The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

April 18, 2012

If the ‘Schup’ fits...

Schupska, Geneva get past Edgewood

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Backed by solid defense and timely hitting, Geneva’s Kristen Schupska used all her pitches effectively on Tuesday afternoon in leading the Geneva Eagles to a 5-1 non-conference win over the Edgewood Warriors.

Schupska’s dominance was not indicative of the final score.

“We were able to stay focused today,” Geneva coach Eleshia Pitcher said. “We had a major problem with that yesterday.”

The Eagles had a less-than-stellar performance in committing eight errors on Monday in a Premier Athletic Conference loss to North.

Schupska didn’t allow her first baserunner until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Taylor Diemer dropped a bunt in front of the plate and beat it out.

There wasn’t much of a let down by Geneva, as the next hitter, Deanna Laughlin, drilled a shot up the middle that shortstop Sarah Depp fielded and flipped to her twin Becky, who fired a strike to first baseman Sonia Leishman for a double play.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth that Geneva committed its only error of the game,  and it proved to be harmless as Schupska, who fanned six while walking none, had only a momentary lapse in the seventh frame.

“The girls did an awesome job today,” Pitcher said. “We’ve been hitting well this season. Several of the girls are over the .300 (batting average) mark, and we have three or four girls getting on base at better than a .400 clip. Our confidence levels are much better this year than last, and it shows in our attitudes.”

Sarah Depp singled to right with one out in the first, made it to second on a fielder’s choice when a relay to second was dropped on Kayla Kamppi’s grounder, and with two out, Leishman delivered the game’s first run with a single to left.

Kamppi ignited a short two-run burst in the third with a triple to right center. Sydney McCaleb wasted little time bringing the next run home, sending a single to right.  Leishman ripped her second hit of the day and moved up on an error in the outfield, and a wild pitch brought home the third run of the game for Geneva.

They added single tallies in the fourth and fifth frames.

“We just weren’t ready to play today,” Edgewood coach Steve Cunha said. “I could see it in their eyes when they came out after school, and I could see it before the game started.”

The Warriors (5-5) start four, and at times, five, freshman, but Cunha didn’t use that as an excuse.

“We had a good game yesterday at Gilmour,” he said of a 12-2 Warrior win. “You can’t just turn a switch on and off mentally and be ready to play. We’re young, but the girls play ball a lot during summer or at other levels. It’s just the mental things of the game we’re not getting done. That concerns me, but as I said last week, we’re seeing the best a lot of other teams can put up against us, and we have to react better.”

McCaleb and Leishman each had a pair of hits to lead Geneva (6-2, 2-1 in Premier Athletic Conference). It seemed as if each Eagle run proved important, and with Schupska keeping the Warriors off balance until the seventh, Geneva had the game well in hand throughout.

Laughlin ripped a double down the right field line leading off the bottom of the seventh, and Gabrielle Patete sent a liner to left for a single for the first offensive threat of the game for the Warriors. They couldn’t sustain the attack, though.

“It’s nice to have a second pitcher available now,” Coach Pitcher said. “Last year, Kristen hurt a shoulder, so Amy (Pitcher) pretty much was our pitching. Kristen has come back superbly, and it’s nice to now have two solid starters we can put out there. That may be the biggest difference for us from last year.”

Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.

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