Meadville Tribune

Sports

May 7, 2013

H.S. SOFTBALL: Nicols comes up big for Maplewood

May 7, 2013 7:00 a.m. COCHRANTON — Going into play on Tuesday, Maplewood was the lone team with any chance of catching Saegertown in the Region 3 softball title race.

But at the end of a seven-inning affair with Cambridge Springs, the Lady Tigers went from having an opportunity to share the Region 3 crown with the Panthers to a game back of the Blue Devils for the region’s lone Class AA playoff berth.

Needless to say, it had been a trying couple of days for Maplewood leading into Thursday’s clash with Cochranton. So when the Tigers stepped off the bus at Cochranton High School, they did so with a chip on their shoulders.

And at the end of the game, the Tigers were back in business.

Maplewood beat the Cardinals 3-1. With the win and Cambridge Springs’ loss to Union City yesterday, the Tigers are now in a virtual tie with the Lady Devils for that coveted Class AA playoff spot.

Cambridge Springs finished its Region 3 schedule at 4-4. Maplewood (8-4 overall) is now 3-3 with games against Union City and Saegertown remaining.

“I think it was a huge eye-opener after Cambridge,” Maplewood coach Hannah Parker said. “We did not have a good game at all.

“We actually did not have practice (Wednesday) because we thought there was going to be a thunderstorm. So they came out (yesterday) ready to play. This was the first game that when we showed up and got off the bus, I was like, ‘OK. We’re here to play today.’”

The Tigers had everything going yesterday. They played clean defense, finishing the game with just one miscue. They got timely, solid base hits, ran the bases well. And they got a sensational performance on the mound from Madalyn Nicols.

“Stellar,” Parker said. “Just stellar.

“She was really, really solid. She doesn’t throw a whole lot at practice. Her stamina isn’t up as much as Taylor’s (Smith) is. But she is very reliable to go in and throw strikes, which is awesome.

“We have worked with her in the past. She has that attitude. She wants to be in charge and she wants to be in charge of what is going on around her and in charge of the show.”

That she was.

With the exception of the first inning, the sophomore was in complete control.

The Tigers gave their pitcher a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Emily Merritt led off the game with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a single by Caitlyn Hartman.

In the bottom half of the inning, Nicols hit a pair of batters and walked another to load the bases, but got out of it unscathed.

Nicols allowed a total of just three hits. One of those hits was a solo home run by Sam Kinter in third inning. She walked two and struck out seven.

Nicols was a prime example of playing with a chip on her shoulder. She doesn’t want to play any part in the seniors’ careers ending prematurely.

“We have six or seven seniors and they don’t want to end their seasons,” Nicols said. “They want to have the best season they can. We’re doing it for the seniors.

“We’re playing with more confidence. And that’s the way we need to play.”

The Tigers scored what would prove to be the game-winning run in the second inning, and it was set up by none other than Nicols.

Nicols led off the second inning with a laser shot to the fence in left-center field for a double — a hit teammates, rivals and fans were still talking about at the game’s conclusion.

She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a throwing error on a bunt by Brianna Proudfoot. Proudfoot later scored on another error.

Cochranton pitcher Natalie Brock shut the Tigers down the rest of the way. The Cardinals’ offense just couldn’t get anything going against Nicols.

“It’s the same thing,” Cochranton coach Mark McGuire said. “We’re not making our own breaks. Every time we hit the ball hard, it’s right to someone.

“Part of it is a credit to them … But we just aren’t getting the breaks.”

They suffered a pretty bad break in the third inning. Second baseman Abby Clulow dove to her right attempting to catch a line drive off the bat of Nicols and landed awkwardly on her shoulder and had to leave the game. McGuire said the extent of her injury isn’t known, but it is not believe to be serious. Losing Clulow, known as The General, for any period of time, though, would hurt the Cardinals.

“She’s a special kind of player,” McGuire said.

Brock pitched all seven innings for the Cardinals and allowed seven hits, walked no one and struck out three. Only one of the three runs against her was earned.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Hawley scores District 1 finishes off dominant pool performance by trouncing New Jersey

    Pitchers often get the most credit in shutout victories. And Emma Osborne, Katy Dunn and Emily Beddick have certainly been deserving for District 1.
    Its defense, though, has been equally deserving.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sliding into second District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs

    Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
    “Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers camp Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
    Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • District 1 dominates at East Regional

    Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kissing the bricks Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal

    There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
    And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.

    July 26, 2014

  • Teen doping Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise

    Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
    The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske

    Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
    The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.

    July 25, 2014

  • Haley Wise District 1 looking forward to bigger goals

    The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville's magical season comes to an end

    The state run is over for the Meadville Junior League All-Stars.
    Guess they’ll just have to content themselves with a District 1 championship, a Section 1 championship and an incredible turnaround from the year before.

    July 24, 2014

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Poll

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?

I’m fine with it. If she cannot afford childcare, what choice does she have?
This is horrible and very bad parenting.
I’m torn. It’s not right what she did, but it sounds like the mother had few other options.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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