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Shutout of Struthers keeps Lady Bulldogs perfect

May 14, 2019
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

With the dominating way the Poland softball team dismantled most of its opponents this season it seemed like a foregone conclusion it was going to win a sectional championship.

That came true last week when the Poland ladies lambasted Struthers 17-0 in the finals of Youngstown District sectionals. The unbeaten Lady Bulldogs remain white hot as they charge into the district round. Poland played fourth seeded Cardinal Mooney in the district semis this past Tuesday.

The Lady Wildcats were riding high after blowing out Youngstown East 18-3 in their sectional semifinal match. They were ready to challenge the top seeded Bulldogs and avenge a recent 10-0 shutout. Struthers' upset ideas were quickly squashed by Poland's Ashley Wire, however. The spectacular senior starter shut down Struthers on three hits in her five inning complete game while striking out five. She also went 3 for 3 at the plate.

Poland's offense meanwhile had very little trouble torching Wildcats' pitching. The Bulldogs brought in a run in the bottom of the first thanks to a hit by senior Lauren Sienkiewicz. They then exploded for six runs in the third inning to end all doubt. Wire, junior Ally Nittoli and senior Justine Carney all corralled RBI's in that frame. Nittoli would later add a three-run homerun to finish the game with four ribbies. Carney and junior Brooke Bobbey both had three hits and two RBI's. Sophomore Cami Lattanzio laced a pair of hits and knocked home three.

It seems as if Poland's offense is currently clicking at an almost unstoppable pace. The two wins over the Wildcats in May were by a combined score of 27-0. The Bulldogs also beat down Newton Falls 10-2 last Saturday in a tune up game for the districts. Once again Poland pushed home a single run in the first inning then added two in the third and five more in the fifth to foil Falls. Bobbey earned the pitching win and also went 2 for 3 at the plate with 2 runs and three stolen bases. Speaking of swipes, Wire had a remarkable five of them as part of her 2 for 3 day. Poland's players should have been arrested for grand theft since they totaled 13 stelas versus the Lady Tigers. Wire also scored three runs. Lattanzio had two RBI's in the win. Nittoli went 2 for 4 with two ribs. Freshman Abby Farmer had two hits and two RBIs. Sienkiewicz had two hits, scored a run and brought in a run. Sophomore Jackie Grisdale chipped in with two runs scored.

This week's district semifinal appearance gave Poland a chance at winning its 25th straight game this season. Although they didn't play in the regular season, the Bulldogs and Lady Cardinals are certainly no strangers to each other. Mooney made it into the districts by beating Poland's conference cousin Hubbard 9-2. The winner of this semifinal advanced to Thursday's district title game against the winner of Ursuline and West Branch. The Lady Irish are the number two seed and the Lady Warriors are seeded third. While both clubs are having strong enough seasons to earn lofty seedings, neither of them seems poised to derail the Poland express.

 
 

 

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