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by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Macedonia -- They botched a few routine plays.
Their bats were relatively quiet and their baserunning proved to be a bit dangerous at times.
Nevertheless, everything is just peachy for the Lady Blue Devils.
The Tallmadge softball team improved to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the Suburban League after posting a 9-0 victory over Nordonia April 8 in Macedonia.
The Lady Knights dropped to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the Suburban League.
The Lady Blue Devils cruised despite committing four errors and finishing with just five hits.
Tallmadge took advantage of nine Nordonia errors that led to all of its unearned runs.
Whenever the Lady Blue Devils had a chance to take a base, they did it. On one occasion, the Lady Knights had Tallmadge second baseman Lexi Philen trapped in a rundown between third base and home plate.
Fittingly for the Lady Blue Devils, the acrobatic Philen scored anyway. Nordonia right-hander Hannah Stroe took the loss on the mound despite not giving up an earned run in 6-1/3 innings of work.
"She's a good pitcher," Tallmadge head coach Ed Seeker said. "I felt if we could rattle her, we could make things happen. When you put the ball in play, you can make things happen."
The Lady Blue Devils certainly didn't have Stroe's number. They simply got the bat on the ball and took base after base after base as the Lady Knights kicked the ball around. Stroe finished with two strikeouts and issued just one walk.
Tallmadge scored its first two runs in the top of first, thanks to three Nordonia errors.
Center fielder Taylor Phillips and second baseman Lexi Philen reached base on errors and eventually came around to score the first two runs. Stroe then retired the next three batters in order.
The Lady Knights committed four more errors in the third inning, which led to a pair of runs for the Lady Blue Devils. Third baseman Joanna Catalano had a run-scoring single in the frame.
Tallmadge put it away with four more runs in the seventh. Catalano drove in a run with a fielder's choice and left fielder Nicolette Williams added a run-scoring single in the inning.
"We had one error, physical or mental, going into this game," Nordonia first-year head coach Tricia Pozsgai said. "We had 11 physical or mental errors [April 8]. But I'm confident with these girls. They are a great group and I know they will respond well."
Lady Blue Devils' right-hander Kirsten Lightel didn't get much help from her defense either.
But the calm, cool Tallmadge ace made her best pitches when she absolutely needed them.
The Lady Knights had zero hits in 17 at bats against Lightel, who improved to 2-0. She finished with 12 strikeouts, while allowing only three hits -- all to Nordonia first baseman Hannah Perrine, who had two doubles and a single.
Lightel walked three batters and hit another in the 126-pitch gem. Philen, who had a single in four at bats, scored four runs.
"I was very pleased with our hitting and defense, even though we committed some errors," Seeker said. "Our pitching has been good. If Kirsten stays around the plate, we have a chance to be pretty good. We just need to need clean up our errors."
The Lady Blue Devils were scheduled to visit league rivals Wadsworth April 10 and Copley April 11 before heading to Stow-Munroe Falls High School for a doubleheader with Stow and Cuyahoga Heights April 12. Results of those games were not available at press time.
They are set to visit league foe Green April 14 before returning home to face league rival Cloverleaf April 15. Both games are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.
Tallmadge is set to visit North Canton Hoover April 16 at 5 p.m. before heading to Ravenna to face Southeast April 18 at 4:30 p.m.
The Blue Devils are scheduled to play a doubleheader against Hiland April 19 in Berlin. First pitch is set for 11 a.m.