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Softball beats Stow and Falls; loses to Nordonia

By FRANK ACETO Associate Sports Editor Published: April 30, 2017 12:00 AM
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HUDSON -- It was quite a few days for the Hudson softball team.

The Lady Explorers earned victories over two of their main rivals and then suffered a heartbreaking loss to another key rival.

First, the good news.

Host Hudson cruised to an 8-0 win over Cuyahoga Falls April 24. The Lady Explorers followed that up with a 3-1 victory over host Stow-Munroe Falls April 25 at Weddle Park.

Unfortunately, Hudson's winning ways against Suburban League National Conference opponents came to a screeching halt April 26.

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The Lady Explorers lost to National Conference rival Nordonia 5-4 in Macedonia.

As a result, Hudson was 6-9 overall and 6-7 in the National Conference as of press time.

Against the Lady Explorers scored six runs in the top of the first inning and got a two-hit shutout from Olivia Stefanoni.

"We came out and scored in the first inning," Hudson head coach Jeff Kurtz said. "When that happens, it changes the whole complexion of the game. It takes pressure off your pitcher."

Stefanoni (1-3), a freshman left-hander, struck out nine batters and walked two in seven innings of work to pick up her first varsity win of her career.

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The Lady Explorers had six hits and no errors.

"It was our first errorless game of the year," Kurtz said. "We got an outstanding pitching performance. She was in control the whole game."

Third baseman Martha Masich had two singles and two runs batted in and right fielder Bri Bellanco drove in Hudson's other two runs with a single to left field.

Cami Madar reached base three times. She had a double, a single and was hit by a pitch. Madar scored three runs.

Left-hander Tori Rogers took the loss for the Lady Black Tigers. She was relieved by right-hander Hailey Miles, who finished the game.

Falls (2-12, 0-10) finished with two errors. Alex Eves and Cynthia Stanfield each had a single for the Lady Black Tigers.

"We played a very good game," Kurtz said. "I challenged the girls a little bit to play Hudson softball, which is playing with pride and playing to win."

The win was particularly sweet after the host Lady Explorers suffered a tough 10-8 loss to Suburban League crossover foe Aurora April 21.

Hudson had an 8-2 lead after four innings, but the Lady Greenmen stormed back, thanks to eight Lady Explorer errors. The game against Aurora took place a day before Hudson's prom.

"It always tough when you have prom and senioritis," Kurtz said. "It can get in the way of focusing. No excuses. We had an 8-2 lead at home. We were in complete control. We just let it get away."

Mariah Duncan had three hits, including a double, two RBIs and two runs scored for the Lady Explorers.

Masich added two singles, an RBI and a run scored and Stefanoni, who took the loss in the circle, had a double and two RBIs. Hudson had eight hits against the Lady Greenmen.

Against the Lady Bulldogs, Duncan (4-2), a right-hander, allowed two hits in seven innings of work to get the win.

The Lady Explorers scored all of their runs in the top of the sixth.

Madar led off the inning with a double to the gap in left-center field.

Duncan added a single and went to second base on the throw back to the infield.

Masich drove in both Madar and Duncan with a double to the fence in left center.

Masich moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.

Against the Lady Knights, Hudson had a 3-1 lead in the top of the third, but Nordonia scored three runs in the bottom of the third.

The Lady Explorers tied the game with a run in the sixth, but the Lady Knights scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth.

Stefanoni took the loss in the pitcher's circle.

Madar had a home run, two doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs to lead Hudson. Duncan added two singles and two RBIs.

The Lady Explorers had seven hits and three errors. Nordonia had seven hits and one error.

Hudson was scheduled to entertain Cleveland St. Joseph Academy April 27. The Lady Explorers were set to play at the Champions Challenge Invitational April 28 and 29 in Loudonville. Results of those games were not available at press time.

Hudson is scheduled to visit National Conference rival Twinsburg May 1 before returning home to play Wadsworth May 2. First pitch for both contests is set for 4:30 p.m.

Email: faceto@recordpub.com

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