New Castle News

Sports

April 18, 2013

Spring Sports: A roundup of local action for April 18

NEW CASTLE — The bats were working for the Mohawk and Laurel high school softball teams yesterday.

The Lady Warriors were able to get a little more production, though, to earn the win.

Mohawk pounded out 12 hits, which included a fourth-inning grand slam from Jaki Bender, to post a 12-6 WPIAL Section 5-AA road win over the Lady Spartans.

“Jaki has been hitting the ball hard for us,” Lady Warriors coach Pam Beatty said. “It’s been fly balls right at somebody a lot with Jaki, but she’s been getting better and better. That homer was good for us.

“The hitting as a team has been big; we’re a hitting team. We just haven’t been able to string them together. We scored in all but two innings and that was big.”

Bender’s homer was her first of the year.

The win pulls the Lady Warriors (6-1 section, 7-1 overall) a half-game behind section-leading Riverside (6-0, 6-0). The teams meet on the Lady Panthers’ home field at 4 p.m. today.

Riverside won the previous meeting, 9-5, on Monday.

“You can always look at the standings, but you have to come ready to play every game,” Beatty said. “We scored runs against them and we were glad about that. But they were getting hits and we have to change some things up for the rematch.”

Laurel’s Ellen Shaffer had two hits, including a fourth-inning grand slam of her own. Makenna Natale belted a solo homer in the second inning for the hosts. The Lady Spartans (2-5, 2-6) notched seven hits.

The home runs were the first of the year for both Shaffer and Natale.

“Once Jaki hit that grand slam, we were down 8-1,” Lady Spartans coach Lori Krol said. “Very easily our girls could have given up and laid down, but they didn’t.

“Ellen came up and hit that grand slam and got us right back in the game. We just have to keep plugging away and the wins will come.”

Bender (7-1) earned the win. Bender tossed seven innings, allowing seven hits and six runs — five earned — with five walks and two strikeouts.

“Jaki has been pitching well,” Beatty said. “It’s hard with our schedule this year, it’s our third game of the week, we seem to have had weeks like this because of the weather. It’s hard on a pitcher to do. We’ve been going with her strictly out there.”

Haley Sainato, Shelby Brown, Hannah Morrow and Cara Trotter posted two hits each for Mohawk. Trotter knocked in a pair of runs.

Kristan Fedrizzi took the loss. Fedrizzi (1-3) worked three innings, giving up seven hits and eight runs — six earned — with two walks and two strikeouts.

The Lady Warriors tallied four runs each in the second and third innings, while plating solo markers in the fifth and sixth innings. They added two more in the seventh.

The Lady Spartans scored a run in the second, four in the fourth and one in the sixth.

“Mohawk is a good, solid team. It’s nice to be in this section where there is a lot of good competition,” Krol said. “I’m extremely proud of the girls. We’re improving every game and you can see it.

“I keep telling them to keep the faith, it will come and they’re believing it. All of our girls are hitting; they just keep battling. It’s a matter of making the balls drop in.”

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