After a pair of error-filled, high-scoring defeats to start the season, the Nordonia softball team notched it first victory in a 1-0 pitchers-duel win over visiting Mayfield Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader. The Knights committed just one error.
Nordonia’s only run was scored in the bottom of the sixth inning when senior centerfielder Jordyn Dean scored off a dropped fly ball to the outfield off the bat of senior right fielder Mijae Lewis.
Freshman Grace Daniels was superb on the mound for Nordonia. She struck out four batters and walked just two while yielding only three hits.
"I think both teams’ intensity lowered itself a little bit from Game 1, and I think that’s why the bats went quiet," said Knights head coach Kelsey Shirey. "Luckily, Grace was pitching well. We played much better defense, too."
Junior Sam Daniels had two hits, while Dean, Lewis and senior left fielder Jenn Willis had a hit apiece.
In the first game of the twin bill, Nordonia lost 13-9. Mainly due to a six-run outburst in the bottom of the third inning, the Knights took an 8-3 lead into the top of the fifth inning.
That’s when the Wildcats erupted for nine runs. Nordonia committed five errors in the game.
"We get two outs and then an easy popup or an easy grounder and we can’t make an easy out. We made it hard on ourselves. It’s frustrating for everyone," Shirey said. "It causes momentum shifts. It’s hard to come back when you have such a long inning on defense.
"It’s something we have to work on. We have to just keep it simple and do what we have to do."
Sam Daniels had two singles, a double, two RBIs and scored a run.
"Sam struggled in the opener at [Suburban League National Conference rival] Stow-[Munroe Falls] offensively, so it was nice to see her do what she did at the plate," Shirey said. "She’s getting more comfortable there. I think she’s really seeing the ball well. It’s a great contribution to our team."
Lewis had two singles, a double and two runs scored, while junior Katherine Pastor singled, doubled, knocked in a run and scored twice.
"Mijae is gaining more confidence at the plate. She’s also so fast on the baselines," the coach said. "Kat didn’t get the hits that she wanted to get against Stow. We told her she just has to make solid contact, and she did. It was nice to see her confidence grow with just a simple hit up the middle."
Freshman Morgan Gallagher had three hits and an RBI. With a hit and RBI apiece were Dean, Willis and senior Nina Christley. Christley and Willis also each scored a run.
Sophomore Kaley Meadows had a hit, freshman Jenna Cornett had an RBI and junior Meg Crawford scored two runs.
On the rubber, Cornett fanned eight and walked five and gave up 10 hits.
Nordonia opened the season Wednesday with a 12-8 loss at Stow-Munroe Falls. After the Bulldogs took an early lead, the Knights tied the score with four runs in the top of the third inning.
Stow tallied five runs in the bottom of the frame, but the visitors responded with a run in the top of the fourth and three more in the fifth to pull within 9-8.
The Knights committed four errors.
"It was a really good game, though," Shirey said. "As the game went on, we got confidence at the plate."
Dean had two singles and two runs scored. Junior Christina DeRusso singled and had an RBI, while Lewis and Pastor each singled and scored a run.
Christley scored twice, and Willis and Crawford each scored once.
On the mound, Grace Daniels walked seven batters and gave up 11 hits.
Nordonia is scheduled to host National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights Monday at 4:30 p.m. and then travel to Cuyahoga Falls Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
The Knights are scheduled to play at Chardon Thursday and Mantua Crestwood Friday. Each game is set to start at 4:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Nordonia is scheduled to play at Field at 9 a.m. and against Alliance, also at Field, at 11 a.m.