Despite having a solid group of seniors, the Twinsburg softball squad has several players with increased roles this spring and a host of newcomers are providing contributions early on.
Battling injuries, Twinsburg moved to 2-2 with a pair of wins at a nonleague doubleheader at Garfield Heights on Saturday.
Getting the offense untracked, the Tigers won 11-2 in game one and 27-2 in the afternoon clash.
Head coach Chris Shaffer loves the offense, but was glad to see some solid pitching by some newcomers as well as flashes of strong defense, as well.
Senior Jordan Kinford got the Lady Tigers going in game one.
"We got started in the first inning when Jordan singled on a 2-1 count, scoring one run," said Shaffer, whose club amassed 17 hits in the opener.
Sophomore pitcher Emily Riggi earned her first career win against Garfield Heights. "Emily was the winning pitcher and she went three innings, allowing zero runs on zero hits while striking out three," Shaffer said.
Hana Hayes, a senior hurler, is the leader of the pitching staff, but has been injured along with the No. 2 starter junior newcomer Kaley Klominek.
Junior Ally Schank tossed four innings in relief out of the bullpen. Schank will also log plenty of innings until the Tiger pitching duo gets 100-percent healthy.
Catcher Mary Leskovec had a big game with the bat as the senior had three hits along with junior Kelsey Boron.
Senior Brett Grosel, Kinford, and sophomore Leah Bova each had multiple hits for the Tigers.
In game two, Twinsburg pounded out 15 hits to explode for a season high 27 runs. The locals pushed across 14 runs in the second frame.
Shaffer was excited about the offense, coming from all over the lineup.
"Gabrielle Grumbos drove in four runs on two hits," he said.
Grumbos used a single in the second and a triple in the fourth to net four RBI.
The big inning was driven by singles by senior Daniella Engelmann, Grumbos, Schank, senior Paige Pleta, Kinford, a walk by Riggi, and double by Leskovec.
A fielding error on a ball put in play by Riggi also aided the Tiger cause.
Hayes did earn the win, allowing three hits and one run over three innings, striking out four. Hayes did not walk a batter. Klominek threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen.
Freshman standout Gabi Bonnizzo had a career game as she went 4-for-6 at the plate.
Twinsburg lost 13-5 in a Suburban League National Conference clash on the road at Brecksville on Thursday. Twinsburg is 0-2 in the league. Klominek had the loss.
"Gabi (Bonnizzo) had a homer in the sixth inning," said Shaffer, looking for the positives. "She led the way with two hits (in four at bats)."
Grumbos collected a pair of RBIs with one hit.
Junior Maria Delegram had a hit and an RBI while junior Amanda Delegram, Boron, and Leskovec also had hits.
In upcoming play, the Tigers host Aurora April 10, visit Austintown Fitch April 11, compete in a doubleheader at Columbus Bishop Hartley April 13, play at Hudson April 15 and travel to Nordonia April 16.
The season opener was late this spring due to field conditions, as the Tigers lost 10-6 April 3 against visiting Cuyahoga Falls.
"Trailing 10-1, we scored five runs in the seventh inning,î said Shaffer, who was happy to see some resiliency in his club.
That seventh inning comeback saw Kinford, Grumbos, and junior Abby St Andrassy post RBIís. Schank took the loss.
Twinsburg, which had only four wins last spring, did have 10 hits in the loss as Grumbos, Engelmann, Pleta, and Boron each had two hits.