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MAYFIELD—North’s softball team got off to a slow start in a Western Reserve Conference showdown at Mayfield on Monday but the Rangers found their groove and went on to beat the Wildcats, 8-2.

With the win, the Rangers improved to 10-1 overall and 5-1 in the Western Reserve Conference.

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“The girls looked like they were in slow motion to start the game but once we got to the second time through the lineup, they stepped up their game and the swings looked better,” said North coach Taylor Braddock.

A late-arriving bus contributed to North’s slow start but the Rangers did pick up a two-out run in the top of the first inning.

Jess Dodd drew a two-out walk and stole second. She scored on Hailie Wilson’s triple.

The Rangers added another two-out run in the third when Emily Zaleski doubled and Dodd tripled her home to give North a 2-0 lead.

Julianna Augusta’s one-out double in the fourth led to an unearned run when she moved to third on a groundout and scored on an error.

North broke the game open in the fifth.

Adri George singled and stole her way to third and Zaleski drew a walk to set the table for Dodd, who doubled home George to make it 4-0. Wilson followed with a two-run single and moved to third on the throw to the plate.

“Hailie and Jess are seeing the ball so well right now,” Braddock said. “They got us started and on the board today. The girls following them feed off of their productivity and began to produce as well.”

Augusta followed with a one-out RBI single and Alyssa McPeek also singled home a run in the inning.

“Momentum is huge in this sport and having our seniors step up helps the other girls get going in the box as well,” Braddock said.

Mayfield spoiled North’s shutout bid with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Brynn Gillen hit a leadoff triple and scored on a groundout and Angeleah Saltenis hit a solo shot with two outs to close out the scoring.

Amanda Dobida went the distance in the circle for the Rangers. She allowed two runs on three hits and struck out seven. She improved to 6-0 this season.

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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.