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Unbeaten Lady Bulldogs stay scorching hot

April 17, 2019
By Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

It is only a month into the 2019 season, but it seems as if the Poland softball team is going to run away with a conference championship.

Back-to-back league wins over Lakeview has upped the Lady Bulldogs' win streak in the conference to five games to start the season. With all due respect to the other squads competing in the first year league, the NE8 is these big dogs' yard.

Poland plastered Lakeview 16-1 and 22-2 in successive days. In the first win on April 8 in Trumbull County, the Bulldogs bounced out to a 6-0 lead in the second inning and never looked back. An eight-run fourth inning turned this game into a true blowout. Junior transfer KaiLi Gross slammed a home run, scored two runs, brought home two runs and added a stolen base to pace Poland's offensive onslaught. She was also the winning pitcher as she tossed five shutout innings. Fellow junior Brook Bobbey was a perfect 3 for 3 for Poland with a pair of runs scored and two ribbies. Freshman Emily Denny was fabulous going 4 for 4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Senior Lauren Sienkiewicz, junior Ally Nittoli, junior Abby Farber, sophomore Cami Lattanzio and freshman Kenzie Szolek all had RBIs as well in the win.

If what Poland did to their conference sister was sickening last Monday, what it did to them one day later was downright sadistic. After scoring one run in each of the first two frames, Poland pulverized Lakeview pitching for 20 runs in the bottom of the third. Needless to say, this contest went the way of the Mercy Rule as Poland prevailed 22-2. The roll call of offensive achievements was amazing for the Bulldogs. Lattanzio came away a double shy of hitting for the cycle and knocked home four runs. She also scored three runs herself. Nittoli also had a homer as part of her three hit day. She scored three times and had three RBIs as well. Bobbey went 3 for 4 with a double, two ribbies and three runs. Farber was 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Sienkiewicz slapped two hits including a triple and had three RBIs and two runs. Senior Tori Modarelli doubled, singled and brought in three. Gross was great with two hits, three runs scored and two knocked home. Senior Ashley Wire went the distance from the pitching circle allowing one earned run on five hits. Wire also joined the hit parade with a double, two runs and an RBI.

Last weekend, the Bulldogs decided to take a break from bludgeoning Lakeview to flex their muscles against a pair of out of town outfits. On April 13, Poland swept a twin bill from Steubenville and Wheeling Central Catholic in an event held in Dean Martin's hometown. The opener against the host team was a narrow 6-4 Poland triumph. Wire was wonderful in her start allowing only one run on six hits. She also added two hits offensively. Lattanzio laced two hits herself, which accounted for four runs. It was her double late in the game that gave the Bulldogs their final margin of victory. Gross hit a home run and added two doubles. Nittoli also had a couple hits.

The second showdown in Steubenville was not nearly as tight as the first one. For the second time in a week the Bulldogs eclipsed the 20 run plateau in their 21-1 wasting of the Wheeling club. Gross pitched five innings of nearly flawless softball. She gave up one run on five hits against the overmatched Lady Knights. Their only run came on a solo homer. Farber was filthy with the bat in her hands going 3 for 3 with three RBIs. Nittoli was nearly as perfect going 2 for 2 with three ribbies of her own. Sophomore Jackie Grisdale garnered three hits as Poland ran its season record to 11-0.

The next time Poland plays NE8 competition it will be versus Niles on April 22 and 23. After visiting Boardman, the unbeaten Bulldogs will try to stay that way with a home-in-home series against Hubbard.

 
 

 

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