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Lady Cards claw their way back after tournament

April 29, 2014
By Nik Zirounis - Town Crier Correspondent , The Town Crier

Following a shaky performance at the Wendy's Classic in Ashland that resulted in a 1-3 record, Canfield's softball team was looking forward to getting back to playing better.

Three wins in a row after the Wendy's was certainly a solid start. Canfield upended Louisville, Nordonia and West Branch over a four-day span to up its record to 7-3. That win total included a 7-2 triumph over Loudonville during the tournament.

''Things got a lot better,'' Melewski said. ''Our hitting started coming around.''

Canfield averaged nine runs per game in its three wins last week. The Lady Cardinals clipped Louisville 14-5 April 16, edged Nordonia 6-5 April 17 and shutout West Branch 7-0 April 19. The offense was a welcomed site to Melewski's sore eyes because it was absent in Ashland.

''We couldn't put things together (at the Wendy's),'' Melewski said. ''We had runners in scoring position, but couldn't get that big hit.''

The biggest hit Canfield received lately came off the bat of Amelia Manenti who mashed a homerun in the seventh inning to give the Cardinals an important come-from-behind win over Nordonia.

While the continuation of clutch offense is still a work in progress, tough as nails pitching has not been a problem for the Cards. Allison Fabry has been the best of Canfield's pitching bunch so far, which she proved with a three-hit shutout against the Lady Warriors. Fabry has formed a big three rotation for Melewski along with starter Bridget Durkin and starter/reliever Kayla Troxil.

''Bridget has been going really strong,'' said Melewski. ''She's been giving us five or six strong innings then we are able to bring Kayla in. All the pitchers are doing their job. We just let them go.''

In order for Melewski's mood to stay upbeat he will need more improvement from his offense. A steady dose of Fabry, Durkin and Troxil should keep Canfield's upcoming opponents scratching for runs. One of those foes this week will be rival Austintown Fitch. The Lady Redbirds had a home in home with possibly their chief competitor for an All American Conference crown last Monday and Tuesday. The Lady Falcons are coming off an impressive 5-0 week and a championship win at the prestigious Grandstand Softball Classic in Myrtle Beach. On their way to the title, the Falcons needed to beat two undefeated and top ranked teams so, undoubtedly, Fitch will not fear Canfield.

''Fitch is playing good ball and they are on fire,'' Melewski said. ''I told the girls that the games really start to count now. We have a bullseye on our back.''

That bullseye will expand with games against Uniontown Lake and Champion before the Cardinals head to Akron to play at Firestone Park this weekend.



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