Saturday, May 27
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    North jumped out to a 10-0 lead and then held off rival South for a 15-8 win under the lights at Todd Field on Saturday.

    The Rangers scored five runs in the top of the first, four in the second, and one in the third before the Rebels made their comeback bid with three runs in the third and five in the fourth.

    “We let them back in the game,” said North coach Matt McPeek. “We should have put them away but they did a good job. Going through the top of their order, it’s nerve-racking. They have a leadoff hitter that’s fast and they have a lot of veterans back that are proven players. We kind of knew what we were getting into.”

    North wasted little time in taking control of the game.

    Breonna Preston singled to start the game and Amanda Dobida hit a one-out RBI single. Maddie Russo then drew a two-out walk and Juliana Augusta singled home Dobida to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Dori Siekaniec and Autumn Fester both hit RBI singles in the inning to push the North lead to 5-0.

    The Rangers added four more runs in the second.

    Lily Namestnik and Preston both singled to start the inning and Alyssa McPeek reached on a fielder’s choice. Dobida then singled home Preston and Namestnik, and Olivia Augusta singled home McPeek to increase the lead to 8-0. Fester doubled and Siekaniec singled home Augusta.

    “We had so much fun,” said Siekaniec, who finished the game 5-for-5 with three runs scored and three runs batted in. “The energy was great and everyone was playing for each other.”

    North added a run in the third when Fester and Namestnik hit back-to-back singles. Fester scored on a Preston ground ball the Rebels turned into a double play.

    Down but not out, the Rebels began their comeback in the bottom of the third inning.

    Nia Guess hit a leadoff double and Grace Woodcock drew a walk. Catherine Heckman then drew a walk to load the bases and Emma Woolnough picked up an RBI when she was hit by a pitch.

    Ryan Wallace and Morgan Staska followed with bases-loaded walks.

    Dobida struck out the final two Rebels to limit the damage.

    “Amanda was actually injured,” McPeek said of Dobida’s struggles. “She had a blister that formed and tore off during the game. She just couldn’t plant. We had the trainer look at it and by the end of the game she had a whole bloody sock but she’s tough and she said she wanted to stay in.”

    North responded to South’s big inning with four runs in the top of the fourth to push its lead to 14-3.

    Olivia Augusta doubled to start the rally and Siekaniec hit a two-out RBI double and scored on Fester’s single. Namestnik and Preston drew walks and then Dobida walked with the bases loaded.

    South bounced back with a five-run fourth.

    Guess singled and Woodcock walked to start the rally. Woolnough then drew a two-out walk and Wallace reached on an error that allowed two runs to score. Staska followed with a walk and Amanda Cesar cleared the bases with a double.

    McPeek finally replaced Dobida with Taylor Bard, who shut out the Rebels the rest of the way.

    Dobida allowed three earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and an uncharacteristic eight walks. Bard didn’t allow a hit and struck out two in three scoreless innings of work.

    “Taylor really stepped up,” McPeek said. “No moment is too big for her and she shut them down to seal the deal, but Amanda battled as long as she could.”

    The Rangers scored a run in the top of the seventh when Siekaniec singled and Fester was hit by a pitch. Preston then hit a one-out RBI single to close out the scoring.

    “I feel the hitting was contagious,” Siekaniec said. We kept battling at the plate and it worked in our favor.”

    Siekaniec led the charge with five hits. Preston and Fester both recorded three hits and Fester added three RBI. Dobida, Olivia Augusta, and Juliana Augusta both finished with two hits.

    “The energy of a rivalry game is always high and hearing my girls in the dugout really pumped me up,” Siekaniec said. “I wanted to contribute to the game any way I could and it just happened to be a good offensive day.”

    Guess and Cesar both had two hits for the Rebels.


    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, 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, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the 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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