COVENTRY TWP: Howling cold wind, occasional snow flurries and dark clouds combined for unpleasant conditions at Logan Field on Saturday afternoon.
Medina found it a fine day for hitting softballs, though. The Bees collected nine hits and pounded out an 8-4 victory over Ellet in a featured game of the Spring Showcase. It was limited to five innings by the tournament’s 90-minute rule.
Jen Sansonette started the scoring with a two-run double in the first, and smacked a solo home run in the third that put Medina (7-2) ahead to stay.
Eight of the nine batters each scored a single run for Medina.
“Sometimes they feed off of one another,” Medina coach Jessica Toocheck said. “It was a good team effort, offensively and defensively. It was a good win for us against a quality team.”
The wind was gusting toward left field much of the day, and on a full-count pitch, Sansonette lifted one in that direction that cleared the high chain-link fence for a 4-3 lead with one out in the third.
“I knew I had two strikes on me, so I just wanted to make sure I got a decent hit for my team, or foul off anything that was close,” said Sansonette, a senior third baseman. “And on the first one [double], I was just looking to get a pitch.”
She drove that one over the center fielder on the first pitch with two outs in the first, scoring Madison Tata and Maria Vanadia, both of whom walked.
“I believe they were both low,” Sansonette said. “I like low pitches. I’ve never hit one out before, so this is the first for me.”
Ellet (4-4) found itself battling from behind all game. Abby Ross and Laura Lakins singled with one out in the first and Madison Hayes followed with a another single to drive in Ross, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
Alyssa Cook flied out to left fielder Jessie Holzman, who fired a strike to Vanadia at home. The senior catcher blocked Lakins before she could reach the plate and absorbed the collision for the third out. Vanadia was momentarily shaken up, while the Ellet bench protested that she missed the tag.
Medina’s Madison Loftis walked and scored on Holzman’s two-out double in the second, but Ellet scored twice in its half of the inning to tie it at 3-3. Autumn Smith walked, Adrianna Maxwell singled and both scored on sophomore Emily Murray’s two-out double.
Medina responded quickly. After Sansonette’s homer, two errors and a walk loaded the bases. A bunt by Paige Kovalchik scooted all the way through the right side of the infield to score two runs for a 6-3 lead.
“I thought both teams played well under the conditions,” Ellet coach Chuck Shuman said. “Both pitchers worked through the wind and the cold as well as they could. [Medina is] a good ballclub. They put the bat on the ball and they make you make plays. They took advantage of the opportunities they had.”
Ellet managed 10 hits, two each by Lakins, Maxwell and Cook. But the Orangemen stranded seven runners, three of those in the fifth. Medina pitcher Megan Paradise (7-2) struck out two and walked two.
Bees junior shortstop Vanessa Scoarste smacked an RBI triple in the fifth, scoring herself on an error on the same play for an 8-4 lead.
“It’s always tough to play in cold conditions with the wind,” Toocheck said. “It’s more about being mentally strong throughout the game. Both teams had to battle it and all the players did a good job pushing through.”
Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps.