A six-run third inning helped Mentor beat visiting Lake Catholic in a non-conference affair on Monday, 8-4.
The Cardinals, who improved to 2-0 on the year, used the big inning to break open a 1-1 game and held off the Cougars the rest of the way.
“It’s always exciting to get a win,” said Mentor coach Jo Bondra. “It’s even more exciting when you open the season 2-0 at home on a new field. The girls were excited.”
Leah Temple hit a two-out double in the bottom of the first inning and pinch-runner Jordan Alesci scored on the first of three hits by Abby Haydu, who doubled on a two-and-two pitch.
Lake Catholic tied the game in the top of the third when Lizzie Summers doubled and scored on an error.
Mentor responded with a big third inning.
Addison Siedler drew a leadoff walk and Bella Carcioppolo reached on a bunt single that left Cardinals at the corners with no outs. Siedler scored on Adrianna Sluga’s sacrifice and Carcioppolo made it 3-1 when she scored after Temple reached on an error. Haydu then singled again to score Alesci, who ran for Temple.
Kiley Markowski reached on an error and after Lake Catholic recorded the second out, Sydni Bush doubled home Haydu and Allie Loparo, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
Jill Reardon singled and Siedler drew a walk to load the bases. Carcioppolo then walked home a run that pushed the Mentor lead to 7-1.
The Cougars added a run in the fourth and two in the fifth to pull to within 7-4 but the Cardinals added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth to close out the scoring.
Carcioppolo singled with two outs and stole second. She scored on Sluga’s single.
“We had a lot of people step up offensively today, especially Sluga, Carciopollo, Bush, and Haydu,” Bondra said. “We got a lot of people involved offensively today. It was nice to see.”
Haydu finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and a double. Bush was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two doubles. Temple also doubled in the win. Carcioppolo was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Temple and Kristin Dems combined in the circle to hold the Cougars to just three earned runs on six hits.
Temple allowed two runs on three hits and struck out nine in four innings to pick up her second victory of the season. Dems allowed two runs on three hits and struck out three.
“I saw my pitching staff go out there and work today,” Bondra said. “Their job is to go out there and give us a chance to win every game. Our staff has done that these first two games. They both work really hard every day so it’s nice to see the work they put in pay off.”
Mentor opens Greater Cleveland Conference play at home against Elyria on Tuesday.