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    Mentor improved to 3-0 in the Greater Cleveland Conference with a 9-1 win at Strongsville on Tuesday.

    The Cardinals, who won the league title last spring, pulled away from the Mustangs with a three-run fourth inning and then added four more runs in the top of the seventh to seal their seventh win of the season.

    “It was great to get our first win on the road,” said Mentor coach Jo Bondra. “Offense, defense, and pitching all showed up. We know that after winning last year we have a target on our back so we can’t take one team lightly in the conference. Another big game tomorrow against Medina and everyone has to show up again ready to go.”

    Freshman Addison Belviso pitched a gem for the Cardinals.

    She allowed one unearned run on three hits and fanned three in a complete-game victory.

    “I have been watching Belviso pitch for the last four years,” Bondra said. “I met her and her family through travel when I was first hired at Mentor. I was eager to see how she did when she entered high school and as a 14-year-old technically pitching 18U, she has definitely held her own. Her velocity and movement looked good today and to keep a good hitting team like Strongsville to one run and only three hits is huge, especially in a conference game. Today, she was able to move the ball around, get up in the count, and then get a groundout or pop out. She knows she doesn’t have to be a strikeout pitcher with our defense. They will make plays for her.”

    Mentor’s offense started quickly with one run in the top of the first.

    Aubree Colón started the rally with a leadoff single and Mak Kobetitsch continued her hot streak with an RBI double.

    “We know that teams are working to take back the GCC title, so getting off to a fast start is just what we needed,” Kobetitsch said. “We can’t stop now though; we know we have some very tough games ahead. We will need to stay focused, and I know we can.”

    Strongsville responded with an unearned run on a single and an error in the bottom half of the inning, but Belviso locked in and allowed just four baserunners the rest of the game.

    Kobetitsch hit a one-out single in the top of the third and scored on Maggie Haydu’s RBI single that left the Cardinals in the lead, 2-1.

    Izzy Coode’s one-out double in the fourth sparked Mentor’s three-run inning.

    Olivia Sacks followed with a single and Gabi Dadante cleared the bases with her inside-the-park homer.

    The Cardinals added four insurance runs in the seventh.

    Kobetitsch reached on an error, Ireland Rainey was hit by a pitch, and Maddy Menough hit a one-out single to load the bases. Kathryn Bouffard made it 7-1 with a two-run single and Coode reached on an error that scored another run. Clarissa Morrison, who ran for Bouffard, scored on a Sacks sacrifice fly that closed out the scoring.

    “One thing we were really excited about during winter ball was our hitting,” Bondra said of her team’s 14-hit day. “Mak came back this season right where she left off and it’s setting the tone from the start of the game. We really don’t have a hole in our lineup, even if we go to the bench we have some very talented hitters. We feel like offensively, our team is deep and that’s exciting as we start getting into more conference games.”

    Kobetitsch finished the day 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI.

    “I just trust my coaches and teammates,” she said. “Doing so well has definitely helped my confidence at the plate, which I think helps my approach in each at-bat. I know it could slow down, but I’ll do everything I can to keep it up for my team. Tonight, we had 14 hits as a team. Hitting is contagious and once we start, we don’t want to stop. As impressive as it might seem, we believe we can do even better.”

    Maddy Menough went 3-for-4 and Coode finished the game with two hits. Colón, Rainey, Haydu, Bouffard, Sacks, and Dadante each recorded one hit in the win.

    Mentor hosts Medina on Wednesday.

     

    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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