MAYFIELD—North’s softball team opened the 2018 season with six straight losses during its spring trip to Myrtle Beach earlier this month.
The Rangers returned to Ohio and lost their league opener to Brush on Monday but bounced back to earn a split with the Arcs on Tuesday. That winning attitude carried over into Thursday’s road game at Mayfield as the Rangers pounded out 12 hits, including three for extra bases, in a 7-1 win over the Wildcats.
“It’s totally different right now than what it was in Myrtle Beach,” said North coach Taylor Braddock. “We were all down and we weren’t in the games. That’s how we went into games and it was nice to come into this game off of a win. The confidence definitely showed.”
It took a couple of innings for North’s offense to find its rhythm as Mayfield pitcher Clara Graves retired the first seven Rangers she faced.
Megan Zaleski’s one-out single sparked a three-run third.
Ashlee Kronik then singled and Jess Dodd cleared the bases with a double. Adri George then doubled home Dodd to put the Rangers in front, 3-0.
Dodd finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three batted in.
“I just came back from Tuesday’s game and I just put the bat on the ball,” Dodd said. “I thought I could do it and I did it.”
North added two more in the fourth on back-to-back singles by Hannah Harris and Val Arnold. Harris scored on a throwing error and Arnold tagged up on Zaleski’s sacrifice fly.
Kronik’s leadoff triple in the seventh led to another pair of runs.
She scored on Dodd’s single and Dodd moved to third on George’s base hit. Mikaela Fording then put together a 16-pitch at-bat, which included 13 foul balls, before hitting a sacrifice fly to left.
The 12 hits were a season-high for the Rangers.
“We did pound the ball,” Braddock said. “I think it helped our confidence to beat Brush. We hit well against them and that definitely helped them to keep it rolling.”
Dodd, George, Kronik and Samantha Pirosko each finished with two hits for North.
Lexie Genter allowed one run on three hits and struck out four to pick up the pitching victory.
Mayfield stranded five runners in the game.
“That’s one thing we keep telling Lexi, every single inning she walks the line,” Braddock said. “She puts runners on but she gets out of it every time. I don’t know how she does it, but she’s doing alright with it.”
Ashley Deardon led Mayfield with two hits.