It was a good start to last week for the Woodridge softball team as it won three games to increase its winning streak to five, but the week ended with two convincing defeats.
First on the docket was a game April 13 at Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Cloverleaf.
The Bulldogs won 2-0 behind a strong pitching performance by Caitlin Raid. The sophomore went the distance, giving up 6 hits and striking out 8 batters.
The home team knocked on the door a few times but failed to capitalize.
"They got runners to third base in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but Caitlin got out of every one of those jams," said Woodridge head coach Dan Schneider.
Raid used what happened a year ago at Cloverleaf when, with her team up by two, she floated one over the middle of the plate, resulting in a walk-off three-run homer, as even more motivation to conquer the Colts.
"Caitlin was not going to let anything like that happen again," Schneider said.
A passed ball in the top of the third inning scored junior third baseman Emily Mally, who was on third base by way of a swinging bunt and a throwing error, for Woodridge's first run. The second run came in the seventh when junior first baseman Sydney Shaheen's triple drove home Raid, who had singled.
The Bulldogs' other two hits were a triple by junior second baseman Cassie Riebau and a single by senior shortstop Mackenzie Mercer.
On April 15, Woodridge swept a doubleheader from non-conference foe Triway in Wooster.
The Bulldogs won the first game 8-2 behind an almost flawless pitching performance by sophomore Brayden Wigal and a 13-hit attack. Wigal yielded just three hits and fanned 5.
"Brayden kept her pitches to a minimum and didn't give them anything to hit," said Schneider.
Wigal helped her own cause by slamming a three-run homer in the fourth inning. Woodridge had scored a run in the first, it scored another in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Raid and senior outfielder Ally Rohrer each had a double, single and 2 RBIs. Raid also scored twice.
Riebau and senior outfielder Mary Bates both had a pair of hits. Riebau also knocked in a run.
Mercer, junior catcher Sage Jenkins, Shaheen and Mally each had a hit.
The nightcap was much more competitive as the visitors took a quick 3-0 lead in the first, were tied up in the third, took a 5-3 lead in the sixth on a two-run double by Mercer and hung on for a 5-4 victory.
Shaheen singled twice and had two RBIs.
Raid and Wigal each had two singles, and Raid knocked home a run.
Riebau and Rohrer had a hit apiece.
Raid went the distance, striking out six.
"Caitlin pitched pretty well," said Schneider. "When Triway needed a hit, they didn't get it."
Then on April 18, Woodridge committed six errors in a 13-4 loss at home to PTC Metro Division rival Field.
"We'd been pretty upbeat all season long, but we came out flat for some reason," the coach said. "It was one of those contagious things. One error turned into another and on and on.
"We got 11 hits but just didn't put them together when we needed to."
With two hits apiece were Mercer, Raid, Bates and Rohrer.
Raid, who took the loss, started and went five innings before giving way to Wigal.
Field scored two runs in the second inning, three each in the fourth, fifth and sixth and 2 in the seventh.
On April 19 at the Pony Field next to Firestone Stadium in Akron as part of the Rubber City Rivalry Series, Woodridge was no match for PTC County Division foe Waterloo in a 13-2 defeat.
The Bulldogs managed just 2 hits, a double by Mercer and a single by Jenkins.
Wigal, who took the loss, started but was replaced by Raid in the third inning, a frame in which the latter gave up back-to-back home runs as part of an 8-spot for Waterloo.
Woodridge is scheduled to travel to non-conference foe Coventry April 24 and, the next day, host the Comets. Two days later, on April 27, the Bulldogs are scheduled to host Cloverleaf. First pitch for all three games is set for 4:30 p.m.
On April 28 and 29, Woodridge is scheduled to take part in the Grand Slam Tournament at Firestone Stadium - on the 28th against Warren Howland at 4:30 p.m. and against Massillon Perry at 6:30 p.m. and on the 29th against Painesville Harvey at 10 a.m. All three are non-conference games.