MUNSON TOWNSHIP—North spotted host Chardon a five-run first inning lead but the Rangers worked their way back into the game and pulled out a 12-8 victory over their Western Reserve Conference rivals on Wednesday.
Freshman Olivia Augusta shook off the beating she took in the bottom of the first and held the Hilltoppers to just three runs in the final six innings. She also added a solo home run in the fifth to help her own cause.
“Chardon came out swinging and put the ball in play that first inning,” North coach Taylor Braddock said. “We knew coming in Chardon was going to put the ball in play, but once Liv settled down she starting hitting her spots and her pitches began to work. She held them to only a couple of runs after their big first inning, which is huge for a freshman to do after the first inning she had.”
Kayla Preziuso led off the bottom of the first with a single and Kayla Noerr followed with a base hit. Marisa Organiscak then tripled to give the Hilltoppers an early 2-0 lead.
Jackie Adkins was then hit by a pitch and Lexie Leggett singled home two more runs then scored on Olivia Adkins’ two-out single to push the lead to 5-0.
“That was a glimpse of what this team is capable of,” Chardon coach Stewart Landies said of the first-inning rally. “It’s just too many errors, too many walks. You can’t win games that way, not against teams that you’re evenly matched with and I think these two teams are probably mirror images of each other. They had less errors and less walks and that’s the way it goes.”
Jess Dodd began North’s comeback in the top of the second when she was hit by a pitch to give the Rangers a baserunner with no outs. She scored on a ground out.
Madie Cicero began a three-run third when she reached on an error and scored on Adri George’s double. Hannah Harris was hit by a pitch, George scored on a sacrifice fly and Dodd hit an RBI single to pull the Rangers to within 5-4. Dodd then stole second and scored on a groundout and an error to tie the game.
Ashlee Kronik singled and scored in the fourth and Augusta hit her solo shot in the fifth to give the Rangers a 7-5 lead.
Chardon scored two runs on four hits in the bottom of the fifth to once again tie the score but the Rangers responded with two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh.
“Going back to what I said preseason, we are going to hit some bumps with being a young team, but because we’re young, the girls play with grit and never give up,” Braddock said. “From 1-9, everyone did what they were supposed to today. We had a lot of big two-out hits and as a coaching staff we are very proud of the girls that took walks in RBI situations to pass the bat.”
George, Dodd and Kronik each finished with two hits for the Rangers while Hailie Wilson knocked in a game-high four runs.
Noerr finished 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI for the Hilltoppers and Organiscak, Madison Russo and Olivia Adkins recorded a pair of hits. Organiscak legged out two triples in the first two innings of play.
Chardon outhit North, 13-9.
Augusta allowed eight earned runs on those 13 hits and struck out eight in picking up the victory. Noerr took the loss after allowing six earned runs on six hits in five innings of work. Madison Hauser allowed two earned runs on three hits in her two innings in the circle.