Meadville Tribune

Sports

April 3, 2012

H.S. SOFTBALL: Smith leads Tigers on mound, at plate

April 3, 2012 7:00 a.m. CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — Maplewood head coach Kelley Onderko calls them the dynamic duo. And junior battery mates Taylor Smith and Emily Merritt lived up to the name on Monday.

Smith pitched a complete-game two-hitter to go along with two singles, a run and an RBI, and her catcher Merritt singled and scored once while playing a solid game behind the plate. They helped the Tigers edge Cambridge Springs 4-2 in a Region 3 contest in Cambridge Springs.

For Maplewood (4-0, 3-0 Region 3), the game was a little too close for comfort. The Tigers were coming off a 15-0 win over Conneaut Lake on Friday, while the Blue Devils (0-3, 0-3) were a game removed from a 21-13 defeat at the hands of Conneaut Valley on the same day.

The Tigers struggled with the slower pitching style of Cambridge freshman Sadie Brown, who kept her team in it all game. Maplewood led 2-1 after five innings before two unearned runs in the sixth created a little cushion.

“This was kind of like a wakeup call I guess,” Onderko said. “I think it was different for us because we’re used to seeing faster pitching. She was a lot slower. We struggled with that — not slowing our swings down but waiting for the ball to get to them.”

Maplewood still did enough, especially with its small-ball style. The Tigers put down five bunts during the first five innings, including three infield singles and two sacrifices. They led off both the first and fourth innings with bunt singles, and both led to runs.

“Bunts are big with us,” Onderko said. “We have girls who have speed to burn and that’s what we do. That’s one of our strategies that we always have.”

While Brown was holding down the Maplewood offense, Smith was doing the same and more to the Spa’s batters. The Devils managed just one hit through the first six innings, and that was a two-out RBI single in the second inning by Kristen Kargol.

Smith surrendered one earned run on two hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. She retired 13 straight after Kargol’s RBI hit. And she was hitting the outside corner against right-handed hitters all game.

“He (the umpire) was definitely giving me outside and it was awesome,” Smith said.

Helping Smith’s case was Merritt’s framing of each and every pitch.

“We work well as a battery ’cause we’re buddies,” Smith said. “I always do well when she’s back there. I don’t know why. She frames the ball really well.”

The pair also did well at the plate. With the game tied at one, Merritt led off the third with a single. After Merritt stole second and Kendra Turner singled, Smith’s squeeze bunt scored Merritt to push the Tigers ahead 2-1.

Merritt walked and both Madalyn Nicols and Smith singled to load the bases in the sixth. After Merritt was out at home on another squeeze-bunt attempt, Caitlyn Hartman’s two-out fly ball to center field was dropped by Mackenzie Turner. Both Nicols and Smith scored to bump Maplewood ahead 4-1.

Smith welcomed the insurance runs. The Spa added an unearned run in the final inning, but a bouncer back to Smith ended the game.

“It’s definitely harder to go out when you don’t have a cushion behind you,” Smith said. “You have to make sure you’re getting the outs and nobody else is going to get on. It’s more pressure, but you get through it.”

Though it was a loss, Cambridge showed improvement from last week’s 21-13 defeat. Brown walked 14 batters during four and two-thirds innings in that game compared to giving out just two free passes on Monday.

“We don’t talk about that game. That game’s over,” Cambridge Springs head coach Angie Mumford said. “Our philosophy is when we’re up to bat or playing defense, it’s one pitch at a time. Our girls know every pitch matters. As long as we don’t walk people, we’re going to be competitive.”

Notes: Turner went 3-for-4 for Maplewood. She drove home Jaricka Simmerman, whose bunt single started the game. ... Randi Felton had an RBI single in the seventh inning for Cambridge. ... Kalee Slayton scored the Spa’s first run from second base on Kargol’s hit. Tigers left fielder Molly Bernoski thought she made a diving catch to end the inning, but the infield umpire said the ball skipped into her glove.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Kyle Wise Panthers rally to beat Huskies

    Through three innings Tuesday afternoon at home, it looked like it was going to be a very long day for the Saegertown baseball team.
    The wind and the cold didn’t appear to bother Harbor Creek starting pitcher Issac Mattson as the senior struck out nine batters through the first three frames, including four strikeouts in the first inning alone.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greggs and Bison knock Bulldogs down to earth

    Back to reality.
    Coming off one of its biggest wins in recent years on Friday with a 10-5 victory over previously unbeaten Saegertown, Meadville fell victim to possibly being over confident against Fort LeBoeuf.

    April 22, 2014

  • Devils sweep Tigers

    Just six days earlier, the Cambridge Springs boys volleyball coaching staff sat on the sidelines at Saegertown High School perplexed and disappointed as they watched the Blue Devils give away opportunity after opportunity.

    April 22, 2014

  • Abby Clulow Cardinals overcome offensive woes to remain unbeaten

    Abby Clulow is confident that sooner or later the bats are going to come alive for the Cochranton softball team. She is also pretty confident that until then the Lady Cardinals will continue to find a way to get the job done.
    After all, how could she feel any differently?

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fight.jpg Brewers win in 14th after early brawl with Pirates

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
    Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pivotal Game 3 awaits Pens and Blue Jackets

    Not so long ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets were the worst team in the NHL.
    Now they’re heading home for tonight’s Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the star-studded Pittsburgh Penguins hoping to make even more history.

    April 20, 2014

  • Blue Jacket_DiRi.jpg Blue Jackets edge Penguins 4-3 in double overtime

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • College Softball: DePauw earns NCAC sweep over Allegheny

    It’s gut-check time for the Allegheny College softball team.

    April 19, 2014

  • Biggs.jpg Big first inning leads Meadville to win over Saegertown

    So, how does one go about beating the Saegertown baseball team? It’s a question that District 10 programs have been asking themselves for years now.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor, Osborne lead Panthers to 12-1 win over CASH

    Saegertown freshman Kendra Taylor had no reason to believe that Friday afternoon’s non-region softball game would go like any other.

    April 18, 2014

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Poll

In terms of the overall livability and workability of the City of Meadville, which component of the city’s infrastructure should receive top priority?

Streets
Stormwater control
Parks
Other
It’s too difficult to single one out
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks