Sunday, February 5, 2023

Cardinal bats come alive in 9-5 win over Rootstown

It’s official, the Cardinal Huskies are on a roll.

The Huskies pounded out 15 hits and used a five-run fifth inning to defeat visiting Rootstown, 9-5, on Thursday. It was Cardinal’s sixth win in its last 10 games and the Huskies improved to 8-8 overall, matching their win total from the previous two seasons combined.

“The winning is amazing, but the way we have come together as a team is the best feeling there is,” said junior Delaney Leichtman, who was 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple. “It seemed like everyone clicked at once. We had about three practices in a row where we just worked on batting and the basics. Now we're confident at the plate, confident in each other, and we're having fun while we're at it.”

Rootstown scored two runs on two hits and a walk in the top of the first but the Huskies responded with two of their own in the bottom half of the inning.

Megan Baril led off the inning with a walk and stole second. She moved to third on a ground out and scored on Leichtman’s single. Leichtman stole second and scored on Dawn Scribben’s single.

The Huskies added two more in the bottom of the second to go up 4-2.

Hannah Hill was hit by a pitch and Faith Peters drew a one out walk. They both scored on Allissa Nevison’s two out single.

The Rovers clawed their way back into the game with a run in both the fourth and fifth innings but the Huskies blew it open in the bottom of the fifth.

Hill singled and scored on Peters’ team-high fourth triple of the year. Baril singled and Nevison walked to set the table for Leichtman, who now has a base hit in 11 of 13 games and is on a 10-game hit streak.

She hammered a 1-1 pitch over the centerfielder’s head to make it 8-4 then scored on a single by Haley Adams.

“When I got up to the plate I knew that all I had to do was meet the ball and then I picked my pitch and hit it right over the centerfielder up to the fence,” Leichtman said. “I honestly thought the ball was gone.”

Rootstown added a run in the seventh on three walks and a double, but pitcher Madysin Ciminello got out of the jam to close out the win. She allowed four earned runs on seven hits and struck out seven.

Baril and Anne Rupinski both had three hits for the Huskies. Rupinski went 3-for-4 to boost her season average to .400.

“Honestly, the last few games the whole team has been on a hitting streak,” Rupinski said. “It's an amazing feeling to have every one of the girls with great hits to put runs on the scoreboard. The combination of our offense and defense has given us the strength to battle hard. I am very proud of us Huskies. We have been playing as one team by not giving up and I'm in love with the feeling. My team and my coaches give me the confidence I need in each and every game.”

Cardinal hosts Fairport Harding on Friday.


Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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