August 20, 2014

Elyria
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H.S. Softball: Young Pioneers look like veterans at the plate in 2-0 start

Elyria shortstop Kandis Laseke just misses a throw-out at second as Berea-Midpark's Sarah Raines slides safely for a steal. KRISTIN BAUER | CHORNICLE

Elyria shortstop Kandis Laseke just misses a throw-out at second as Berea-Midpark’s Sarah Raines slides safely for a steal. KRISTIN BAUER | CHORNICLE

ELYRIA — There are more freshmen and sophomores (eight) than juniors and seniors (seven) on Elyria’s softball roster this spring. And only two of the 15, the Laseke sisters, are seniors.

Coach Ken Fenik said some of the younger players are still learning the skills they need to play at the varsity level.

That apparently doesn’t bother the youngsters.

The youthful Pioneers have produced 23 runs and 22 hits in two days to win their first two games by a combined 23-6. They pounded out 10 hits in Wednesday’s cold and gloom for a 10-3 defeat of Berea-Midpark in non-conference play at the Elyria West complex.

The hitting attack included a triple by each of the Lasekes — Kandis and Kaitlyn — and doubles by junior Madison Fullmer and sophomore starting pitcher Elizabeth Ellis. The bases were loaded when Ellis went to bat. She cleared them with her double.

“I just wanted to get a hit to get the runs in,” Ellis said. “I have no idea what (Titans pitcher Alex Hopperton) threw me, but the first pitch looked good so I just swung.”

She also talked about the Pioneers’ potent offense.

“It’s comforting as a pitcher to know we can score runs,” she said. “You know they have your back.”

Kandis Laseke’s triple to the right-field fence leading off the first inning resulted in the first run. She scored when Carly Bachna grounded to the left side for a 1-0 lead.

The Titans’ Joey Host hit a one-out single to center in the third, then tied the game when Hopperton singled to right.

Elyria put the game out of reach in the fourth. The Pioneers sent 13 batters to the plate, and they produced nine runs on four hits, two Titans errors and three bases-loaded walks. Kaitlyn Laseke, who led off the inning with a triple to the gap in right-center, scored twice in the inning.

The Pioneers got two hits each from Kandis Laseke, Ellis and Fullmer and the Lasekes each scored twice. Bachna, who relieved Ellis in the circle to start the fourth inning, put up two RBIs to go with Ellis’ three.

“We didn’t have a real crisp game defensively, but you have to be happy when you score 10 runs,” Fenik said. “Both young pitchers (Ellis and Bachna) did what we needed them to do. On defense, we made some good plays in the infield. In the outfield, we need to learn more how to attack the ball. The outfielders all have very good arms.”

Berea-Midpark threatened late with two runs on two hits and an Elyria error in the sixth inning. And it had runners at first and second base in the seventh when the game ended.

Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or softball@bobdaniels.info.

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