Strong pitching and a balanced offense led North to a doubleheader sweep over Medina and Elyria Catholic on Saturday.
The Rangers opened the day with a 3-0 win over Medina and then closed out the day with a 13-3 run-rule win over Elyria Catholic.
“We have waited a long time to get out to play, so getting to see all the hard work in the gym pay off was amazing and exciting,” said Dori Siekaniec, who finished the day 4-for-6 with five runs scored and a run batted in.
Amanda Dobida pitched a complete-game shutout against Medina. She allowed just four hits and struck out 10.
“Going into the first game, our goal was to start the day off right,” Dobida said. “I knew that I needed to do my job in the circle and let my team take care of the rest. Having an amazing offense and defense to back me up is always a plus and starting the day off with a win gave the team the momentum we needed to take the second game. It was amazing.”
North took a 1-0 lead with two outs in the bottom of the second.
Siekaniec singled and stole second. She scored on Autumn Fester’s RBI single.
The Rangers added two insurance runs in the fourth.
Maddie Russo hit a leadoff single and stole second. She moved to third on a groundout and scored on Siekaniec’s second single of the game. Siekaniec moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Lily Namestnik’s RBI single.
The three-run cushion was all Dobida needed as she pitched out of a jam in each of the final three innings. She walked the leadoff batter in the fifth but her defense bailed her out. She gave up a single and a walk in the sixth but a strikeout, a fielder’s choice, and an infield line out ended that Medina threat.
After giving up a leadoff single in the seventh, Dobida fanned the next three batters to preserve her shutout.
“I was very pleased with my pitching for the first game,” Dobida said. “I honestly couldn’t have done it without my awesome catcher, Alyssa McPeek, calling pitches behind the plate. A shutout and 10 strikeouts is a big accomplishment, but there is always room for improvement. I am glad that I was able to provide for my team in the circle and allow them to shine offensively and defensively.”
The Rangers got their bats going in the second game.
McPeek drew a one-out walk in the first and scored on Olivia Augusta’s RBI single.
Siekaniec, Fester, and Namestnik hit back-to-back-to-back singles in the second to add two more runs, and then the Rangers exploded for five runs in the third that left them up 8-0.
Once again, Siekaniec started the rally with a single after Juliana Augusta reached on an error.
“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Siekaniec said about her confidence in the batter’s box. “I’m focusing on turning on the first pitch I like, which has been successful for me the past week.”
Namestnik and Dobida both singled in the inning while Alyssa Gross hit a double and McPeek added a triple.
Breonna Preston and Namestnik both doubled in North’s three-run fourth and the Rangers added two more runs in the fifth then held the Panthers to just two runs in the bottom of the inning to invoke the run rule.
Namestnik finished the day 4-for-7 with three runs scored and four RBI. Dobida was 3-for-6 and McPeek and Fester both had two hits on the day.
“Seeing everyone have fun and gain confidence has been awesome,” Siekaniec said of North’s 4-0 week. “I think the hitting is contagious. We want to do all we can to bring our teammates home to score, which impacts us to battle at the plate.”
Olivia Augusta picked up the pitching victory in the second game. She allowed one earned run on three hits and struck out seven. Taylor Bard allowed two runs on two hits and struck out one in one inning of work.
North plays West Geauga at Ursuline College on Monday.