WAYNE — Wayne pitcher Tori Kniesche took care of everything Thursday as she registered 21 strikeouts in a no-hitter in a matchup of softball powerhouses.
Wayne and Guardian Angels Central Catholic met on the diamond at the Wayne Softball Sports Complex here with Wayne coming away with a 3-0 win.
After Wayne scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings, Kniesche again struck out the side in the top of the seventh to seal the victory.
“Coach (Kevin) Hill has been showing me things about pitching since I was eight,” Kniesche said. “I love my teammates, and I love our coaches. We will finish the season in a great way if we all stick together, and we will.”
Between the two teams, they had lost a combined four games this fall, with bigger games to play.
“We were glad to come out on top,” Wayne coach Rob Sweetland said. “We’ll maybe see them again at the conference tournament, but winning the game today was very nice.”
In addition to an opening 10-0 win over Logan View/Scribner-Snyder, Wayne moved to 23-3 and looks ready to move along to the next step, which is conference and district play. The game against Logan View/Scribner-Snyder was shortened to four innings by the 10-run rule.
“They’re all big games, doesn’t matter where or why,” Sweetland said. “It’s so important for us to play every game like it’s the most important — and we continue to do just that.”
After having seemingly little trouble in the opening game, the Blue Devils engaged in a pitcher’s duel with the Bluejays.
“I knew this was going to be a tough game,” GACC coach Allan Kreikemeier said. “I thought if we could get a run or two, we’d be just fine.”
Kreikemeier was correct, but Kniesche took care of the Wayne end of the equation.
GACC starting pitcher Brooke Meister did her job as well, holding the Blue Devils at bay until being removed after the fourth inning.
“It’s the way we do things,” Kreikemeier said. “We have two great pitchers, and we use them both a lot.”
Wayne finally got on the board in the fifth, with what ended up being enough runs to win the game.
After a strikeout from the Bluejays’ second pitcher, Erin Franzluebbers, Aliah Schulz rifled a triple into the gap in right center.
Two pitches later, Schulz scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0 for the Blue Devils.
In the sixth. Wayne added a pair of insurance runs from Kayla Fleming after a walk and Hope O’Reilly, who got aboard on an error.
“We need to hit the ball better from here on out,” Sweetland said. “But these were a couple of quality wins for us tonight.”
As for the Bluejays, “we’ll go home and regroup for the weekend and for the rest of the season,” Kreikemeier said. “We need to put the ball in play against them — but she’s one great pitcher.”
Wayne 3, Guardian Angels 0
GA 000 000 0 — 0 0 2
W 000 012X — 3 2 0
WP: Tori Kniesche LP: Erin Franzluebbers.
3B: W Aliah Schulz.