Meadville Tribune

May 2, 2014

H.S. Softball: Lady Bulldogs top Rockets in five

By Pete Chiodo
Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — It’s said that winning breeds winning.

And on the heels of Meadville’s 10-2 victory over Maplewood on Monday, the Lady Bulldogs have fashioned themselves a nice little streak, avenging an earlier loss to Slippery Rock with a 13-2, five-inning victory over the Rockets on Friday at the Crawford County Fairgrounds.

“We’re doing all the little things that coach keeps telling us about,” said Bulldogs senior Taylor Nottingham. “And it’s really showing that that’s what we need to work on. And bonding as a team is really helping us as well.”

The win improves Meadville’s record to 3-8 on the season, and it’s the `Dogs’ first victory in Region 6, where they are now 1-5.

“It does feel good,” said fellow senior Alex Smith. “We’ve been struggling with the little errors and we’ve been working on that hard in practice. And we knew how (Slippery Rock’s) pitcher pitched the first time, so we had to wait on the ball. And all the work we put in during practice really paid on off.”

After being held to one hit against Slippery Rock pitcher Morgan Longdon in an 8-5 loss to the Rockets back in April, the Bulldogs scattered 10 base hits during yesterday’s rematch.

Nottingham was 3-for-4 with a triple and scored a team-high four runs in the outing. Smith was 2-for-3, swatting a double and driving in a whopping five RBIs. Kaycee Keas was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs. And Alexis Rhoades was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

“Today we really hit the ball well,” said Bulldogs head coach Jim Moats. “This girl (Longdon) one-hit us the last time we were down there. And we talked about the adjustments that we needed to make (Thursday). And the girls did well making those adjustments and really hit the ball on the button.

“Even our outs were hit hard.”

Rhoades also had a solid outing in the pitching circle for Meadville. Through five innings of work, she allowed two runs on four hits, walked one and struck out four.

Meadville’s offense did a good job of giving Rhoades a lead to work with. Slippery Rock struck for a run in the first. But then Meadville scored four in the bottom half of the inning, and tacked on three more in the second to take command.

The Bulldogs also played it clean on defense, committing no errors while the Rockets were charged with three.

“The last couple games, the big key was those little things I talked about that have been killing us,” said Moats. “And we’re making the adjustments and fixing them.”

The Bulldogs will try to make it three in a row when they take on Sharon (1-9) today at 11 a.m. in Sharon.

“We just want to stay on this same little roll we’re on,” said Moats. “We’ve got a little bit of excitement going, so it’s fun.”