Sunday, May 19, 2024

Beachwood bats catch fire in win at Orange

PEPPER PIKE—Beachwood’s bats caught fire in the middle of its 18-8 five-inning win at Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division rival Orange on Monday.

The Bison scored 16 of their runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

“Well, we got some timely hits,” said Beachwood head coach Mike Coreno. “We strung a couple of hits together and got a little bit more aggressive at the plate, too. We didn’t hit the ball hard in the first, second, and third innings. We plated a couple of runs, but it wasn’t until we broke out in the fourth inning that we started hitting the ball.”

After two scoreless innings, Beachwood broke through with two runs in the top of the third.

Dalilah Harrison hit a one-out single and scored when Ari Preston reached on an error. Mattie Spaller then made it 2-0 on her groundout that allowed Preston to score.

The Lions responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Sarah Korland hit a one-out single and Kelsey Lewis followed with an RBI single and moved to third on an error and then scored on a passed ball that tied the game at 2-2.

The Bison broke the game open with seven runs in the fourth and nine in the fifth.

Beachwood recorded just three hits in its seven-run fourth, the biggest being Lily Grover’s RBI triple. Spaller added an RBI single and Ela Sasmaz and Sawyer Borland earned an RBI the easy way when they drew bases-loaded walks.

Amaya Brown, Sasmaz, Preston, Grover, and Allie Rindsberg each recorded hits for the Bison in the fifth. Brown and Sasmaz both had two hits in the inning.

Orange scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth but needed one more to extend the game.

The Bison scored 14 runs in its season-opening win over Hawken on April 9. Averaging 16 runs per game came as a bit of a surprise to their head coach.

“It’s huge because I thought we were going to struggle (offensively),” Coreno said. “We hit the ball okay against Hawken, and we hit the ball okay today. We had our moments, but if we can string them together, I think we’ll be okay.”

Grover, Rindsberg, Brown, and Sasmaz each recorded two hits for Beachwood in the win. Sasmaz posted a team-high four RBI while Spaller and Grover both knocked in three runs.

Preston earned the pitching victory after allowing two earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts in five innings.

“We have veteran kids, even though they’re young,” Coreno said. “The sophomore class that was on the team that won the division last year got substantial time in games last year. When we needed a big hit, a big play, or sophomores came through today, that was the thing we were worried about the most. Four of our top five hitters from last year graduated. We didn’t know where we were going to find runs, but some of the sophomores got in there and did their job.”

With the win over Orange, Beachwood moved to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in conference play. The Bison set out to defend their Chagrin Division co-championship from last season.

“(Being 2-0 in conference) is nice. It gives us confidence going into the Chagrin game,” Coreno said. “I’d like to finish this week 4-0 in conference play and maybe be tied for first with West Geauga. But, we’re going into that Chagrin game with the mentality of, ‘We have to hit, and we have to play defense.’”

Moving forward, the Bison must remain focused on the next pitch.

“It starts with focus,” Coreno said. “You have to walk into every game with a focus. One of the things we keep reminding them of is that you have to stop and think, ‘What do I do if I get the ball? Where am I throwing the ball? Where’s my cutoff with a runner on second?’ It’s got to become second nature that you have to know what you have to do. When you’re up in the batter’s box, it’s the same thing. You’re watching the (pitcher). Does she pitch high, or does she pitch low? Inside, outside? One of my phrases is, ‘You got to swing like a softball player.’”

Korland and Lewis each recorded two hits for the Lions.



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