Madonna claims city title

WEIRTON – Two big innings were enough to win the trophy, and to make the Blue Dons city champions.

The Madonna softball team plated six runs in the top of the second inning and six more in the top of the fifth en route to a 12-4 victory in five innings Saturday at Weir to win the annual City Championship game.

“It was a great win,” Madonna head coach Chris Conti said. “I am very proud of the girls. We are a young team, and I keep telling the girls we are a young team but we are a good team. They played together.

“We hit the ball well, and we told them if we hit like we know how, we will win. The win will give the girls a lot of confidence going into our next game. They played together as a team. If you hit, you win.

“Amanda (Pulice) pitched an excellent game. She kept them off-balance.

“Everybody did their job. We played very well.”

The game was all too familiar for Weir head coach Dave Hinerman.

“We had two bad innings,” he said. “I think the two wins we got yesterday maybe made the girls too complacent.

“I can’t take anything away from Madonna. They hit well. They fielded well. Amanda pitched well. That’s the name of the game. We have another game to play.

“We will see how that goes.”

Weir came back in the second game for a 15-6 victory.

Pulice earned the win without striking out a batter. She finished the game with two walks.

Madonna pounded out 11 hits. All nine hitters reached base, including eight who reached on hits. Seven of the nine hitters recorded at least one RBI.

Individually, Amanda Paul tallied three singles and three RBI, Taylor Thompson and Brianna Fierro each recorded two singles and an RBI and Emily Hvidzak, Emily Pietranton, Maddy Burchill and Annie Magnone all added a single and an RBI. Also, Aubrey Platek collected a base hit.

The win was a big one for the Blue Dons as Madonna entered the game losing five out of its last six games, including a 10-9 loss Tuesday at Catholic Central in a game in which the Blue Dons led the Crusaders, 9-3, entering the bottom of the fourth.

“We were disappointed after the loss against Catholic Central,” Conti said. “We hit the ball well, but we quit hitting for a couple of innings. It’s hard to win without hitting.

“Today, we hit the ball, and we told them to keep on hitting. When you hit, you score runs. I think this win will give the girls confidence heading into the rest of the season. I am very proud of them.”

Micah DiBacco took the loss. DiBacco struck out one and walked three. Weir committed seven errors behind DiBacco.

The Red Riders recorded seven hits. All of the production came from the top two thirds of the lineup.

Brianna Rosnick collected two singles, a double and an RBI, Meikka Buffo finished with a single and a double and Haley McLaughlin tallied two RBI. Also, Jillian Karavanic contributed a single and an RBI and Ashlynn Drizake and Emily Zatezalo each delivered a base hit

Weir took an early lead with a run in the bottom of the first, but Madonna plated six runs in the second. The Red Riders recorded a pair of runs in the third to cut their deficit to 6-3.

The Red Riders tacked on another run in the fourth before the Blue Dons put the game away with their six-run fifth inning.

“Everybody knows each other,” Hinerman said. “The Madonna girls did their job. We had too many errors. They hit the ball well. We hit in spots. Madonna deserved to win.

“Chris does a great job. His staff did a great job, and his kids did a great job.

“We have to get ready to play the second game.”

As it turned out, the Red Riders were ready for the second game as Weir earned the split.

Rosnick continued her hot bat in Game 2 with a home run, two doubles, a single and three RBIs. Drizake delivered a pair of home runs, a single and four RBIs as the Red Riders turned a 4-0 deficit after 2 innings into a 7-4 lead after four.

Madonna made it 7-6 after 5 innings, but the hosts added eight more.

Emily Zatezalo singled twice for two RBIs and Karavanic two singles and two RBIs.

Serra Alongi singled for two RBIs, Thompson tripled for an RBI and Platek singled for an RBI.

After the split, Weir was 7-10 on the season, while Madonna ended the day at 4-7.

The Blue Dons and the Red Riders return to the field at 5 p.m. Monday at home. Madonna will play Toronto, while Weir will take on Wheeling Central.