COVENTRY TWP.: Archbishop Hoban brought the show to the Spring Showcase softball tournament Sunday afternoon.
What shaped up as a marquee matchup turned into a stroll at Logan Park for Hoban (8-4), which struck early and often en route to a 16-1 victory over Medina.
The Knights led 9-1 after three innings, and added an exclamation point with seven runs in the sixth as the game ended an inning early because of the mercy rule.
“I was optimistic we would hit the ball,” Hoban coach Bob Mosher said. “But never in my wildest dreams did I think we would get the combination of hits that we had, and they had a couple errors that hurt them early on and they couldn’t come back from it.”
Hoban mounted a 16-hit attack while Medina’s usually potent lineup was held in check by junior right-hander Kate Boylan. The Knights won two of their three tournament games during the past two days.
Players and fans also welcomed sunny and relatively mild conditions, compared to windy, frigid Saturday.
“[Medina is] a good team and they hit the ball well,” Mosher said. “Kate Boylan did a real nice job with them today.”
Boylan also had three hits, as did teammates Maddie Diestel and Erin Gerity.
Sophomore right fielder Lisa Harris scored three runs and every member of the Knights’ lineup crossed the plate at least once. Hoban batted around twice, including a six-run third when Boylan had a pair of hits and a two-run double by freshman Colleen Cain, which was the big blow.
The Bees also committed two of their six errors to prolong the inning.
Medina (7-4) lost its second in a row after starting the Showcase with an 8-4 win over Ellet Saturday.
“It’s a disappointing loss any time you have errors in the field, whether they be physical or mental,” said Medina coach Jessica Toocheck. “It kills you, and I think that was what happened today.
“We didn’t come and play seven innings of softball, and you have to play seven innings, especially against a good team. You got to give it to them, they had hits, they hit holes. They hit everything.”
A run-scoring single by Johanna Nicodemus put Hoban on the board in the first. Gerity and Harris singled in the second and scored on a two-out error to make it 3-0.
Madison Loftis’ one-out single in the second drove in Maria Vanadia for Medina’s lone run, before Boylan worked out of a bases-loaded jam.
Boylan (7-2) scattered five hits, walked two and struck out six.
“Medina has a really great hitting team,” said Boylan. “They made contact but our defense did a really great job of getting the girls out and making the plays.”
She admitted the healthy offensive support made her task less daunting.
Diestel, a junior first-baseman, doubled and singled among the eight hits in the Knights’ sixth-inning outburst. It included a two-run double by senior Natalie Bender, a two-run single by freshman Haylee Fisher and RBI singles by Cain, Harris and Boylan.
“With all the runs we had on the board it really calms you,” said Boylan. “And I know the team has our back. It just gives me a lot of reassurance and gives me more confidence on the mound.”
Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps.