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Softball team wins eighth straight game

By FRANK ACETO Associate Sports Editor Published: April 30, 2017 12:00 AM
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TALLMADGE -- Hallie Mullett looked a bit vulnerable in the first inning.

And then the sophomore left-hander shook off a few butterflies and was pretty much invincible the rest of the way.

The host Tallmadge softball team won its eighth consecutive game after scoring an 7-0 victory Akron Ellet April 26.

With the win, the Lady Blue Devils improved to 14-4 on the season. The Lady Orangemen dropped to 6-5.

Mullett issued a walk and gave up a couple of hard-hit balls in the bottom of the first.

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Fortunately, her defense made the plays behind her and she escaped a somewhat shaky first inning unscathed.

She was almost untouchable the rest of the way.

Mullett pitched a complete-game three-hitter to improve to 6-2 in the pitcher's circle.

Using a wicked changeup, Mullett (6-2) finished with nine strikeouts and issued just three walks in the 113-pitch gem.

Mullett allowed a hit and issued a walk and was victimized by two errors in the seventh.

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But the sophomore hurler got the last batter, Ellet sophomore shortstop Mackenzie McLeod, to hit a dribbler down the first-base line on an off-speed pitch for the final out.

"Hallie has a really nice changeup," Tallmadge head coach Ed Seeker said. "The key thing is she kept it low in the strike zone."

Although the Lady Blue Devils were just 4 of 19 with runners on base, they got some timely hits, a few steals and they took just about every base if the pitch got away from the catcher.

Tallmadge got three of its runs on sacrifice flies. The Lady Blue Devils got another run on a passed ball.

"We're doing what we have to," Seeker said. "We took advantage of our opportunities."

Tallmadge scored a run apiece in the first and fourth innings, three times in the third and twice in the sixth. The Lady Blue Devils finished with 10 hits and two errors.

Sophomore center fielder Autumn Malicoat had three hits, including two bunt singles, three runs scored and a stolen base at the top of the order for Tallmadge.

Senior designated player Madison Rearick, the Lady Blue Devils' No. 2 batter, also had three hits, including a double, three runs scored, a stolen base and a run batted in.

"It's great to have speed at the top of the order," Seeker said. "Autumn and Madison are hitting .500 to .600. In fact, we have four or five batters hitting .400 to .500. Our team batting is average is about .350. I'll take that."

Freshman catcher Jordyn Severns had two sacrifice flies and left-handed senior first baseman Olivia Carey finished with a single, a walk, a run scored and an RBI.

Sophomore left fielder Gia Spitali added a sacrifice fly for Tallmadge.

Lady Orangemen junior right-hander Maddie Anderson had stretches of dominance. She finished with 12 strikeouts, but she also issued all three of her walks in the third inning.

The Lady Blue Devils were patient at the plate and made Anderson work throughout the game. Anderson ended up throwing 138 pitches in six innings of work.

As for the Suburban League American Conference race, Tallmadge controls its own destiny.

But the Lady Blue Devils sure got a massive challenge from one of their rivals April 25 on the road.

Tallmadge earned a hard-fought 6-5 win over Barberton in 13 innings to improve to 8-1 in the conference. As of press time, Highland was second in the conference with a 7-2 record.

The Lady Blue Devils were able to prevail in an unconventional fashion.

Tallmadge had runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the 13th.

The Lady Magics decided to intentionally walk Severns, but on ball four, the ball got away from the Barberton catcher.

The runner on third, senior shortstop Olivia Ayres, raced for home plate and slid under the tag for the winning run as the throw was dropped.

The Lady Blue Devils trailed 4-0 heading into the bottom of the first. Tallmadge scored twice in the third and once more in the seventh to force extra innings.

The Lady Blue Devils had 10 hits and two errors. The Lady Magics had 11 hits and four errors.

Sophomore right-hander Emily Pratt (8-2) pitched all 13 innings to get the win. She allowed one earned run and had 15 strikeouts and two walks. Pratt threw 178 pitches.

"Emily was outstanding," Seeker said. "The kids hung in there after being down 4-0. They chipped away. It was a battle of wills. I know Barberton has a losing record, but they aren't nearly as bad as their record.

Malicoat had three hits, including a run-scoring triple that tied the game in the seventh, a walk and two runs scored to lead Tallmadge.

Rearick added three hits, a walk, a run scored and an RBI for the Lady Blue Devils. Spitali had a double, a run scored and an RBI for Tallmadge.

The Lady Blue Devils posted a 7-3 victory over American Conference rival Copley April 24 on the road.

Tallmadge scored four runs in the third to take a 5-2 lead. The Lady Blue Devils added two more runs in the seventh.

Tallmadge finished with 10 hits and three errors and the Lady Indians had seven hits and one error.

Severns led the Lady Blue Devils' offense with two hits, including a double, a stolen base, and three runs scored.

Rearick had two hits and two runs scored and Malicoat had two hits and a stolen base for Tallmadge.

Spitali had a single, two RBIs and a run scored and junior Gabbi Gray had a single and two RBIs for the Lady Blue Devils.

Mullett pitched all seven innings to get the win for Tallmadge. She struck out three batters and walked none and allowed just one earned run.

The host Lady Blue Devils swept a doubleheader with Orrville April 22.

Tallmadge earned a 7-1 victory in the first game and a 7-0 win in the second game.

In the first game, the Lady Blue Devils scored three runs apiece in the first and sixth innings, respectively, and finished with 10 hits and one error.

Orrville had four hits and no errors.

Malicoat had three hits, a stolen base and a run scored and Rearick finished with two hits, two stolen bases, a walk, one run scored and one RBI for Tallmadge in the first game.

Ayres added two hits and an RBI and Gray had a double, two RBIs and a run scored.

Mullett got the win in the pitcher's circle. She struck out four batters and walked none in seven innings of work.

In the second game, the Lady Blue Devils immediately took control with four runs in the bottom of the first.

Tallmadge finished with 14 hits and one error and Orrville had three hits and no errors.

Rearick led the way with three hits, two runs scored, two RBIs and a stolen base and Severns had three hits, including two doubles, two stolen bases, two RBIs and a run scored.

Malicoat contributed a double, a triple, two runs scored and an RBI.

Junior third baseman McKayla Hajjar also had two hits for Tallmadge.

Pratt had two strikeouts and one walk in seven innings of work.

The Lady Blue Devils posted a 4-3 win over Suburban League crossover rival Stow-Munroe Falls April 21 on the road.

Tallmadge scored two runs in the third and two more in the sixth to take a 4-1 lead.

The Lady Blue Devils finished with four hits and five errors. Stow had five hits and one error.

Severns led Tallmadge with two hits, including a double, two RBIs and a run scored.

Pratt got the victory in the circle. She allowed one earned run in seven innings. She finished with two strikeouts and one walk.

The Lady Blue Devils were scheduled to visit Northwest April 27 in Canal Fulton. Results were not available at press time.

Tallmadge is set to visit Highland May 1 in Granger Township and American Conference rival Revere May 3 in Bath Township. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

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