was more poised than McCrum, who came on in the bottom of the eighth and coaxed a fly-out on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded and two outs to end the game, stranding the tying run on third base. “We battled,” Coutcher said. “So did they. It was a tough day for both teams, but our kids played better offensively than they have in a long time, and we pitched good enough to win.” McCrum, who earned the win and a save, recorded a quick out to begin the eighth before walking Tyler Deye, allowing Aaron Stark to reach on a double, and intentionally walking third baseman Tommy Eichenlaub to load the bases. Facing McCrum with his team down to its last out, Josh Schwerer was plunked by a pitch and credited with an RBI, one that prolonged the inning and cut Maumee’s lead to one. The next batter, junior Austin Kottenbrock, worked the count full before flying to right field to end the game. Maumee used an aggressive approach to bounce Anthony Wayne starter Michael Yunker from the game in the third inning. Yunker allowed four runs on four hits in 2-1/3 innings and was relieved by Schwerer, who was also hit hard, allowing five runs and seven hits in 3-2/3 innings. Szymanski hit a two-run home run off Yunker in the first, giving Maumee a 2-0 lead, and Spellis smashed a two-run homer of his own in the sixth off senior relief pitcher Zach Babb. “Both of those guys had great plate discipline, taking what they were given, and made good contact,” Coutcher said. In all, Anthony Wayne’s pitcher allowed 14 hits to the free-swinging Panthers, who scored six runs in the third inning off Yunker and Schwerer. Maumee added a run in the seventh and two in the eighth off Babb to regain the lead and send the Generals (12-2 NLL) to their first league loss since April 29. Spellis started for the Panthers and allowed seven runs (five earned) in six innings. He threw 125 pitches, struck out one and walked seven against one the league’s premier lineups.
BY SCOTT CALHOUN | MIRROR SPORTS — The Anthony Wayne softball team got a big scare from a 3-19 Findlay team, but prevailed with a 2-1 victory in eight innings to secure a Division I sectional championship at Bowling Green High School on May 14. Freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Ray twirled eight innings for a complete-game five-hitter, striking out 15 Lady Trojans batters. AW could not salt the game away, however, despite tapping into sophomore pitcher Bree Snapp for 10 hits and two hit batters. A lackluster effort by the top-seeded Generals (14-10) led to the extended game and their inability to finish it off until junior third baseman Emma Hoffman reached on a double fielding error by the Trojans with no outs in the bottom of the eighth. The Findlay misfortune plated sophomore shortstop Autumn Dickey from second. Dickey had doubled to right-center to lead off the inning. “We were lucky to win,” said a frustrated Carolyn Vogtsberger, the program’s storied longtime coach. “Findlay played up a level and we just did not play well at all today.” Dickey was the biggest offensive factor in the game, getting that distinction started in the bottom of the third when she plated junior centerfielder Haley Olvera with a one-out, bases-loaded single to right for a 1-0 AW lead. That was the lone run in regulation for the Generals, however, despite having the bases loaded with one out in the second and again in the third. In both cases, Findlay and Snapp evaded potential disaster by getting AW to hit into double plays. Junior Alex Reihing lined out to third in the second, allowing senior third baseman Jessica Blubaugh to nab Hoffman back at third. In the third, Hoffman grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to end another potential rally. The Trojans then made things very interesting in the fifth, when sophomore centerfielder Kailyn Abell’s RBI double blast to deep left-center tied the score at 1-1. Ray escaped in the seventh, disallowing the possible game-winning run by getting sophomore second baseman Madison Miller to strike out looking with runners on the corners and two outs. The Generals again created a big scoring chance in the last of the seventh, when junior Lany Nowicki belted a leadoff pinch-hit double to deep left. Junior first baseman Mac Rhodes then delivered a one-out infield single. With runners on first and second and one out, sophomore second baseman Logan Rupp flew out and then junior designated player Cassie Kaptur was called out at first on a very questionable force-out ruling by the field umpire. The Trojans threatened again by getting a runner to second with one out in the eighth, but Ray – sensational most of the evening – slammed the door shut with back-to-back strikeouts to set up Dickey and Hoffman’s game-winning offense. Dickey finished 2-for-4 for the Generals. Hoffman was 1-for-3, sophomore catcher Kaley Corcoran went 1-for-2, Rhodes batted 2-for-3 and Kaptur was 1-for-3 with a hit by pitch. Snapp batted 2-for-4 and Abell 1-for-2 with a walk and the RBI double. The Generals advanced to a district semifinal date with Ashland at Tiffin University on Wednesday.
BY ANDREW ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Springfield senior Andrew Cox and freshman Cody Wurzelbacher led the Blue Devils tennis team last week by teaming up for a fourth-place finish at the sectional tournament. The duo began the competition with a first-round bye and went on to top Southview’s Yuran Chen and Jason Bigler in the quarterfinals, 7-6 (4), 6-3. Unfortunately, Springfield’s regular first and second singles players next dropped an 0-6, 1-6 semifinal match to St. John’s Jesuit’s Kevin Brown and Ryan Brown before being edged out of third place by a 4-6, 3-6 loss to Northview’s Mohan and Mukund Sharma. Cox and Wurzelbacher will next compete at the district tournament at BGSU, where they will kick things off against Norwalk’s Trevor Bowers and Harry Lowe. The remaining Blue Devils wins came at singles. Junior Brian Chamberlain topped Fremont Ross’ Robert Joerg (6-2, 6-2) and Whitmer’s Alex Bayes (6-1, 6-0) before bowing out of the tournament after suffering an 0-6, 0-6 quarterfinals loss to St. John’s Jesuit’s Rajeev Laungani – who went on to place first. Fellow junior D.J. Helminiak matched Chamberlain with a first-round bye and a 6-4, 6-3 win over Fremont Ross’ Taran Rodriguez before losing his quarterfinal match to St. John’s eventual third-place finisher Jonah Carter (2-6, 0-6). Another Springfield junior, Ben Bucher, also competed in the singles portion of the competition. After a first-round bye, though, Bucher suffered a 3-6, 2-6 loss to Southview’s Shailen Shah in the second round. In other doubles action, seniors Brian Brubaker and Bianca Caniglia dropped their only match of the day to Southview’s Daniel Hwang and Chris Ellis, 0-6, 1-6. In preparation for sectionals, the Blue Devils ran their season record to 9-4 by splitting matches with St. Francis and Whitmer on May 13 and 14. SHS 5, Whitmer 0 Springfield swept the Panthers on the day. Wurzelbacher, Chamberlain and Helminiak defeated Bayes (6-0, 6-0), Greg Schrock (6-1, 6-0) and Bailey Hafner (6-1, 6-1) at first, second and third singles. In first doubles action, Brubaker and Caniglia teamed up for a 6-1, 7-5 win over Austin Burgess and Michael Wiseman. Bucher and junior Phil Wood topped Justin Rodriguez and Geoff Roberts, 6-2, 6-0, in the second position. St. Francis 5, SHS 0 A day earlier, the Blue Devils suffered their fourth loss of the year against a tough St. Francis squad. Springfield’s closest match came at first singles, where the Knights’ Jacob White defeated Wurzelbacher, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Sam Unnerstall and Eli Spang went on to post second and third singles wins over Chamberlain (6-1, 7-5) and Helminiak (7-6, 6-3). At doubles, the St. Francis tandem of Louis Filipiak and Joe Eid played to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Brubaker and Caniglia and Ethan Bevinton and Tom Manahan followed with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Bucher and junior Kurt Metz. NLL Tournament In addition to their success at sectionals, the Blue Devils had one of their most successful Northern Lakes League tournaments in recent memory back on May 7. Springfield placed in the upper half of four of the five matches to finish fourth over all. The Blue Devils got a pair of second-place finishes on the day from Wurzelbacher and the doubles tandem of Bucher and Helminiak. Wurzelbacher began the first singles competition with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Napoleon’s Ryan Cohrs and advanced to the finals by outlasting Southview’s Michael Udell, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Now playing for a championship, Wurzelbacher had the misfortune of playing Perrysburg’s Jeffrey Schorsch – who eventually captured his fourth league title with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. Bucher and Helminiak opened their second doubles bracket with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Bowling Green’s Joe Buzzelli and Jaden Nichols before advancing to the finals with a hard-fought 7-5, 7-6 victory over Napoleon’s Blake Biederstedt and Chase Franz. Now playing for a championship, Bucher and Helminiak dropped a 1-6, 3-6 match to Southview’s Hwang and Ellis. Cox followed with a third-place finish. After dropping his opening second singles match to Northview’s C.J. Horvath (2-6, 1-6), Cox came storming back with consolation wins over Napoleon’s Kyle Zumfelde (7-5, 6-0) and BG’s Ryan Motsinger. He then completed his comeback by placing third with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Horvath. Springfield’s first doubles team of Brubaker and Caniglia suffered a close opening-round loss to Bowling Green’s Justin Overhulse and Austin Ezzone (2-6, 6-2, 3-6), but like Cox, battled back to the consolation finals with wins over Maumee’s Will Maier and Corey Bergquist and Napoleon’s Jur Jansen and Alex Ferguson (6-1, 6-2). Though they put up a good fight in their match for third, Brubaker and Caniglia were eventually outlasted by the Perrysburg duo of Tyler Freeman and Mitchell Skotynsky, 2-6, 6-3, 3-6. Chamberlain gained the Blue Devils another two points by going 1-2 with a win over BG’s Garrett Hammer and losses to eventual Southview champion Michael Burchfield (1-6, 1-6) and Maumee’s fourth-place finisher, Mason Breeding (1-6, 7-6, 3-7). Following the tournament, Wurzelbacher was named first-team all-league and Cox received second-team status.
BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — For its dream of reaching the Division II regional tournament to remain on course, the Maumee softball team had to start out on the right track in last week’s sectional final. Mission accomplished. The Panthers took down the Wauseon Indians, 5-1, on May 14 to win a sectional title at Defiance High School and now advance to the district tournament – two games away from the regional. Maumee had the enviable task of taking on Wapakoneta on Wednesday at Miller City High School in Putnam County. Wapakoneta defeated Lima Shawnee, 8-6, in extra innings and Celina, 11-8, in the sectional final to advance. “Wapakoneta is a very good team,” said first-year Maumee coach Shawn Watson. “I watched them play Celina in their sectional championship. “They had five to six left-handed batters in their lineup and had a deep bench for subs. They led off with two very good slappers with good speed. They were down 7-0 in, I believe, the third and fourth (innings) and won the game, 11-8. “That shows a very disciplined team and we will have to have our ‘A’ game to win. We will have to play hard the entire game to win and never take our foot off the gas with a lead.” Maumee junior pitcher Sam Fowls struck out 12, walked one and allowed no earned runs and only two hits in the win over Wauseon. She faced 23 batters, throwing 65 strikes and 34 balls in seven innings of work. Things got a little scary, however, when the Indians closed the gap to 2-1 with an unearned run in the top of the fourth. “I knew my team would pull it out for the win,” Fowls said. “We had to push up our hitting to score some runs, so I knew I had faith in our team.” “Sammy has been a great pitcher for us all season,” Watson added. “It takes a lot to get her rattled. She gets herself in trouble when she tries to do too much and not trust her defense. “We have worked hard this season with the girls keeping their composure in tight situations. Playing in the NLL, if you don’t keep that composure, you are going to have a long season. “Sammy did a great job of pitching against a strong Wauseon team. We worked all of her pitches and she and (senior catcher) Kendall (Murphy) did a great job of hitting locations. “Kendall deserves a lot of credit for keeping Sammy composed in tough situations. She talks to her non-stop from behind the plate. I think her favorite saying to the pitchers is ‘stay with me.’ She shows great leadership and instills a sense of confidence and keeps all three of my pitchers calm in tough situations.” In the bottom of the fifth, with the Panthers leading just 2-1, Watson pinch-hit senior Joeal Olman to get a strong bat to the plate to create some insurance runs. Olman did not get a hit, but she had the composure to swing on a passed-ball third strike and reached first base as the leadoff batter. That started a three-run rally, giving Fowls some insurance and letting her team relax. “We hadn’t hit Wauseon’s pitcher that well and I give them credit for that,” Watson said. “We subbed Joeal into the lineup because she hits opposite field really well and the rightfielder was playing the line in close and wanted to get Joeal on base to try and open the game up. “She got to first, just not the way we wanted on a dropped third strike. We subbed Abigail (O’Hair) back into the game and let her speed on the bases take over. Our athletes just manufactured runs that inning to give us a little breathing room. “Kendall was a hitting machine and went 3-for-3 and (senior Kaylyn) Quiniff and (senior Bailee) Patterson both went 1-for-3, both with doubles.” Quiniff, who missed the entire basketball season because of an ACL injury, welcomed the challenge Wauseon provided. “It’s just more of the fight,” Quiniff said. “We knew we could do it – it might take us a few innings, but in the end it always works out. We find a way to get the win no matter what.” Also getting hits were freshman Evyn Kachen-meister, sophomore Salwa Al-Hajabed and junior Janie Hudson. Kachenmeister had a first-inning RBI and she and Hudson each stole a base. Wauseon’s starting pitcher, junior Sam Norman, in a pitchers’ battle between two “Sams,” only lasted through that three-run fifth inning. She struck out six, walked one and allowed four earned runs on eight hits. Freshman reliever Brooke Whipple faced just three batters in the seventh, striking out two. The only Wauseon hits, both singles, were produced by outfielders Ashley Smith and Sydney Chamberlain. If Maumee takes down Wapakoneta, it faces the Lima Bath-Defiance winner in the district final at noon on Saturday for the right to advance to the regional tournament. Defiance defeated Scott 35-0 and Napoleon 10-2 to advance, and state-ranked Bath defeated Van Wert 10-0 in a mercy-rule five innings.