NEW CASTLE —
Makenna Natale struck out 12 and limited Freedom to just two hits in the Lady Spartans’ first win of the season in the Section 5-AA home contest.
Natale issued three walks.
“Makenna pitched a heckuva game,” Laurel coach Lori Krol said. “The good thing with Makenna and Kristan (Fedrizzi) is they’ve developed a nice changeup or off-speed pitch that’s helped them on the mound. Makenna’s changeup was working today and it kept them off-balance. It made her fastball even more effective.
“Our defense backed her up. We only had one error. The last few games, we’ve had some errors, so it was nice to cut them down today. It’s good to get the win. I think as the season goes on you’ll see us improve with each game.”
Laurel (1-2, 1-2) plated three runs in the second and third before adding insurance runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Freedom broke up the shutout with a solo run in the sixth.
Ellen Shaffer belted her first home run of the season in the second inning and was the first at the Lady Spartans’ new field, Krol reported.
Natale aided her cause with a pair of doubles, while Lauren Boston and Fedrizzi each had two singles.
“We had no strikeouts today,” Krol reported. “The girls are swinging and making contact this year. They just haven’t been falling. This was a good confidence booster for the girls.
“The difference between this year and last year is the experience. We graduated just one player from last year. We’ve been in the gym since December and have been focusing on our offense and our swings. It’s paying off. We’ve been preaching patience and looking for your pitch.”
New Brighton 4,
The Lady Lions plated the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to hand the Lady Warriors the Section 5-AA setback.
Mohawk (1-4, 1-4) grabbed a 2-0 lead after two innings and tied the score at 3 with a single run in the sixth.
“We’ve been in every game,” Lady Warriors coach Pam Beatty said. “We just seem to come up on the short end of each of them. We had runners on base every inning but one. We’re just not putting enough together.”
Leah Woytek tripled and scored on Haley Sainato’s single in the first inning. Makenzie McConnell walked and scored on a Taylor Tomb fielder’s choice in the second, while Sainato picked up her second RBI by singling home Tomb, who had singled in the sixth.
Woytek singled and tripled to pace the Mohawk offense, while Sainato had two singles.
Tristan Voss was saddled with the loss in relief of Jaki Bender. Voss tossed the final four innings, allowing two runs on one hit, three walks and three strikeouts.
Bender gave up two runs on three hits and two strikeouts over three innings.