Hudson — In the not-so-distant past, Stow-Munroe Falls vs. Hudson was one of the most significant softball rivalries in Northeast Ohio.
It's still a rivalry game, but Stow has put some distance between itself and its neighbors to the north in recent years.
That trend continued April 18 at Hudson.
Stow jumped on the Explorers early and often, as the Bulldogs secured a 13-0 win in five innings.
The win was Stow's second on April 18, having downed Akron Springfield 8-2 earlier in the day at Weddle Park.
Stow improved to 6-2, 1-0 in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division, while Hudson dropped to 1-5, 0-1 in the division.
Stow coach Doug Hawkins said his team was moving in the right direction.
"We're right where we need to be," Hawkins said. "I keep telling the girls, we just need to get a little better every day. Our outfield is playing much better."
Stow's defense didn't have its best day, as the Bulldogs committed three errors, though Hawkins noted there were several bad hops that bedeviled his team.
Pitching-wise, however, Stow junior Sadie Jones (3-1) was on her game, allowing just two Hudson hits, no run and no walks, while striking out five.
By contrast, Hudson starting pitcher Nikki Turner (1-2) gave up 13 earned runs off 11 hits and six walks in her five innings of work.
Hudson coach Don Sewell said he knew his team needed a great effort if it was going to compete with Stow.
"We told them to stay relaxed," Sewell said. "We knew coming into the game they were going to put a lot of balls in play. We knew they were going to hit the ball hard."
While Stow got contributions from all over its lineup, center fielder Jenni Heid had a game to remember, belting two home runs for four RBIs.
Heid she never had hid two home runs in a game before at any level.
"I definitely will remember this as my best game," Heid said. "I felt like I needed to make up for some of the errors I made with my bat. That's softball."
Stow opened with three runs in the first inning, thanks to an RBI single from third baseman Chrissie Vaughan and two Hudson throwing errors.
Stow made it 4-0 in the second inning when second baseman Beckah Jones led off with a single and came home on an RBI single from Erin Kolke.
Heid provided the offensive in the third, as she smacked a three-run homer to left field fence.
Up 7-0 heading into the fifth inning, Stow put the contest away with six runs in the fifth.
Heid led off the inning with her second home run, this time clearing the fence in right-center field.
Kayla Esterle then walked, stole second and came home on an RBI single from Beckah Jones.
Sarah Schmidt then singled and Erin Sadler grounded out to third, allowing Beckah Jones to score.
Kolke then hit her second RBI single of the game. Sadie Jones and Vaughan then walked. Kolke would score on a wild pitch and Sadie Jones scored on a throwing error to make it 13-0.
Turner led off the bottom of the fifth with a bloop single, but Jones retired the next three Explorers in order to invoke the 10-run mercy rule.
Hudson will play a home doubleheader with Louisville April 19 with game one beginning at noon.