August 1, 2014

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High school softball: Elyria Catholic fights off Lorain, wind for victory

Elyria Catholic's Kenzie Roznac hits an RBI double during the second inning Tuesday against Lorain. The Panthers downed the TItans, 8-0, in a non-conference matchup. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Elyria Catholic’s Kenzie Roznac hits an RBI double during the second inning Tuesday against Lorain. The Panthers downed the TItans, 8-0, in a non-conference matchup. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Written on the Wind.

No, it wasn’t the popular movie from the 1950s. It was a softball game Tuesday at Elyria Catholic.

Cold gusts of wind out of the north — reaching between 20-30 mph — made it tough for Elyria Catholic, visiting Lorain and their fans to sit through the non-conference matchup.

Pop flies were an adventure throughout the game for both teams. The starting pitchers struggled to throw strikes in the swirling path between the mound and home plate. But after the final out was made, Elyria Catholic (4-7) came away with an 8-0 victory over Lorain (2-8).

“The wind turned routine pop flies into a circus,” EC coach Ryan Minney said. “But through it all I was
very proud of our defense.”

Elyria Catholic committed only two errors — one on a dropped pop fly — and the Panthers were helped offensively by Lorain pitcher Kristen DiBernado’s difficulty hitting the plate. She threw 143 pitches, walked 10 and hit one batter while giving up just six hits and three earned runs.

“We just gave up way too many walks,” Lorain coach Pam Jackson said.

“And our fielders just couldn’t judge the fly balls due to the wind.”

Panthers pitcher Riley St. Marie had much greater success against the wind, as she gave up just two hits and walked a pair to run her record to 3-4. She threw only 83 pitches in seven innings.

“The wind did bother me, but I have a great catcher who takes care of me on her called pitches, which were relayed by our coach,” St. Marie said. “When (catcher Emily Hastings) does her job, it makes us win our games.”

The offensive star was Kenzie Rozanc, who has been on a hot streak the last three games. Rozanc singled and doubled in her first two trips to the plate, extending a streak of nine straight hits. Counting her walks in the last two plate appearances, Rozanc has a streak of reaching base safely in 11 at-bats.

“It feels good to hit the ball,” she said.

A former switch-hitter, Rozanc gave up batting left-handed and it has paid off.

“Why I changed is that I just hit better from the right side,” she said.

Elyria Catholic scored two in the first on just one hit — by Rozanc — along with three walks. The Panthers added a run in the second inning before putting up five in the fourth.

“We’re still a very young team with just three seniors, no juniors and all the rest freshmen and sophomores,” Minney said.

On Rozanc’s hot streak at the plate he said, “She hits her spots.”

Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

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