Six-run 1st inning lifts Lorain Titans over Maple Heights Mustangs

LORAIN — Maple Heights’ strategy is to have sophomore Ramandeep Mann throw against teams that are used to facing a 50, 60 or 70 mph pitcher.

“It’s been working a lot,” Mustangs coach Rocco Covelli said.

It didn’t work against Lorain, though.

The Titans waited back on all of Mann’s pitches — which emulate that of a changeup — and got help from the defense behind her in an 11-1 shellacking of the Mustangs on Monday afternoon at Campana Park.

“I’m very pleased with the offense,” Lorain coach Pam Jackson said. “I’m actually pleased with the way we’re hitting the ball — even during the tough games when we’re making good contact but just not getting the ball through. Today they were able to sit back, scoot up in the batter’s box and wait on the pitches.”

And Lorain (4-6, 4-2) didn’t wait long to jump all over Maple Heights (1-5, 1-3), needing just over an hour to earn the five-inning mercy rule win.

The Titans sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first, where eight straight batters reached base after Mann got leadoff hitter Ryleigh Butler to groundout to begin the inning.

But two errors later and the rout was on.

Kayla Lurry smacked a two-run triple to the gap in right-center and Mackenzi Stoyka roped a two-run single up the middle as Lorain jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Stoyka later scored on a wild pitch.

Lorain got its sixth run of the inning the same time Maple Heights recorded its second out.

After Holley Chesnick walked, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch, she scored when Adriene Henery walked and got caught in a rundown between first and second.

“We had two big mistakes in the first inning which we would’ve been out one, two, three,” said Covelli, whose team committed seven errors. “We’re not a team right now that’s hitting the ball very well — we’re averaging about three, four, five runs a game — so we can’t afford to make mistakes like that early.”

Especially the way Hannah Ford pitched.

Ford (3-3) rebounded after the first, where she allowed a run on an RBI single from Toresha Fairfox to score Taylor Lattimore, who singled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on two balls in the dirt.

Ford mixed up her pitches well the rest of the game, giving up just one hit while retiring the side in three of the last four innings.

“She settled down after the first,” Jackson said. “Her changeup worked for her as well as her screwball.”

Ford certainly had the Mustang hitters fooled as only one ball reached the outfield the remainder of the game, coming on a single to right off the bat of Shontia Gardner.

Mann didn’t fool any of Lorain’s hitters, especially Stoyka, who added another hit and RBI in the second to make it 8-1. Stoyka finished with a pair of hits, three RBIs and three runs scored.

“Stoyka’s coming along,” Jackson said. “At the beginning of the season she and I had a discussion and I told her, ‘You have a good bat, I’m just having a hard time finding a place to put you in the lineup.’ But as the season goes on I’ve found somewhere to put her.

“She might not be in the same spot each game — one game she might be in the outfield, one game she might be at first and one game she might be at second — but I’m finding places to put her because I like having her in the lineup and she has a pretty good bat.”

The same with Lurry, who also finished with three RBIs.

The win was a bit of revenge for the Titans, who lost a doubleheader to the Mustangs last year by a combined score of 29-15.

Lorain 11, Maple Heights 1

Lake Erie League

Maple Heights (1-5, 1-3) 100 00 — 1 2 7

Lorain (4-6, 4-2) 631 1x — 11 7 1

TWO HITS OR MORE — Lorain: Mari Otero, Mackenzi Soyka; 3B — L: Kayla Lurry; WP — Hannah Ford; LP — Ramandeep Mann.

@PaulBarney18

Last Updated: 4/22/2013 10:29:21 PM EST

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