The Nordonia softball team began the week with a road loss at Suburban League National Conference North Royalton 15-8 April 9.
The Knights ended the week Saturday with defeats to non-league opponents Olmsted Falls 7-4 and Canton GlenOak 6-2 as part of the AkronRacers Spring Showcase at Firestone Stadium.
Sandwiched in between, however, were three home wins over National Conference rivals Twinsburg 12-5 Tuesday, Wadsworth 8-6 Wednesday and Hudson 11-1 Thursday.
Nordonia’s record moved to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the Suburban League National Confernce with the results.
In the win over Twinsburg, things began bleakly as the Tigers took a quick 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
But Nordonia answered with a run in the bottom of the first and then took the lead with four runs in the second inning, highlighted by senior shortstop Lexi Maciejowski’s three-run homer. The Knights put the game away with seven runs in the third inning.
"We started hitting the ball as soon as we came out and we continued to hit, especially in the first three innings," said Nordonia head coach Kelsey Shirey. "We also played strong on the defensive end.
"It was nice that our kids got a game under their belts in which they played well all-around."
Pacing Nordonia’s 14-hit attack was Maciejowski, who in addition to her round tripper, singled four times and scored two runs.
Freshman third baseman Hallie Majoros had three singles, an RBI and two runs scored. Senior second baseman Kayla Buck singled, doubled, knocked in a run and scored once.
Senior center fielder, and leadoff hitter, Kendall Becker had two singles, an RBI and scored three times, junior left fielder Jenn Willis singled, knocked in a run and scored a run, and senior Rachel Cornett tripled.
With two RBIs a piece were senior catcher Hannah Ours and junior right fielder Jordyn Dean. Dean also scored once. Junior Nina Christley knocked home a run and scored one.
Cornett also pitched a complete game, striking out two and walking one.
"Rachel was on," said Shirey. "She was painting every corner and hitting every spot that Hannah asked her to pitch to. That’s all we can ask for from our pitchers."
Against Wadsworth, Nordonia again fell behind early, this time 3-0 when the Knights came to bat in the bottom of the third inning.
That’s when the home team exploded for all eight of its runs, most of them with two outs. The Grizzlies scored a run in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth but to no avail.
"Our bats just really came alive," Shirey said. "It became contagious."
Willis had two singles, an RBI and scored a run, while Becker tripled and scored once. With a double apiece were Buck and Maciejowski. Buck also had three RBIs and scored a run, and Maciejowski scored once, too.
Christley and senior Grace Barth each singled and scored a run, while Majoros knocked in a run and scored one.
Majoros also went the distance on the mound, striking out one in her first start of the season.
"Hallie pitched very well," said the coach. "I think she knew coming in that Wadsworth was a game that you really had to be on your ‘A’ game for, and she did that.
"I knew we were going to be facing a really competitive team and a very athletic team, and we showed up and were ready to go, which was awesome.
"The only complaint the coaches had was that we kind of got complacent after we scored our eight runs. The kids need to be more consistent."
That consistency arrived 24 hours later when Nordonia really put it to Hudson. The Knights had 13 hits, including home runs by Willis in the third inning and Majoros and Maciejowski in the fifth.
Willis, Dean, Buck and Majoros all had multiple hits, Willis and Dean with three apiece. Majoros had three RBIs and Willis had two. Willis scored three runs, while Becker and Dean each scored two.
Cornett went the distance on the mound, fanning two batters and walking one.
Costly errors, three of them, again plagued Nordonia against North Royalton. Fifteen hits, including a pair of homers, by the Bears didn’t help.
North Royalton led 2-0, 4-2, 8-3 and 11-4 before the Knights scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to pull within four runs, but that was as close as they would get.
Cornett started and allowed eight runs and seven hits over 2 1/3 innings. Majoros went the remaining 3 2/3 innings, giving up 7 runs and 8 hits.
Nordonia’s 10-hit attack was led by Becker, who singled, doubled and tripled. Maciejowski singled and homered.
With a single apiece were Christley, Ours, Dean, Barth and sophomore Riley Saliga.
Against Olmsted Falls, the score was 2-2 after the first inning, 4-3 Bulldogs after three innings, and after Nordonia scored a run in the bottom of the fifth, 4-4 heading to the sixth inning. Olmsted Falls scored the game’s final three runs in the top of the sixth.
"Most of Olmsted Falls’ hits were perfect gap shots to the outfield," said Shirey, whose team again had problems defensively, committing four errors.
Cornett went the distance on the mound, striking out three and walking two.
"Rachel pitched well, but sometimes pitches that paint the corner they can get their bats on," the coach said.
In the loss to GlenOak, Nordonia trailed 1-0 after an inning and 3-0 after four innings before cutting its deficit to a run with a two-spot in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Golden Eagles, though, completed the scoring with a run in the top of the sixth and two more in the seventh.
The Knights, who had three more errors, nonetheless impressed their coach.
"GlenOak is a powerful team," said Shirey. "There are some losses that you have to be proud of your team for, and I’m very proud of my team for this game."
Majoros went the distance, yielding 11 hits while fanning one and walking two.
"I think Hallie pitched great because, even though we had a few errors, she trusted the defense behind her," Shirey said. "Basically every batter we faced was hitting the ball very hard, but my girls weren’t afraid of the ball being hit at them."
Dean singled, tripled and scored a run. Also crossing home plate was Christley. Saliga and sophomore left fielder Sam Daniels both knocked in a run.
The Knights are at Stow-Munroe Falls Wednesday before traveling to Brecksville-Broadview Heights Thursday with both games at 4:30 p.m.
Nordonia is scheduled to host non-league opponents Massillon Jackson Friday at 5 p.m. and Crestwood in a doubleheader Saturday at 11 a.m.
The Knights are scheduled to host Brecksville-Broadview Heights April 24 at 4:30 p.m.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MLeonard_RPC