Mentor pounded out 31 hits in sweeping a doubleheader from Grand Valley and Akron Hoban on Saturday at Firestone Stadium in Akron.
With the pair of non-conference wins, the Cardinals extended their winning streak to five games and improved to 13-2 overall.
“Today’s non-conference games were nice to play,” Mentor coach Michelle Thompson said. “We, as coaches, got to put the players in different positions and situations and challenge them to step up and perform. They all stepped up and successfully met the challenge that was placed upon them. Seeing what each player can do only helps us when we get to the tournament. We will know what each player’s strengths are and use that to our advantage.”
The Cardinals recorded 11 hits, including four for extra bases, in a 17-4 win over Grand Valley in the first game then used a 20-hit performance to beat Archbishop Hoban, 12-4, in the second game. Mentor finished that game with six extra-base hits.
“Our offense is exploding right now,” Thompson said. “Coach (Russ) Dolejs has really worked on the girls’ mechanics, hitting mentality and their ability to adjust to different pitching. The players are so receptive to coaching and have made all the adjustments to be successful at the plate. All that hard work is now paying off.”
Peyton Dolejs had a big day for the Cardinals as she finished the doubleheader 8-for-9 at the plate with six runs scored and she knocked in six more.
“My approach at the plate has become more aggressive now that the year is coming to an end,” Dolejs said. “I have been looking for pitches that I can hit solid and get on base. I want to get these pitches no matter the count because I want people to know that they have to work to pitch to me.”
Dolejs was 4-for-4 with a triple, four runs scored and three RBI against Grand Valley. She finished 4-for-5 against Hoban with two runs scored, three RBI and a solo home run over the left field fence in the fifth inning that started a four-run rally.
“I’m pretty sure they tried to throw the ball somewhat inside, but I was able to hit it before it moved completely,” she said. “Off the bat, it felt good. It was a line drive so I didn’t know if it was home run right away. I was running and rounding first and I heard Coach Thompson cheering so it was over. It was exciting because I was able to contribute more to our win by getting that extra run.”
Casey McHugh finished the day 5-for-8 with a double, two runs scored and five RBI and Raegan Thompson was 4-for-8 with a run scored and three RBI. Thompson homered against Grand Valley and hit a pair of doubles against Hoban.
Adrianna Sluga, Sammy Bancroft and Kiley Markowski recorded doubles for the Cardinals while Avalon Gollin ripped a triple.
“We were all locked in at the plate because we were playing to win each inning,” Dolejs said. “We had the intensity to make every game interesting offensively, which transferred to help out our defense. Because we were into every pitch mentally and physically, we were able to compete at the plate.”
Caitlin Dems picked up the pitching win in game one after allowing one unearned run on three hits in two innings of work. Dolejs struck out five in two scoreless innings and Leah Temple allowed one run on one hit in one inning of relief.
Temple started game two and pitched three scoreless innings to pick up the win. She allowed three hits and struck out four. Dems allowed two runs on five hits and struck out one in two innings of work and Dolejs finished the game. She allowed two unearned runs on two hits and struck out two in two innings.
The Cardinals travel to Brunswick on Monday.