The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

May 1, 2013

Blue Streaks take down Eagles

Madison hands Geneva first PAC loss in 8 innings

GENEVA — In softball, it is not every day that a player has the opportunity to make up for a mistake. Nobody appreciated that more on Tuesday than Madison’s Nikki Ochoa.

Ochoa belted a two-run home run to left field yesterday that proved to be the game winner as the Blue Streaks handed Geneva, defending PAC champions, their first conference loss of the season, 10-9, in eight innings at Geneva High School.

Ochoa went four for five in the game with three runs scored and two RBI. It appeared any offensive heroics would be overlooked by her pitching result, though.

Ochoa came on to pitch in the top of the sixth inning with Madison (6-10, 4-2 PAC) leading the Eagles (10-2, 7-1 PAC), 8-3. Madison starter Alicia Major pitched the first five innings of the game, and appeared to be in line for the win.

However, the Geneva bats greeted Ochoa with three-straight hits as the Eagles erupted for five runs to tie the game.

After a scoreless seventh Ochoa got her shot at redemption and made the most of it by hitting the two-run shot.

The center fielder was all smiles after the game.

“It felt really good,” Ochoa said. “I have this thing where I tend to think too much when I am at the plate. The first pitch she threw me was called a strike and I didn’t really agree with that, but I said the next pitch I like I’m going to just put the bat on the ball, push it hard and it went over and it felt really good. I gave a little fist pump as I rounded first base.”

Also feeling good about the win was Madison coach Dan Fertig.

“I’m very proud of these girls, they play with heart, and they’re a special group,” he said. “We’ve been swinging the bats pretty well all year, we just haven’t been pushing the runs across the plate. Today, we switched the lineup around a little bit.

“We batted Nik (Ochoa) first. She got a double to get the game started and just set the pace for us.”

After getting the game started with the lead-off double, Ochoa stole third and scored the games first run on an RBI groundout by Abbie Thompson.

Madison then got to Geneva starter Amy Pitcher for a four-run third inning. The Blue Streaks got an RBI triple from Thompson followed by an RBI double from Amanda Mangelo, who scored on a single from Gabrielle Amato.

Pitcher, who faced 28 batters Monday when the Eagles defeated North, came on to relieve Kristen Schupska.  

Schupska left the game in the second inning when a line drive glanced off her right thumb. She was taken to Geneva Hospital for X-rays and the severity of the injury was not known at the end of the game.

“It was a little bit hard to put Amy back out there,” Geneva coach Eleshia Pitcher said. “We didn’t have the defense today to back her up, which is never a good thing. But she wasn’t throwing as hard and she got a little discouraged. They started hitting her and that was all she wrote.”

Actually, it wasn’t quite all she wrote.

Madison struck for three more runs in the fifth inning as Major, Amato, Taylor Gustin and Josie LaRiche  all collected hits to fuel the rally.

The Eagles bats came alive in the bottom of the inning when Sydney McCaleb opened the inning with a double, then scored on a two-run blast by Nicole Grimmett to make the score 8-3.

After failing to score in the top of the sixth, Fertig opted to take his starter out of the game.

“Aleshia is pitching beyond her years right now,” Fertig said. “She’s doing phenomenal this year as a freshman, but we want to save her arm a little bit.”

 Geneva would get a bunt single from Becky Depp to start the sixth inning. Kylie Hansen would follow with a single to right, followed by an infield hit by Taylor Stoltz to load the bases.

Ochoa would then hit McCaleb to bring home a run. The next two batters would hit into a fielder’s choice before Pitcher delivered a two-run single then scored herself on a wild pitch to tie the game.

 The game stayed tied through seven innings.

Jamie Verno hit a leadoff homer for the Eagles in the top of the ninth. At that point, Fertig went back to his starter, Major, who retired three of the four hitters she faced to end the game and preserve the win.

Shaffer is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • run VanHoy racing on

    Geneva track star Hailey VanHoy had a near unbelievable run of success during her final months running for the Eagles.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video