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Lady Falcons get win in the Rock n Fire tourney

April 26, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

This past weekend the Fitch softball team participated in the Rock n Fire high school softball tournament at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

After losing a pair of games against highly touted opponents on Saturday, the Lady Falcons were able to battle back on Sunday morning to come home from Akron with one win. That 6-0 victory over Wickliffe will help the Fitch ladies gain some confidence as this season finally gets into full swing after some horrible early spring weather.

"Playing in the Rock n Fire tournament gives us an opportunity to show the true talent level of our area," said Fitch head coach Steve Ward on Sunday evening. "So often we come in there against teams with a very high win percentage and we battle. We showcase how good our area softball is because we just play hard against everyone we face."

Ward"s kids played very hard in Sunday"s game that started well before most people got dressed for church. The 9 a.m. first pitch may have bothered both teams over a scoreless first two innings. In the top of the third, the local ladies scored a couple of runs to take a 2-0 lead. Those would be the only runs the Falcons would need because freshman starting pitcher Lydia Spalding was fabulous in the circle. Spalding stopped Wickliffe on two hits and struck out 13 in a complete game shutout gem. She was just as fantastic with the bat hitting a homerun and a single and driving home four. Lainie Simons went 4 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI. Kacie Roth had two singles and ribbie.

It was Fitch that found itself on the wrong end of a shutout in Game 1 of the tournament. Holy Name knocked off the Falcons 4-0 in a game that saw the Austintown girls gather just six hits. Christina Tucker was the only Falcon with more than one safety collecting a double and a single. Kayla Kelty, Ashley Mickey, Leeanna Franken and Simons were the other Fitch hitters with singles.

The Falcons carried a slim 1-0 lead into the sixth inning of last Saturday"s nightcap against Revere, but gave up five runs over the final two frames in a 5-2 loss. Spalding pitched splendidly before losing it late in the game. The rookie also had a triple and a single on offense. Simons smacked three singles and picked up an RBI. Kelty had two hits and one ribeye. Roth was on base three times with two hits and walk.

Despite that doubleheader defeat, Coach Ward was still intrigued with how last weekend"s trip should sharpen his gang with upcoming All American Conference games coming up against Howland, Warren Harding and Boardman.

"I am very proud of how we are refining our team," said Ward. "We are using this experience to sharpen ourselves and refine our lineup to put the best possible team out there."

The longtime coach certainly concocted a great lineup in the Falcons" only other win of the week against Harding. Fitch scored twice in the bottom of the first and seven times over the fourth and fifth innings in a 10-4 blowout of the Lady Raiders. Franken paced Fitch"s offensive explosion with three hits and an RBI. Spalding, Kelty, Simons and Tucker all picked up a pair of hits. Spalding also notched the pitching win with help out of the bullpen from Fuller. These same schools are supposed to have a rematch this Friday in Warren.



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