Twinsburg softball goes out with a win on Senior Night

Steve Batko
Twinsburg Tigers

Twinsburg’s seniors had seen its softball squad knocked out of post-season play, so that made the final game all that more important.

The Tigers played one more game and it was Senior Night.

Behind some strong hitting, host Twinsburg captured an 11-4 victory over Cuyahoga Falls on May 17.

“Our senior night game was a great team win,” said coach Samantha Dostall.

“All four of our of seniors started and played in Leah Bova, Lauren Jablonski, Bella Dobrski and Katy Okuma,” Dostall went on to say. “Our seniors will be greatly missed. All four our seniors will be moving onto college this fall.”

Dostall is excited about the program’s growth as the future looks bright after there were glimpses of success across the board this spring.

There were positive signs even in the 7-0 sectional loss to eighth-seed Chardon in the Austintown Fitch a Division I sectional final at Munson Township Park in Chardon.

Twinsburg (7-16) was the 27th seed and battled to a scoreless tie until the bottom of the fourth inning.

“The tournament game was a tough loss,” said Dostall. “While we played a solid defensive game, we were unable to score any runs. Our girls were resilient throughout the whole game and fought until the end.”

First off, the Tigers had to go up against Chardon pitcher Kayla Noerr.

Noerr, a 6-foot-2 hurler, has been clocked with her fastball in the mid-60 miles per hour range, is headed to Butler University. She tossed a one-hitter, striking out 13 batters.

However, Twinsburg made it tough in the top-half of the fourth frame in the scoreless tie.

The Tigers had the bases loaded with just one out and had some opportunities to score first and break the game open.

Then Noerr struck out two batters in a row to halt the only scoring threat.

Momentum changed quickly. In the bottom half of that same inning, Chardon exploded for five runs.

It could have been more runs, but Twinsburg’s defense shined. The Tigers snared two straight liners with runners on first and third with one out.

The Western Reserve Conference Hilltoppers (19-7) went on to lose 4-2 in the district semis to top-seed Austintown Fitch.

Carli Genova had the lone hit for the Tigers and the junior also battled on the mound for the Tigers until that fourth inning.

In the victory over Falls, the Tigers garnered nine hits and three Twinsburg pitchers combined for a six-hitter.

“Our defense and pitching were a team effort,” noted the Tiger coach. “Three pitchers went on the mound in Sofia Middelberg, Katy Gannon and Carli Genova. Sofia picked up the conference win on the mound.”

On the season, Genova and Middelberg (a sophomore) did all the work on the mound. The Tiger duo will head the pitching staff next year, along with Gannon, a promising sophomore hurler who saw plenty of JV action.

Gannon went 2.1 innings against the Black Tigers and featured seven first-pitch strikes.

Junior first baseman Gabi Bonnizzio went 2-for-2 at the plate for the Tigers against Falls, while Middelberg was 2-for-3 with two RBI.

Bova added a pair of hits and two RBI for Twinsburg, plus Okuma, Jablonski, and Genova each added one hit. Genova also fanned four batters on the hill.

Dostal, a second-year mentor, was assisted by Katie Hurst and Sally Petitte.