June 28, 2016

Partly sunny

Softball: Firelands’ offense fails to show in pair of Showcase losses

AKRON — Firelands might want to ask for a partial refund of its entry fee for the 2013 Akron Racers Spring Showcase. After all, the Falcons only got to use half the diamond Sunday.

Firelands managed just three hits in two games and didn’t advance a runner beyond first base in falling 6-0 to Cuyahoga Heights and 9-0 to Revere.


“You have to be able to put runs on the board to put pressure on the other team,” Falcons coach Judy Dostall said. “When you can’t do that you see what happens. It’s been the story of our team for a few years now. We have days where we just don’t make contact with the ball.”

Firelands (5-6) got infield singles from Brittany Reising and Amanda Spears in the loss to Cuyahoga Heights.

The Redskins took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Dayna Denner hit a two-out double off Falcons starter Samantha Dostall to score Meredith Chopka. Cuyahoga Heights added a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings and one more in the seventh off reliever Emma Ranney to improve to 13-2.

Chopka, a junior, overpowered Firelands with 14 strikeouts, including eight of the last 11 batters of the game.

“In my opinion, 90 percent of hitting is between the ears, either you think you can or you can’t,” Judy Dostall said. “Sometimes these girls struggle with their confidence. When we get back into league play this week I think the girls will have themselves mentally prepared. They remember what happened against some of those teams last year.”

In the second game, Revere scored at least one run in every inning but the second — the game was shortened to six innings due to a time limit put in place for the event.

Anne Warren, Kaylyn Roose and Marissa Staats led Revere (6-7) with three hit each. Warren and Staats each had a pair of RBIs each.

Despite taking the loss against the Minutemen, Ranney thinks there could be a silver lining for Firelands despite its offensive struggles.

“I think events like this are a good experience for our team even if we didn’t win,” Ranney said. “When we play good competition it makes us mentally stronger. We are a better team walking off this field today for having played Cuyahoga Heights and Revere.”

Ranney was the only Falcons batter to get on base against Revere, reaching on a second-inning walk and slapping a single to left field in the fourth inning to break up Laure Weidinger’s no-hit bid.

Weidinger only recorded three strikeouts but was helped out by a Revere defense that made a number of tough plays behind her.

Freshman Sam Hribal got a taste of varsity competition, pitching the sixth inning in relief of Ranney.

The Falcons, who are currently one game behind Black River in the Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division standings, will need to heat up their bats quickly with four conference games on the schedule in the next five days, beginning with a home game today against the division-leading Pirates.

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.