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Lady Falcons earn pair of momentous wins

April 18, 2013
By Nik Zirounis , Town Crier correspondent

A 3-2 start to a season may not seem like a huge deal, but the way the Fitch softball team achieved that record was historical.

Wins last week over Poland and Boardman were both special in their own way. Fitch's 5-4 triumph in Poland on April 9 was the Lady Falcons first victory on that enemy ground in a long while. In fact, it was the first time the mighty Lady Bulldogs were beaten on their home diamond in five seasons. The game may have lasted eight innings, but it was certainly worth the wait for head coach Melody Ward's club.

"The girls are playing together as a team," said Ward. "It was great to be the first team to beat Poland on their home field in five years."

The battle against the Bulldogs didn't start out so great for the Falcons. Poland pulled ahead 3-1 after one inning making it look as if its long-standing home streak would not be in jeopardy. In the top half of the second inning, however, Fitch fought back to score three runs of its own to take a 4-3 lead. The score would stay that way until the bottom of the sixth when Poland tied it up again. In the top of the eighth, Gabby Butcher led off with a single, was advanced to second by Nicolette Zordich, then scored the eventual game-winning run thanks to a single by Sam Mehle. Butcher finished with two of her team's seven hits. Cali Mikovich also had an RBI single. Alex Franken picked up the win from the pitching circle and also hit a double.

The excitement from that Poland triumph carried on to Saturday when the Falcons scored 27 runs in a split doubleheader against Boardman and Cardinal Mooney at Boardman's Field of Dreams.

When Fitch bounced Boardman 11-3, it marked the first time since 2006 that the Lady Falcons were able to do that. It was a little extra special for coach Ward, who was a Boardman softball player herself. The coach thinks the win over Boardman was made possible because of the way her girls performed at Poland.

"Since the Poland win I have really seen a new team out there," Ward said exuberantly. "This is a team that is ready to fight and desires to win."

Ward's women showed that desire early against the Lady Spartans scoring five runs over the first two frames. Fitch finished the afternoon with 11 runs on 14 hits. Alana Callahan was the top hitter smacking a home run, two doubles and a single and earning four RBIs. Mehle also got in on the extra base hit barrage with a triple. Mikovich had two doubles, two singles and two ribbies. Alex Corradi and Mercedes Pratt each clubbed doubles. Franken and Zordich had RBIs.

Fitch didn't make any history in its other win of the day over Mooney, but it did do even better than it did in smashing the Spartans. The Falcons mauled Mooney 16-5 because they hung crooked numbers on the Lady Cardinals in every inning starting with the third. Eight Mooney errors aided Fitch's winning effort. This time it was Mikovich who mashed a home run and she also added a double and a single. Corradi collected two hits and three RBIs. Franken picked up another pitching win.

The only blemish of last week on Fitch's ledger came on April 8 when the Falcons were upended by Poland, 10-5. Mikovich went 3-for-3 in that game with four stolen bases and three runs scored. Corradi, Franken, Callahan and Butcher all added RBIs despite being defeated.

Still, that setback could not stymie Fitch's sensational win one day later at Poland or its two wins at the Field of Dreams. With a huge home-in-home battle with division rival Canfield on the schedule this week the momentum the Lady Falcons are riding should be quite helpful in controlling the Cardinals.



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