Freshman Alyssa Cook made sure her debut into the Ellet and Firestone softball rivalry was a memorable one Tuesday at Davenport Park.
Cook, who is 14 years old, singled in a run in each of her first three at bats from the cleanup spot in the batting order and caught all five innings of an Ellet 11-0 victory over visiting Firestone.
“This was a rush,” said Cook, whose 15th birthday is April 30. “I had a lot of fun.”
Cook was one of several players that helped Ellet (6-6, 4-0) defeat Firestone (5-7, 4-1) in a City Series game shortened by the 10-run rule.
“We are pleased with this performance,” Ellet coach Chuck Shuman said. “Our No. 1 goal is to take care of the City Series. Firestone is a formidable opponent. We are just happy that the girls came out focused, put the bat on the ball and were aggressive at the plate.”
Cook, sophomore Emily Murray, junior Abby Ross and senior Alex Lupo all had multiple hits for Ellet.
“We have, overall, a young team,” Shuman said. “The thing about all of our freshmen and sophomores is that they all stay focused when they step across the line. Their heads are into the ballgame. Alyssa has shown that. I told her that earlier in the year, that she has the game on her mind, and definitely has the experience in playing in tough situations.”
Ellet sophomore right-hander Autumn Smith pitched around a bases-loaded jam in the first inning to get a shutout.
Junior Meredith Eichenlaub walked and senior Quinn Lentz singled to open the Falcons first inning. Eichenlaub was forced out at third when sophomore Madi Wellendorf reached base.
Smith proceeded to strike out junior Kristin Skeans, walk sophomore Alexis Lee and get sophomore Montana Hollis to fly out to end the inning.
“That was disappointing,” Firestone coach Bruce Clough said. “The first inning we had some good at bats. It looked like the kids were on top of things. They are young. Maybe the prosperity scared them. I don’t know for sure.”
Smith admitted she was nervous about the situation.
“I was a little worried, but I didn’t want to let my nervousness take control of me,” Smith said of the first inning. “I wanted to pick the team up and get the outs that we needed.”
Smith walked two in the final four innings.
“The pitches that were working for me the most were my high fastball and my curve,” Smith said.
Shuman was pleased with Smith’s perseverance.
“Autumn can be good,” Shuman said. “We really like the fact that she gets stronger as the game goes on. I thought that she showed that today. We have got a lot of faith in Autumn and we just know that her potential is still out there.”
Cook singled in sophomore Laura Lakins in the first.
Ellet scored five runs in the second inning, three in the third and two in the fourth.
“This gives us an idea of where we are and where we have to be,” Cook said. “This gives us additional confidence.”
Murray hit a double, a two-run home run and scored two runs. Ross doubled, singled and batted in two runs. Lupo and sophomore Madison Hayes also had run-scoring hits.
Lakins, Lupo and sophomores Adrianna Maxwell and Amanda Wolf all scored two runs.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.