by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Hudson -- Other than the fact that it was Senior Night, May 5 was not a day to remember for the Hudson softball team.
May 7 sure was.
The Lady Explorers improved to 7-12 overall and 3-4 in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division after posting a 7-0 victory over Cuyahoga Falls May 7 at Harrington Field.
The win came after Hudson lost a convincing 8-1 decision to River Division rival Twinsburg two days earlier on Senior Night.
"It was good to see the girls bounce back and play the game the right way after [the May 5] tough home game," Lady Explorers' first-year head coach Don Sewell said. "If we can attack at the plate and play solid defense. It gives us a chance to win any game."
Right-hander Nikki Turner got the win on the mound with 6-1/3 innings of work. She finished with seven strikeouts and walked four batters, while allowing just six hits.
Right-hander Sara Gedeon entered the game in the bottom of the seventh with runners on second and third base and no outs.
The Lady Black Tigers tried a squeeze play, but senior first baseman Shayna Smith fielded the bunt, tagged the runner and then threw to third to get the runner who was trying to get back to the base.
Gedeon then got the last out to end the game.
Senior Nicole Means, who recently returned from an eye injury, had two triples, two runs scored and a run batted in.
Senior Emily Hookway added three singles and Sara Gedeon hit a two-run homer. It was her seventh home run of the season.
"Not bad for a freshman," Sewell said.
The Lady Explorers finished with nine hits and zero errors.
It was a much different story against Twinsburg.
Kourtney Paul smashed a three-run homer over the fence in left-center field in the top of the first inning.
The Lady Tigers never looked back the rest of the way.
Paul's bat wasn't the only thing that gave the Lady Explorers fits.
She also gunned down Hudson catcher Eden Janesch at the plate to end the bottom of the third.
Janesch tried to score from second on a single by right fielder Sara Gedeon.
Sophomore right-hander Nicole Brown got the win to improve to 10-4 on the season. She allowed just four hits and an unearned run in seven innings of work.
The Lady Explorers, who entered the game on a three-game winning streak, scored their lone run in the first. After a walk and an error, Janesch had a run-scoring single.
The Lady Tigers responded with two runs in the second to take a 5-1 lead.
Twinsburg got one of those runs on an infield error and senior third baseman Kayla Prendergast had a run-scoring single to center.
The Lady Tigers made it 7-1 in the sixth. Freshman designated player Najah Thornton scored from third on a wild pitch and junior shortstop Megan Brown ripped a run-scoring single.
Junior catcher Brooklyn Benkowski added a run-scoring single in the seventh.
Smith, a right-hander, pitched the first five innings and took the loss on the mound. Right-hander Nikki Turner entered the game in the sixth for Hudson. Twinsburg finished with eight hits and both teams committed four errors.
"Our pitchers are doing well," Sewell said. "They worked hard and gave us a chance. We didn't catch it and we didn't put hits together. We have been playing better, but that wasn't the case [May 5]."
Prior to the game, Hudson honored Smith, Hookway, Means and fellow seniors Lexi Dorr, Katie Maggio and Erika Howard on Senior Night.
The Lady Explorers were scheduled to visit River Division foe Stow-Munroe Falls May 9 and Aurora May 10. Results of those games were not available at press time.
They are set to visit River Division rival Solon May 12 at 4:30 p.m. and Highland in a Division I sectional game May 14 in Medina. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.