WADSWORTH — Good things can happen for a softball team with production from the top of the lineup.
Host Wadsworth reaped the benefits of its one through four batters consistently reaching base on a windy Thursday to earn a 10-5 win over Copley in a Suburban League crossover game.
Emily Whitaker, Jenna Skinner, Madison Long and Shelby Mayes combined to reach base 12 times with 10 hits, eight runs scored and five RBI.
“We strung a lot of hits together and made great contact with the ball,” said Long, who had two singles, one double, four RBI and scored two runs.
Wadsworth triumphed one day after beating Cuyahoga Falls 18-5 and two days after losing to Hudson 1-0.
“We really came out wanting a lot of hits and we wanted to score a lot of runs yesterday and today,” Whitaker said. “I think we took what we learned on Tuesday and brought it into yesterday and today.”
Wadsworth coach Mike Schmeltzer Sr. praised his players for being “very competitive.” Seniors Corynn Rench, Jess Ryan, Cassidy McDougal, Emily Cingle, Skinner, Long and Mayes set the tone.
Wadsworth (9-4) took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Whitaker led off with a double and scored on a single by Long. Mayes and Rench followed with singles that scored sophomore Erin Morrison and Mayes.
“As the leadoff hitter, I want to get on base and set the mood for the game,” said Whitaker, a junior who hit two doubles and one single and scored three runs.
The Grizzlies made it 5-0 in the second inning by taking advantage of three errors. Ryan and Whitaker each reached base on an error and came around to score.
Copley (4-8) then put together six hits in a row that led to four runs in the third. Senior Kendal Farren, freshman Missy Deptowicz, sophomore Meghan Hersey, senior Emily Reese and freshman Cassie Bauer each hit a single, and junior Michelle Caye lined a double to left field.
Wadsworth regained control with five more runs. Skinner batted in Ryan in the fourth and junior Jessi Voitko singled in Mayes in the fifth. The Grizzlies scored three runs in the sixth with Long hitting a double to score Whitaker and Skinner, and junior Emma Spoerke hitting a single to score Morrison.
“I think we can go into our next game more relaxed knowing that we can hit the ball and have confidence in ourselves,” said Mayes, who had two singles, one double and scored two runs.
Reese singled in senior Lexy Gingras in the seventh to give Copley its final run.
“We are capable of playing very solid ball,” Copley coach John Virgin said. “I told my kids, ‘Look at the scoreboard from the third inning on and see what happened. If you make just the average plays that you are expected to make, we can be very competitive.’”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com.