Softball slugging its way to winning record

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Maddie Zdanowicz has been seeing the ball well at the plate and has had several multi-hit games.

Without a shortage of offense, the Aurora softball team’s punch is back and thriving well.

Aurora is getting contributions from a slew of performers.

The Greenmen visited Solon for a doubleheader and gained a sweep, winning the first game in come-from-behind fashion as the Greenmen scored two in the top of the seventh to pull out a 6-5 victory.

Slugging its way to 12-1 win in the second game pushed Aurora's record to 7-4 overall Saturday.

Kennedy Austin doubled and Kennedy Nietert singled to start the seventh frame. Shannon Morris pinch ran for Nietert and scored the winning run on a passed ball.

Ava Ryncarz and Mackenzie Krafcik led the way with two hits while Maddie Zdanowicz, McKennah Metzger and Ally DeSapri each added a hit.

“It was awesome to see Austin and Nietert come in and contribute to the team,” said Greenmen coach Sam Petrash. “Austin’s leadoff double was huge to start the inning and Nietert singled to get the winning run on.”

Krafcik got the win as she went seven innings, striking out 12 and only walking two.

Aurora won the second game with Metzger getting the win.

“McKennah went five innings allowing one run on four hits to go with five strikeouts and no walks,” said Petrash.

Metzger benefitted again from an offensive explosion.

Ryncarz banged out three hits, including a home run, a double, and six RBIs.

“Ava has been clutch at the plate and is hitting the gaps hard,” said Petrash. “Even her outs have been hard. She is seeing the ball well.”

Kayla Ring had a 3-for-3 day at the plate, including a triple and two runs scored. Metzger added a homer and a double.

“Kayla broke out with a perfect three-hit day and Metzger continues to punish the ball,” said Petrash. “Morris had two hits, including a perfectly executed push bunt double to knock in a run.

“It’s always fun to watch the ball get banged around the yard, but you know you are clinking on all cylinders when your speedsters pull off a push bunt double,” said Petrash. “That’s a tough skill to master.”

Zdanowicz, Krafcik, Maeve Russell and Nietert also added hits. Aurora won Friday’s game at Nordonia and it was a 17-0 five-inning game.

“Metzger threw a gem as she gave up only one hit and struck out six, but it was the offense that kept McKennah comfortable on the mound, scoring 17 runs on 20 hits,” said Petrash.

Ryncarz led the way with a perfect 5-for-5 day including a double, a home run, three runs scored and three RBIs. A red-hot Zdanowicz went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs.

“Maddie and Ava are our one and two hitters, and it’s going to be a nice day any time you get a combined nine hits and six runs scored from your one and two," said Petrash.

There was more power and even more hitting. Krafcik slammed a pair of homers and Maeve Russell had a dinger to give the Greenmen four on the day. Metzger, Morris and Russell each had two hits with Maggie McVicker, Austin and Madeline Dalessandro each adding a hit apiece.

A lack of defense cost the Greenmen a league win in a 5-3 loss at Tallmadge April 8.

“We suffered our first conference loss [1-1] and errors were the issue as we gave up five unearned runs,” said Petrash. “This one hurt because Mackenzie pitched well enough to earn a shutout and we outhit our opponent 7-4 including home runs by Maddie Zdanowicz and McKennah Metzger."

The score had been tied 3-3 until the bottom of the fifth when Aurora gave up the final two unearned runs.

“We didn't hold up our end on defense,” said Petrash.

Metzger paced the offense with two hits with Dalessandro, Krafcik, and Ryncarz each hitting a double. Zdanowicz had two RBIs and a hit.

Aurora opened the week with a 12-3 league win over Kent Roosevelt, which jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the third inning before Aurora settled down and scored four in the fourth to take a 6-3 lead.

The Greenmen had 14 hits, including six doubles, a triple and a home run.

Krafcik and Ryncarz led the way with three hits each. Krafcik had a solo HR and double with three runs scored and Ryncarz had three doubles with three RBIs.

Kayla Ring knocked in three runs while Zdanowicz added two doubles and two RBIs. Morris and Metzger each had two hits. Krafcik got the win.