Meadville Tribune


April 10, 2014

Malczak powers Eagles to region win over Bulldogs

MEADVILLE — Positive-minded Meadville coach Jim Moats is rubbing off on his players.

 Case in point: Trailing Grove City 13-4 entering the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday afternoon, Meadville could have very easily went down 1-2-3.

Not these Lady Bulldogs.

Turning a negative game into a positive ending, Meadville showed its fight by scoring two runs to give Moats another encouraging sign for the future.

Final score: Grove City 13, Meadville 6.

“The one thing about these girls ... they don’t give up,” said second-year coach Moats. “Although we were on the losing end, I saw a lot of good things.”

Moats realizes the truth, too. He reflected on the Lady Bulldogs’ main downfalls against Grove City.

“We have to learn how to play the game better. The little things that we go over in practice and do well in, we forget about them when game time comes. Our defense beat us up (today).”

Offense was the topic in the first inning as both Grove City and Meadville each scored three runs.

In the Eagles’ first inning, Taylor Shingledecker and Grace Dadzaa led off with singles and Jordan Malczak followed with a three-run home run.

Moats & Co. didn’t flinch an eye.

After Alexis Rhoades led off with a walk, Jordan Boca-Wimer drilled a one-out triple down the right-field line. With two outs, senior Megan Alexander electrified the Lady Bulldogs’ dugout with a two-run home run to left field.

Capitalizing on a lead-off error by Meadville, Grove City regained the lead by scoring two runs in the second inning to take a 5-3 lead.

The Lady Bulldogs answered back ... but not enough.

In the bottom of the second, Emilee Kessler was hit by a pitch to start the inning and later scored on Rhoades’ one-out single to left field. Promising freshman Arianna Hoffman then reached on a fielder’s choice in which GC failed to record an out — putting Rhoades and Hoffman on third and second, respectively, with one out.

Rhoades and Hoffman didn’t move, however, as Grove City pitcher Maddie Elberty beared down and retired Boca-Wimer on a pop out and Taylor Nottingham on a groundout.

Opening the third inning with three consecutive hits (double, single and triple), the Eagles gave themselves breathing room by scoring three runs to take an 8-4 lead.

Rhoades, the Lady Bulldogs’ talented sophomore pitcher, then settled down by throwing three scoreless innings and only allowing one hit.

“Alexis is learning how to pitch now ... how to set up batters and I know she will only get better,” said Moats.

The seventh inning didn’t go as well for Rhoades as Grove City put on its hitting shoes again by scoring five runs.

As mentioned, the Lady Bulldogs didn’t go down quietly.

Rhoades and Hoffman led off the seventh with successive singles and later scored on Nottingham’s RBI groundout and Alexander’s run-scoring single, respectively.

The setback dropped the Lady Bulldogs to 0-3 on the season.

Meadville’s top sticks: Rhoades (three-for-three) and Alexander (two-for-four).

Malczak was an offensive force for Grove City by going four-for-five with six runs batted in. Cassie Feather was two-for-four with three RBI.

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A South Carolina woman was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The decision has created a debate over “free-range” parenting and whether it’s a good idea or not. What’s your take?

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