Monday, June 17
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    MUNSON–Chardon erased a nine-run deficit to defeat visiting Riverside in the Western Reserve Conference opener for both teams on Tuesday.

    Trailing 9-0 after 3 ½ innings, the Hilltoppers went to work in the bottom of the fourth and scored 10 unanswered runs in their next three at-bats to seal their come-from-behind victory.

    “Their belief in themselves was the difference,” said Chardon coach Stewart Landies. “I mean, it’s a team sport. We preach to them all the time that this is a team game. They fed off each other, and the energy in the dugout got (the girls’ energy) to where it needed to be.”

    Riverside had its way with the Hilltoppers for the first four innings.

    Clara Granchi started off the Beavers’ four-run first with her leadoff single. Maddi Proud followed with a one-out single and Emi Jeras made it 1-0 with her RBI single. Annaliese Davis doubled home a pair of runs and Olivia Powell hit an RBI triple that made it 4-0.

    The Beavers added two more runs in the second when Becca Tornow hit a leadoff double and Granchi followed with a two-run shot to center.

    Granchi kicked off a four-run fourth with her solo shot to center and Milana McCaleb and Proud followed with singles. Jeras singled home McCaleb and Proud scored on a fielder’s choice to close out Riverside’s scoring.

    “We did a nice job of getting the lead,” said Riverside coach Bill Ross. “We just have to find a way to hold onto that (lead) moving forward.”

    Chardon made its move in the bottom of the fourth.

    Grace Legan started the three-run rally with a single and Riley Ford reached on an error. Jadyn Tarantino then singled home Legan and McKenna Banville and Mackenzie Kilpeck both hit RBI singles that cut Riverside’s lead to 9-3.

    “(The back half of the game) was nerve-racking, but that’s what you expect when Chardon plays Riverside,” Landies said. “Every time we play them, it seems like it’s a game like this. That’s what I expect when we play them. The kids deserve all the credit, and they did a great job today.”

    Chardon added two more runs in the fifth when Emma Anderson singled and Legan hit a two-run shot to center.

    A five-run sixth inning completed Chardon’s comeback.

    Kilpeck and Alexa Anderson reached with back-to-back singles, and Savannah Murray worked a walk to load the bases full of Hilltoppers.

    Sierra Taylor lined a two-run single just over shortstop into the left-center field gap to drive in pinch runner Addy Novak and Anderson.

    The Hilltoppers then executed a double steal that allowed Kilpeck to score, cutting Riverside’s lead to 9-8.

    Emma Anderson reached on a bunt single and Legan tied the game with an RBI single to center.

    Riverside’s Annaliese Davis, who came on in relief of Granchi, struck out the next two batters but Banville blooped an RBI single behind first base giving Chardon its first lead of the contest.

    Alexa Anderson walked one batter in the seventh with one down, but she coaxed a pair of popouts to end the game.

    Legan finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a team-high three runs batted in. Emma Anderson, Tarantino, Banville, and Kilpeck each recorded two hits for the Hilltoppers.

    Jenna Hendricks allowed nine runs on 13 hits and struck out three in four innings of work. Alexa Anderson picked up the pitching victory after allowing two hits and fanning two in three shutout innings of relief.

    “It’s amazing,” Landies said of Anderson’s three shutout innings. “I’m not going to stand here and say, ‘I knew she was going to do that.’ We needed another option, and she just stepped up like it was her job. She did a great job today.”

    In the hammer-house of a conference such as the WRC, gritty, hard-nosed wins may be the norm for Chardon as they hunt for back-to-back conference titles with a youthful team.

    “I think it’s huge,” Landies said. “You have a whole bunch of kids who played together last year, and then you bring in these freshmen and kids that played JV last year coming up to be a part of this moment. I think it’s great for their confidence; it makes this team jell. They’re together now, solid, and it’s a good thing.”

    Granchi had a monster day at the plate for the Beavers.

    She finished the game 4-for-5 with a double and two home runs, three runs scored, and three RBI.

    Granchi threw three shutout innings before the Hilltoppers found their groove. She ended the game with the loss after allowing eight earned runs out of 10 on 11 hits and she struck out six in four innings. Davis threw one inning. She allowed one hit and struck out three.

    “It’s the game; it’s momentum. (Chardon) definitely found some gaps, and obviously, the home run hurt, but that’s what it came down to,” Ross said. “(Chardon) did a great job of adjusting and keeping the momentum going.”

    Davis went 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI, and Proud, Jeras, Powell, and Tornow each collected two hits for Riverside.

    Chardon will visit North on Wednesday while Riverside will look to bounce back against Kenston.






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