The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


May 1, 2013

Conneaut comes through

Spartans move to 10-2 as L-Zap gets the big knock to get past Warriors

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Locked in a scoreless battle with visiting Edgewood in the home half of the fifth, coach Nick Armeni told the Conneaut softball team it needed to make something happen.

The Spartans rallied for four runs and held off the late-charging Warriors for a 4-2 victory at Skippon Park.

With Edgewood hurler Gabriella Patete perplexing the Spartan hitters, Armeni sent down the command for his troops to bunt before trying to reach base with a hit in order to jump-start the offense. The ploy worked.

“We are in a little bit of a team slump, I think,” Armeni said. “Part of that was who we played this weekend. We got to the point where we had to be aggressive and make things happen.”

The bottom, then the top, of the lineup did exactly what it was supposed to in setting the table for the middle part of the batting order.

“That was huge,” Armeni said. “We talk about that all the time. We do need to execute offensively and defensively, as well.

“That goes back to executing. We’ve played so many close games where we had to hold a lead or come back from being down and have to get a hit or make a play. We put the bunt down.”

Amanda Chadwick, the ninth batter for the Spartans, led off the inning with a single to right-center. Lydia Coccitto and Dani Heinonen followed with back-to-back bunt singles to load the bases.

“Sometimes, it’s not how hard you hit it, but where you hit it,” Edgewood coach Steve Cunha said. “Realistically, if we play those correctly, get out of there giving up two runs instead of four and we tie it up.”

Lexi Zappitelli cleared the bases with a triple to right-center to put Conneaut up, 3-0.

“With the bases loaded, you can’t pitch around Lexi,” Cunha said. “She hit a decent ball.”

“That’s clutch,” Armeni said. “I’ve got to have faith in those girls that they’ll get the job done and they’ve got to have faith in themselves.”

Angie Zappitelli followed, lifting a fly ball to straight-away center. The ball was lost in the sun and dropped for an RBI single and a 4-0 advantage for the Spartans (10-2).

“That’s pretty much how the year has gone for us,” Cunha said. “We played six good innings. You have to play seven good innings to win.

“Even if we catch that, with her speed, we’re not going to throw her out.”  

The Warriors (8-8) answered in the top of the sixth.

“We had better at-bats in the last two innings than we had the rest of the game,” Cunha said. “That’s why we play seven innings.”

Kate Crooks led off with an infield single and Taylor Rowe followed with a bunt single. Crooks was caught between second and third and erased when Gia Saturday reached on an error. Patete followed with a single to center to plate Rowe, and Blashinsky scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit in half at 4-2.

“Except those couple of plays in the fifth, that’s pretty much how we played the last 10 days or two weeks,” Cunha said. “Gabby threw the ball well again today. It was just one inning.”

Conneaut starter Angie Zappitelli then induced a popup and got a strikeout to end the inning.

The Spartans threatened in the sixth, but a ground ball to Saturday led to a double play and the end of the inning.

Taylor Diemer and Crooks both singled to open the seventh, but relief pitcher Lexi Zappitelli induced a popup, caught a liner back through the box then got a strikeout for the save.

Angie Zappitelli (2-0) picked up the win. She worked six innings, allowed two earned runs on five hits in striking out six.

Patete (8-3) took the loss in allowing four earned runs on 12 hits. She struck out five, walked two and hit a batter.        

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

Text Only
  • 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

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

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