Toppers back on track

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Kayla Preziuso

Chardon bounced back from a pair of setbacks to league rival Madison earlier in the week with a 10-4 win over visiting Kenston on Friday.

The Hilltoppers pounded out a dozen hits and Kayla Preziuso struck out 10 to pick up the victory.

“It felt really good to get a win,” Preziuso said. “I think it was vital to everybody on the team because we were kind of down about the Madison games but we came back and played like Chardon today.”

Chardon took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first and added two more in the second.

Halle Landies got things started with a single and stole second. She scored on a groundout.

Maddie Hauser reached on a fielder’s choice in the second and scored on Olivia Adkins’ triple. Landies then singled home Adkins to give the Hilltoppers a 3-0 lead.

Preziuso struggled a bit in the top of the fourth as she walked three straight Bombers. One run scored on a passed ball and two more came in on an error.

After that, Preziuso faced just 10 batters in the final three innings of play. She allowed just one earned run on two hits and threw first-pitch strikes to 16 of the 28 batters she faced.

“First-pitch strikes are super important when it comes to pitching,” she said. “Once you’re down in the count and it’s in favor of the batter, it is hard to come back and get an out. I struggled a little bit in the third inning but I came right back into my groove. I would have to say that my curveball carried me through most of my strikeouts. The break on the ball was crazy today and made my job a lot easier.”

Chardon responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning and added single runs in the fifth and sixth to finish off the Bombers.

Lexie Leggett homered and doubled in the game and Kayla Noerr finished with three hits for the Hilltoppers. Landies and Preziuso both had two hits in the win.

“We needed to win today because if we didn’t get ahead of Kenston that could’ve had a major impact on our conference ranking,” Preziuso said. “We need to bring our A-game the rest of the season and today gave us a dose of confidence.”

Chardon improved to 10-8 overall and 6-6 in the Western Reserve Conference.

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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.