Mother Nature threw the Cardinal softball team a curveball this spring. The Huskies had their first eight games postponed due to inclement weather, which forced them to open the year at Kirtland, the defending Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division champions, on Thursday.
That game ended in disappointing fashion but the Huskies bounced right back on Friday with a 20-6 win at Hawken.
“It worked out good,” said Cardinal coach Dennis Ikeler. “They all stepped up and played well.”
Led by Anne Rupinski, who was 4-for-4, and Megan Baril, Allissa Nevison and Dawn Scribben, who all pitched in with three hits, the Huskies pounded out 21 base hits. Cardinal also got a strong pitching performance from freshman Madysin Ciminello.
Ciminello struck out seven and walked just two in a five-inning complete game victory.
“She did a nice job,” Ikeler said. “Considering her being a freshman and stepping in there and all the runs weren’t all earned. We made some mistakes but she kept her cool and kept her poise. She was hitting her spots. That was good for her.”
Rupinski had three singles, a double, two runs scored and she knocked in two more.
“From a bad start the other day it felt pretty good,” she said. “We all deserved the hits and runs we put into that game. It felt great to be back on the field playing as a team with nothing but positivity.”
Baril had a monster day at the plate.
She had a double, a triple, scored three runs and knocked one in.
“Megan struggled (at Kirtland),” Ikeler said. “She has been struggling a little bit in the cages too but came out tonight. I had her come out from just the right side and hit away. I wanted to get her confidence back. She started off with a triple and came back with double. She was on it.”
Cardinal scored one in the top of the first then had to battle back after the Hawks took a 2-1 lead in the bottom half of the inning.
The Huskies went on to three in the second, nine in the third and seven more in the fourth to put the game away.
Delaney Leichtman, Hannah Hill and Ciminello all had a pair of hits for the Huskies and Haley Adams also had a hit and scored a pair of runs.
“They needed this to get their confidence level up a little bit,” Ikeler said. “This was our second game this year and it was hard coming out of the blocks and facing Kirtland right off bat. We got back into it and that’s what we needed.”
The Huskies host LaBrae on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.