Strong gusts of wind and cooler temperatures did not seem to bother the Walsh Jesuit softball team Monday.
Walsh wasted little time asserting itself in a rivalry game against host Archbishop Hoban.
Freshman Lilli Piper led off the top of the first inning with a home run to right-center field, and the Warriors gradually extended the lead en route to defeating the Knights 12-2 in a North Coast League Blue Division game that was called after five innings due to the run rule.
“We just came in ready to play well,” Walsh coach Bill Davis said. “We hit the ball very well today.”
Senior Courtney Iacobacci and junior Jackie Ammar both collected three hits to lead the Warriors (11-4, 3-2).
“Playing Hoban is always a big deal for us,” Iacobacci said. “They are a rival of ours and we always look forward to playing them.”
Walsh’s run total was more than enough for senior right-hander Katarina Davis, who pitched a complete game and limited the Knights (6-9, 2-3) to two hits.
Davis said her curveball and screwball were effective.
Walsh finished the game with 14 hits and also took advantage of seven Hoban errors. The Warriors’ leadoff batter reached base and scored in all five innings.
“Walsh is an exceptionally talented team and they hit the ball really, really well,” Hoban coach Bob Mosher said. “I told our girls that is what we need to be to take it to the next level.”
Iacobacci doubled to left-center right after Piper’s homer, advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by junior Cori Anter and scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman Riley Ries to up Walsh’s lead to 2-0.
Ammar singled in the second inning and scored two batters later on an RBI single by senior Lauren Hurley.
The Warriors made it 7-0 in the third. Iacobacci started the inning with a triple to left-center. She scored along with Anter, Ries and Ammar. Hurley hit an RBI double in the inning.
“I have some good freshmen on this team, with the two starters and two more on the bench,” Davis said. “Riley Ries and Lilli Piper are good hitters. Lilli started the game off with a home run, which set the tone for the rest of the game.”
Walsh added three runs in the fourth and two runs in the fifth.
Piper doubled to start the fourth and scored on an Iacobacci single.
Sophomore Taylor Stimson smacked a double to left that scored Iacobacci and Anter.
“I just come out to play with a lot of confidence,” Piper said. “Yes, I am a freshman, but I want everyone to look at me as just another player.”
The Warriors’ onslaught concluded in the fifth when Anter singled in Hurley and junior Kelly Wilson.
Hoban, which entered Monday with a five-game winning streak, scored two runs in the fifth.
Junior Natalie Bender singled in sophomore Marianne Dannemiller and then scored on a wild pitch.
“We took a step backward today, but hopefully we’ll bounce back in our next game,” Mosher said. “We are a very young team this year.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. 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.