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Spartans ride 3-game winning streak

To host sectional playoff against Maple Heights-Twinsburg winner

May 4, 2017
By Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

A tremendous 10-day stretch of softball started Monday for the Boardman High School Lady Spartans.

The girls entered the week as winners of three consecutive games and owners of a 5-1 record in the All-American Conference Red Tier.

According to the schedule, a two-game series Monday and Tuesday with Poland kicked off this decisive part of Boardman's schedule, and both the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Spartans are chasing league-undefeated Canfield for Red Tier supremacy.

Boardman will battle the Lady Cardinals Monday and Tuesday in a home-and-home doubleheader before tournament play.

If playing for a conference crown wasn't enough stress, the Spartans are set to host a sectional playoff game May 10 against either Twinsburg or Maple Heights. Thankfully, the Boardman ladies have built some momentum over the past two weeks.

"We are playing well right now," head coach Mike Trell said. "We had a good trip to Myrtle Beach and have been playing well since we've come home."

The only blemish on Boardman's record since returning from the Grand Strand Softball Classic in South Carolina was a 13-4 loss to Cardinal Mooney on April 22.

Yet, if you don't count Boardman's 3-2 beach trip, it has gone 3-3 over its past six tilts, and a lot of the credit for the Spartans' winning ways can go to senior starting pitcher Ashley Cornelius.

Boardman's ace hurler won both of her starts last week over Jefferson and Warren G. Harding. She worked a complete game April 27 at Jefferson, giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out seven.

The only two runs she gave up were in the bottom of the fourth. After that two-run inning by the home squad, the Spartans' offense sprang into action and scored four times in the top of the fifth to make the score 4-2. Neither team scored the remainder of the contest, so the score ended up that way.

Alicia Saxton, playing in her first game since returning from an illness, knocked home two runs for the Spartans. Lauren Gabriele also had a two-RBI day. Cornelius collected two hits.

The senior slinger worked over Warren G. Harding a few days earlier, giving up two runs on six hits while phenomenally fanning 13 Lady Raiders in Boardman's 7-2 triumph April 24.

Once again Cornelius aided her own cause with two hits. Logan Menosky joined her with two hits, and Sarah Murray had an RBI in the win.

That home victory over the Raiders preceded a 10-0 blowout April 25 in Warren. The Spartans scored a run in the top of the first, five more in the second, one in the fourth and three in the fifth to put the game entirely out of the Raiders' reach.

Paige Dill paced Boardman's 12-hit attack with three hits and four RBIs. Lauren Pavlansky and Gabriele each went three for four. Gloria Hynes had two hits.

The winning pitcher was sophomore Jenny Taraszewski, who tossed a shutout.

It would seem that the Spartans have strength in their hitting and pitching, but Trell said he would like to see all facets of the game clicking with the conference, sectional and district trophies in view.

Five errors versus Mooney and four in the second Harding game have the coach concerned with his fielders.

"We know we have a lot of improvements left in so many areas. At times we've pitched well and hit well, but our defense has been less than spectacular. We hope prior to tournament time we have it where it will need to be," Trell said. "We have nowhere near played our best softball yet."



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