The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


May 6, 2014

Geneva gets past Lakeside

Eagles net PAC road victory

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — A consistent problem reared its ugly for the Lakeside softball team Monday evening and it gave Geneva a lead it kept all the way in claiming a 6-1 Premier Athletic Conference victory.

Defense is important to playing winning softball, and it’s been a rough road for both teams this season. Two costly errors in the top of the first led to 3 unearned runs for the Eagles (5-12, 2-3), and the solid pitching of Alyssa Donato made it stand up.

“We finally played some good defense today,” Geneva coach Eleshia Pitcher said. “We’ve hit the ball well all season. We’ve pitched well and run the bases well, but we’ve had problems fielding the ball. Today, we did a good job, made some plays, and took advantage of some early Lakeside errors to get a lead.”

Kylie Hansen (3H, 2R) led off the game with a bloop single into no-man’s land between the first and second basemen and right fielder of the Dragons. Kim Brumagin hit a ball on the infield, but the throw to first was wide left for an error, and as Hansen took off for third, the throw back also went wide, this time to the right.

A steal with runners on the corners saw Brumagin take off for second. The throw went to Lakeside shortstop Courtney Smith on a designed play and Hansen broke for home. Hansen slid in just as the ball arrived making for a tough play for catcher DeAngela Olavarria. Hansen was safe.

With 2 outs, Megan Clark walked and stole second, setting up a second and third spot for Dragons pitcher Andrea Davis. A sign of things to come turned up as Jamie Verno sent a blooper just out of reach of the third baseman for a 2-run single and a 3-0 lead.

Donato, who did a nice job scattering 5 Dragon hits while fanning 6 and walking only 2, hit a rough spot in the bottom of the second.

Sarah George led off with a sharp single up the middle. Toni Stranman sent a sharp grounder on the infield which looked like a sure out, but that throw , too, went wide. Two consecutive illegal pitch calls by the base umpire moved the runners up 2 bases, including  George across home plate.

Donato escaped a second and third problem in the third and sixth frames. She finished with her only 1-2-3 inning in the seventh.

“It was nice to have that lead,” Pitcher said. “I’ll bet in maybe 90 percent of our games when we’ve had a lead, we’d fall apart defensively. Today, we didn’t, which is much better.”

The only earned runs Geneva scored came in the fifth when Taylor Stoltz sent a 2-out shot with runners on first and second that walloped the right-center field fence inches short of going over for a 2-run double, the only extra-base hit of the game.

“I felt coming in today that if we played a good game, we could beat this team,” Lakeside coach Jodi Candela said. “We made a couple errors early, and a couple more late in the game that cost us, but my biggest worry was how we would come back after we lost Saturday, 22-0, to South.

“The kids really had a great attitude today, so I know we’re getting better and growing.”

Davis was also sharp in the circle for Lakeside (1-12, 0-8), allowing only the 2 earned runs on the Stoltz double. She fanned 7 in scattering 8 hits and also saw her teammates make some great plays behind her.

George had 2 hits for Lakeside.

“Davis has done a nice job of attacking her pitching in a different way from last year,” Candela said. “She worked really hard over the summer. I learned some things at camp that I have been able to get her to buy into them, and she’s really done a nice job for our team.”

Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.

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