Big margins define first week for Woodridge softball

Roger Gordon
Correspondent
Woodridge Bulldogs

The first three games of the season for the Woodridge softball team were blowouts.

In fact, all three contests were shortened due to the 10-run mercy rule.

The Bulldogs lost 18-8 March 27 at Akron Manchester before the fifth inning was through and then fell 11-1 Monday at Mogadore before the sixth inning was done.

The locals took out their frustration by pummeling Metro Athletic Conference rival Ravenna Wednesday on the road 18-0 in five innings.

In the win over the Ravens, Woodridge scored runs in every inning but the fifth. The Bulldogs put up nine runs in the second inning. In all, they rapped 13 hits, took six walks and had two hit batsmen.

Senior catcher Alivia Collura paced the roadsters by going 3-for-3 with two singles and a double. Freshman first baseman Katelyn Dennison went 2-for-2 with two singles and two RBIs.

Junior Emily Dennison, Katelyn’s sister, was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and two RBIs, while sophomore first baseman Addy Porter homered and singled.

On the mound, junior Kendal Gregory had perhaps even a better night than her team’s hitters – if that was possible. She yielded only one hit and a walk while striking out eight batters.

“Kendal was very consistent,” Woodridge head coach Dan Schneider said. “She pretty much took care of business, especially in the first three innings.”

In the loss to Manchester, it looked as if the Bulldogs were on their way to a victory when they were in the lead 8-5 entering the bottom of the fifth inning. That is when the Panthers exploded for 13 runs in just 2/3 of an inning.

Freshman Sarah Rathbun pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up 16 runs on 12 hits. Emily Dennison came in and yielded two runs, failing to get an out.

“Our defense let us down a little bit,” said Schneider. “We only had two recorded errors, but we had several mental errors. We played like we weren’t prepared, but some of our kids hadn’t played in two years like everybody else.”

Sophomore second baseman Lexi Mathis went 2-for-2 with two singles, two RBIs and a run scored.

In the loss to Mogadore, the Bulldogs produced just three hits.

“Mogadore’s pitcher kept us off balance,” Schneider said. “She moved the ball around well, had good location. We just never found it at the plate that night.”

Gregory went the distance on the mound, yielding eight hits and walking six batters.

“Kendal had 10 strikeouts and we lost 11-1!” a frustrated Schneider declared.

Woodridge was scheduled to play at MAC rival Coventry Thursday before hosting Mogadore Saturday and MAC rival Field Monday.

The Bulldogs are set to travel to conference foe Springfield April 6, host Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary April 8 and play at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy April 9. All three games are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.