MENTOR—Clutch hitting and a strong pitching performance led Mentor to a 4-2 win over visiting GlenOak in Monday’s Division I sectional semifinal.
Addison Siedler pitched six strong innings for the Cardinals and Kristin Dems closed out the seventh inning. Olivia Sacks also made a couple of key defensive plays to pace the Cardinals, who improved to 13-5 on the year.
“I think the weather being nice definitely helped us,” said Mentor coach Bondra. “They didn’t have to come out here freezing cold today.”
Sacks set the tone for the day when she made a diving stop of a ball hit on the first pitch of the game and threw out the runner at first base.
Siedler fed off her team’s effort and went on to allow just one earned run on four hits with four strikeouts.
“Addison has emerged as this great pitcher for us,” Bondra said. “If you would have told us that at the beginning of the year, we probably wouldn’t have believed it because we thought she was centerfield all year but she’s doing a great job. Dems is doing a great job coming in and closing as well and we had a lot of kids stepping up offensively.”
After Siedler retired the Eagles on four pitches in the first, Bella Carcioppolo hit a triple and scored on Leah Temple’s sacrifice fly to give Mentor an early 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals added two runs in the fourth inning when Sydni Bush singled and Maggie Haydu tripled her home. Sacks hit a two-out single to push the lead to 3-0.
GlenOak finally got to Siedler in the sixth.
The Eagles scored two runs on three hits but an error helped keep the inning alive.
Haydu hit a one-out double in the bottom half of the sixth and scored on Jenna Place’s RBI single.
Dems then pitched out of a jam in the seventh, with the help of Sacks.
After a leadoff single brought the tying run to the plate, GlenOak sacrificed the runner to second but Sacks made a heads-up play and picked off the runner, who had advanced too far toward third base.
“She set the tone with her diving stop on the first pitch,” Bondra said of Sacks. “She’s a fundamentally-sound player and her softball IQ is so high. To know late in the game when a lot of other stuff is going on to turn and throw that ball was huge. Offensively and defensively, she’s been huge for us.”
Dems coaxed a pop out of the next batter to end the game.
Haydu led the Cardinals at the plate as she finished the game 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Carcioppolo and Sacks both contributed with two hits and Abby Haydu added a double.
“We went last week to watch them and we put the girls in the cage against some of our pitchers throwing to the spots that we saw GlenOak pitching to last week,” Bondra said. “We prepared for this moment and they put in a ton of work and you can kind of see that in the game today.”
Mentor advanced to play at Mayfield in a sectional final on Wednesday.