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    Mentor’s bats stayed hot in a 13-2 five-inning win over Unicoi County (Erwin, Tenn.) at the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Thursday.

    The Cardinals pounded out 20 hits in the win, their second of the day.

    “We brought in (Christian) Verde to work on hitting and a lot of kids have stayed after practice on off days to hit with him and to make a couple of little tweaks and talking to them about different approaches,” said Mentor coach Jo Bondra. “It’s all coming together, and it’s one through nine. It’s players off the bench too.”

    Mak Kobetitsch continued her assault on opposing pitchers as she recorded four more hits to give her 10 in her four games played.

    Kobetitsch hit a one-out single in the bottom of the first, stole second, and scored on Maggie Haydu’s sacrifice bunt.

    “We know we have a lot of offensive talent that we just needed to come together,” Kobetitsch said of her team’s offensive explosion. “We also have a lot of returning players and players with experience, and when it all comes together, it is very difficult for other teams to slow us down offensively. And with Izzy (Cood) starting to hit her stride, it helps our offense come together even more.”

    Ireland Rainey and Coode hit back-to-back singles but a groundout ended the Mentor threat with the Cardinals leading 1-0.

    The Lady Devils took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second on two hits and an error, but that advantage was short-lived as the Cardinals responded with a six-run second.

    Kathryn Bouffard, Gabi Dadante, and Aubree Colón hit back-to-back-to-back one-out singles and Kobetitsch delivered again with a two-out, two-run single that gave Mentor a 3-2 lead.

    “I feel that I have started to really learn how to read my defense and figure out where other team’s defensive weaknesses are and play off that,” Kobetitsch said of her success. “But, also having confidence in the batters after me really helps, knowing that as long as I get on my teammates will be able to do their job.”

    Haydu singled home Kobetitsch and Rainey tripled to make it 5-2. Coode followed with an RBI single and scored on Maddy Menough’s RBI double.

    The Cardinals invoked the run rule with a six-run fourth.

    Once again, Kobetitsch started the rally with a leadoff single and Haydu followed with a base hit. Rainey doubled home one run and Menough hit an RBI single. Sophia Smalley and Bouffard followed with singles and Dadante added an RBI single. Colón picked up an RBI on a groundout and Kobetitsch recorded her second single of the game, but this one scored the final run of the game.

    Sydney Cahill entered the circle in the fifth and gave up a leadoff single, but then retired the next three hitters to end the game.

    Kobetitsch finished the game 4-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI. Rainey and Bouffard went 3-for-3 with Rainey scoring and knocking in a pair of runs. Haydu finished with two hits and two RBI and Menough recorded two hits and knocked in three runs. Dadante was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.

    Addison Belviso picked up the win after allowing two earned runs on seven hits with one strikeout in four innings. Cahill threw one inning and allowed just one hit.

    “A lot of these players, even the young kids that are new in the program, have played at a high level,” Bondra said. “These are kids that have gone through our program, so we know that they have it in them. We lost two games on Tuesday, but they bounced right back because they’re all kids who don’t want to let the team down. They’ve worked hard and they just have to trust the process. I think they started to do that.”

    Mentor opened Thursday with a 9-8 win over Westerville North (Ohio).

    Coode was 2-for-3 with a double and a triple, and two runs scored in that game, and Menough went 2-for-2. Haydu went the distance in the circle. She allowed six earned runs on 10 hits and struck out eight.

    Mentor closes out its spring trip on Friday against Tennessee High School.

     

     

     

    Steve Hare
    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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