MENTOR—Family gatherings might be a bit awkward for Mentor coach Jo Bondra following her team’s 8-6 setback to Gilmour Academy on Friday.
Tony Bondra, Jo’s uncle, rallied his team for three runs in the sixth inning to pull out the win in the Bondra Family Feud.
“We hadn’t seen a field in 10 days,” said Tony Bondra after the win. “We hadn’t played on a field in 10 days, but boy did we respond. Holy cow, did we respond.”
Mentor had scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to erase a 5-2 deficit but couldn’t hold off the high-powered Lancers down the stretch.
The visitors took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Laney Klika drew a leadoff walk and score on her sister Emmy Klika’s single.
Mentor bounced back with two runs in the second when Kiley Markowski drew a leadoff walk and scored on Sydni Bush’s single. Jordan Alesci, who was inserted as a pinch-runner for Bush, scored on a wild pitch to give Mentor a brief 2-1 lead.
Gilmour struck for four runs in the third.
Alaina Giampietro drew a leadoff walk to start that rally and Emmy Klika doubled to tie the game at 2-2. Clare Peterson then hit a one-out double and Emma Pickering drew a walk. Both runners scored on an error that left Gilmour ahead, 5-2.
The score remained that way until Mentor’s fifth-inning rally.
Peyton Trick singled to start that inning and Izzy Coode reached on an error. Bella Carciopolo then singled to load the bases with no outs. Adrianna Sluga drew a bases-loaded walk and Leah Temple hit an RBI single. Abby Haydu’s sacrifice fly gave the Cardinals a 6-5 lead.
Gilmour closed out the scoring with a three-run sixth.
Giampietro was hit by a pitch to start the rally and Megan Mlinaric hit a one-out single to tie the game at 6-6. An error and an Allison Schuh single led to two more Lancer runs.
Mlinaric earned the win for the Lancers. She allowed five earned runs on seven hits and struck out one. Schuh finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. Emmy Klika and Mlinaric both recorded a pair of hits for the Lancers.
Temple struck out seven and knocked in a pair of runs for the Cardinals, who will quickly refocus their attention to Tuesday’s game against Strongsville. A win against the Mustangs would hand Mentor its first outright conference title since 2016. The Cardinals earned a share of that championship with a 1-0 win at Medina on Thursday.
“That was the message after the game,” Jo Bondra said. “This was fun to get out here, but that’s what we have to do next. We’re selfish. We don’t want to share. We’ve got to come out Tuesday and get it done.”
Following the game, the Extra Inning Foundation presented Rescue Village with a $2,000 donation in memory of Deedee Bondra and the Bondra family.