Chardon swept a doubleheader on Saturday but it didn’t come easily as the Hilltoppers came back from a seven-run deficit to win the second game.
“The girls were really excited,” said Chardon coach Stewart Landies. “I’m not sure I’ve ever heard our dugout as loud as it was today. It’s so good for them to battle through adversity together and today they did.”
Chardon opened the day at McCune Park in Canfield with a convincing 9-3 win over Mogadore Field. Bishop Watterson then scored seven runs in the first two innings of the second game before the Hilltoppers rallied for four runs in the fourth and nine more in the fifth to win 13-8.
“The comeback in our second game today was so much fun,” said Madison Hauser, who finished the day 3-for-4 with five runs scored and three runs batted in. “We just kept putting a bunch of singles together and scored a bunch of runs.”
Hauser had an RBI single and scored in the first inning of the win over Field. Her leadoff home run in the fourth sparked a five-run rally that helped the Hilltoppers put that game away.
“I went up to the plate with an approach to get a base hit because I knew my teammates will hit me in,” she said. “The umpire had a tight strike zone, so I knew I could be patient and wait for the pitch I wanted.”
Lindsey Leggett went 2-for-3 and Sarah Sutton hit a double in the win over Field.
Kayla Noerr picked up the pitching victory after allowing just two earned runs on two hits with 15 strikeouts.
Bishop Watterson opened the second game with two runs without a hit in the first inning and five more runs on three hits in the second off Chardon starter Sydney Murray.
Murray allowed just one run the rest of the way as the Hilltoppers mounted their comeback.
“I’m really proud of Sydney,” Landies said. “A couple of calls didn’t go her way early and she showed a lot of maturity by picking herself back up and fighting through it.”
Murray allowed six earned runs on 10 hits and struck out nine.
Chardon started its comeback with two outs in the bottom of the fourth.
Sarah Sutton and Grace Legan drew back-to-back walks and Jadyn Tarantino hit an RBI single to cut Watterson’s lead to 7-1. Nicole Krakora’s single loaded the bases and Lindsey Leggett cleared them with a double that pulled the Hilltoppers to within 7-4.
Leggett finished the two-game series 3-for-6 at the plate with three runs scored and five RBI.
“We’ve been waiting for Lindsey’s bat to come alive and it has in the last three games,” Landies said.
Watterson strung together three singles in the top of the fifth to add a run but the Hilltoppers broke it open in the bottom half of the inning.
Madison Russo, Murray, and Audrey Manary drew walks to load the bases with no outs. Sutton then walked to cut the Watterson lead to 8-5 and Legan singled home another run. Tarantino then fouled off three two-strike pitches before driving the ball to left field for a two-run double to tie the game at 8-8.
Krakora then walked to reload the bases and Leggett was hit by a pitch to force home the go-ahead run. Amy O’Brien reached on a fielder’s choice as Watterson threw out the lead runner at the plate for the first out of the inning. Russo then singled home two more runs and she scored on Hauser’s single that left the Hilltoppers in front, 13-8.
“I love helping my team in any way possible,” Hauser said. “When we score, a lot of the momentum rolls into our defense as well. This helps my confidence going forward a lot and I know it helps my team’s confidence as well. These last two days have definitely taught us that we can fight back when we’re down in a game and will help us with our confidence going forward.”
Tarantino was 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Hilltoppers in the second game.
Chardon’s defense also played a key role in the comeback.
“Sarah Sutton and Amy O’Brien were standouts today in the outfield,” Landies said. “Both made a couple of spectacular plays and kept runners from taking extra bases with strong accurate throws.”
With the wins, Chardon improved to 9-3 overall. The Hilltoppers return to McCune Park at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday to play Youngstown Boardman.