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Heavy hitting spurs start of Lady Spartans' season

April 3, 2019
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

A new era of Boardman softball started last week with the ladies earning mixed results.

Fred Mootz coached his first two games after taking over this offseason for longtime Lady Spartans' leader Mike Trell. Mootz's girls split a pair of games with rival Canfield to begin 1-1 in the All American Conference. Although the season is still super young, the rookie Boardman bench boss was relieved to get a victory in the books.

"Anytime you win a conference game it's huge," Mootz said. "Especially against a formidable foe in Canfield."

Article Photos

Photos by Mike Capps, Town Crier

Boardman's sophomore first baseman Nina Scavelli focuses on the ball as she makes a play during the first inning against Canfield in the Spartans home opener.

It took the new coach a couple days to pick up that initial triumph. One day after losing the home opener to the Lady Cardinals 11-9, the Spartans rebounded to upend the Redbirds 18-7 on the road. Three of the Spartans' sensational seniors made sure their coach would have a postgame celebration. Alicia Saxton smacked four hits, Vanessa Roush had three hits and Jenny Taraszewski took home two hits. Junior catcher Lauren Maughan was a force behind the plate and, maybe more importantly, at the plate. She slugged four hits and knocked home four runs. Freshman Madison Lester laced a pair of hits in her second varsity game. Lester is one of as many as 16 first-time Cardinals that may crack Coach Mootz's lineup this season. Mootz was impressed with how well his team turned a sour opening season setback from the day before into a decisive victory.

"Our girls bounced back and answered with an 18-hit onslaught," he said.

Boardman could only muster half that many safeties in the loss to the Cardinals. The sad thing for the Spartans is that they actually scored seven times over the first three innings to take a 7-1 lead. Canfield clubbed its way back with five runs in the top of the fourth and two each in the final two frames to capture the narrow two-run triumph.

"Unfortunately, we lost a 7-1 lead," Mootz said.

Lester led the Spartans' offense with two hits and three runs scored.

Despite losing that contest to Canfield, the Spartan kids still had 27 hits in just two outings. If they continue to rip the ball at that pace, they should be able to stay near the top of the Red Tier standings the remainder of the campaign. They had a huge opportunity to forge ahead in the league when they faced off with Austintown Fitch twice earlier this week. Two enormous non-league matches with Cardinal Mooney and Poland are also scheduled. The game with the Lady Cardinals was to be played at the Field of Dreams. Boardman will also battle perennial state title contender Magnificat on April 6 and play a pair with division sister Howland next week. After tussling with the Lady Tigers, the Spartans will head south to play in the prodigious Grand Strand Softball Classic in Myrtle Beach. The always amazing competition at the Classic should have Boardman battle tested when it comes back home to start the stretch run of the season.



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