December 19, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
29°F
test

H.S. Softball: Columbia beats St. Joseph at Akron showcase; North Ridgeville falls to Pickerington

North Ridgeville’s Marissa Caraballo tags out Pickerington Central’s Alex Kiddwell at third base Saturday at the Akron Racers Showcase at Firestone Stadium in Akron. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

North Ridgeville’s Marissa Caraballo tags out Pickerington Central’s Alex Kiddwell
at third base Saturday at the Akron Racers Showcase at Firestone Stadium in Akron. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

AKRON — Columbia’s offense has come through with a big inning time and again this season and Saturday was no exception.

Amanda Sedlock’s bases-clearing triple was the big blow in a six-run third inning as the Raiders downed St. Joseph Academy 7-4 at the Akron Racers Spring Showcase at Firestone Stadium.

Columbia (4-3) took advantage of three Jaguars errors while sending 11 batters to the plate in the inning.

“We were coming off of a tough loss Thursday against Newton Falls so I was happy to see how the girls responded today, especially how we hit the ball,” Columbia coach Ken Lugo said. “We’ve had some games early on where we’re getting about 15 hits a game. It’s good to start getting back to that form.”

The Raiders belted out 13 hits against a pair of Jaguars pitchers as Emily Viccarone, Shelby Friedel and Nicole Jenny each had two.

Sedlock, who had a shutout going into the seventh inning, pitched 62⁄3⅔ innings for her first win of the year. Kailey Minarchick came on to pitch to one batter to pick up her first save of the season.

Sedlock said the Raiders’ offensive production helped her settle down in the pitcher’s circle.

“I was like, ‘Oh, thank God, now I don’t have to worry as much when I’m pitching,” Sedlock said. “You can’t win a game if you don’t score runs. If you’re going to score something you might as well go out and score a ton of runs all at once.”

The Raiders had a chance to really break the game open in the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with two outs, but they were unable to score.

“Everybody contributed to the win and that’s the key for us,” Lugo said. “We have a couple of girls still struggling defensively and our pitchers are still coming around to where they need to be to be able to go a complete game, but I’m pleased with the way we’re playing and the ways the girls responded to coming out for an 8 a.m. game.”

St. Joseph (2-7) got RBI hits from Mackenzie Milligan and Meghan Miles in the seventh.

Pickerington Central 17, North Ridgeville 0

Pickerington Central scored early and often against a struggling North Ridgeville team. The Tigers scored seven runs in the second inning on just three hits due in part to three walks and three North Ridgeville errors.

“We’re a young team so this is still a learning process for us,” first-year Rangers coach Mike Mease said. “There have been signs of improvement but that’s why we came out to this tournament because we knew there would be good competition here and we can use this to match ourselves up and see where we need to improve.”

North Ridgeville (2-6) went 0-3 over the weekend at the showcase.

Pickerington Central third baseman Allie Luther hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning as the Tigers added eight runs to improve to 10-2.

The Rangers did not have a hit until the fourth inning when Ashley Helmink doubled off of the center-field fence.

Shelby Berent and Erin Conroy also had hits for North Ridgeville, leading off the fifth inning with back-to-back singles.

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