There is only one thing better than ending a losing streak, and that is starting a winning streak.
The Woodridge softball team accomplished both April 25 in a 9-5 home win over Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Coventry.
On April 24, the Bulldogs lost 9-2 on the road against the same Comets, suffering their fifth straight defeat.
The week began April 22 with the Battle of the Falls at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in which Woodridge lost 3-2 to CVCA and then 5-2 to Cuyahoga Falls. Both were non-conference games.
In the April 25 game against Coventry, Woodridge took a 4-0 lead with 2 runs in both the first and third innings. By the time they came to bat in the bottom of the sixth, their lead had shrunk to 5-4.
"We all huddled up and said we needed a little insurance," said Woodridge head coach Dan Schneider. "With the help of a couple hard hit balls and an error, we got it. We had five singles and scored 4 runs that inning. We hadn't swung the bat that well for a while, so it was good to see."
Woodridge's 14-hit attack was paced by senior shortstop Mackenzie Mercer, who had 3 singles and an RBI.
Junior first baseman Sydney Shaheen had a double, single and 3 RBIs.
"Sydney worked all winter to improve her swing," Schneider said. "She's struggled a little bit, so it was nice to see her have a good game at the plate."
Junior catcher Sage Jenkins had two doubles, and her classmate Cassie Riebau, the second baseman, had 2 singles. Also with 2 singles were senior outfielder Mary Bates and sophomore Caitlin Raid. Bates also drew a walk.
Freshman Kilah Neal had a single and drew a walk.
Raid went the distance, striking out 10 and walking just 1.
In the loss to Coventry the score was 2-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
"We'd played a pretty decent game up to that point, and then the wheels fell off for us in the sixth," Schneider said. "Coventry scored 3 runs in the fifth and 4 in the sixth. They hit Caitlin pretty hard, especially in that sixth inning when they had four doubles and a triple. We also had a costly error that started the inning."
Raid went the distance, striking out 4 and walking 2.
Bates took out her frustrations that she has had at the plate this season with 3 singles and an RBI.
With a single apiece were Mercer, Riebau, Jenkins and Raid. Mercer also drew a walk.
The game against CVCA went into extra innings. The score was 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth.
"Caitlin got the first two hitters to fly out," said the coach. "Then she hit a batter and gave up a triple, and that was it."
Raid again went the distance, fanning 11 and walking only 1. She helped her own cause with a double and single.
Mercer doubled and Riebau, Bates, Shaheen and senior outfielder Ally Rohrer each singled.
An injury to sophomore Brayden Wigal in the previous game resulted in Neal getting her first varsity start against Cuyahoga Falls. She went 5 1/3 innings, walking 5. Raid pitched the last 1 2/3 innings, striking out 1.
"Kilah struggled a little bit but overall did a pretty good job," said Schneider.
Woodridge took a 2-0 first-inning lead, but the Black Tigers responded with a run in the bottom of the first, 2 in the third and 2 more in the sixth.
Raid doubled and singled, while Jenkins singled and drew a walk.
Mercer and Riebau each had a single. Mercer was also hit by a pitch.
Woodridge was scheduled to take an 8-8 overall record, and 4-4 PTC Metro mark, into a home game April 27 with division rival Cloverleaf, but the result was not available at press time.
On April 28 and 29, the Bulldogs were set to compete in the Grand Slam Tournament in Akron.
On April 28 they were scheduled to play Warren Howland at Firestone Stadium and then Massillon Perry at the Pony Field right next to Firestone Stadium. On April 29 they were set to take on Painesville Harvey, also at the Pony Field. All three were non-conference games. The results were not available at press time.
Woodridge is scheduled to host division rival Norton May 1 and play the same Panthers on the road May 2. On May 3, the Bulldogs are set to travel to Field, another conference foe. First pitch for all three games is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.