Lloyd, Catholic Central whitewash Red Knights

STEUBENVILLE – The offense is starting to come alive.

After nine scoreless innings to start the season, the Catholic Central softball team plated nine runs during the next four frames en route to a 9-0 victory over Toronto Tuesday evening at the Steve Zamana Softball Field.

The Crusaders (1-1) recorded 10 hits in their victory a day after picking up five in a loss to the Blue Eagles.

Catholic Central left 10 runners on base against Toronto, the majority of which were left in scoring positions, and left the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth innings. The hosts left at least one runner on base in every inning except the second. The Crusaders have left 17 runners on base in their two games so far this season.

“We didn’t get the clutch hit,” Catholic Central head coach Jim DiCarlo said. “I thought we hit the ball a little bit better against Magnolia. I don’t know if it was because we were too eager at the plate. We still have a lot of work to do.”

Megan Lloyd tallied two singles and a run-scoring double, Shayna Mirabella collected a single, a double and two RBI and Maddie Metcalf finished with a two-run double. Fran Capaldi delivered two singles and an RBI.

Lloyd earned the win. She allowed three hits, struck out 12 and walked two.

“Megan threw well,” DiCarlo said.

“I liked some of the things Toronto was doing. That is a credit to their coaches.

“We are comfortable with both pitchers. Alex (McComb) is a great pitcher, and Megan is a great pitcher. We are comfortable with either.”

Lloyd retired the first 10 batters she faced before Lexie Berger singled with one out in the top of the fourth.

“We have a young team,” first-year Toronto head coach Kayla Mosti said. “We have a lot of freshmen. The majority of our team is freshmen. We have worked hard on our defense. My assistant coaches – Cathie Thomas and Chelsea Fletcher – have been a great help at practices.

“We lost a lot of seniors (eight) from last year. The seniors this year have been providing great leadership. We hope to have a great season.”

Also for the Red Knights at the plate, Emily Anderson doubled, and Emily Kosikowski contributed a base hit.

Desiree Meadows took the loss for Toronto. The freshman struck out four and walked three.

“Give credit to Toronto. They did a nice job,” DiCarlo said. “They did some different things with their bunting, and batting left handed.”

Catholic Central stranded two runs in the first, and Meadows retired the Crusaders in order in the second inning.

“I felt snakebitten,” DiCarlo said. “We played 30 games last year, and I don’t think we ever went nine innings without scoring a run. We know we can score.

“We have to do a better job with the little things. We have to work on our short game. We have a lot of work still do.

“I think we are definitely getting better. I have confidence in all of the kids. They always give 100 percent. I like our kids and our team concept.

“We can plug anyone into our lineup. I have confidence in all of the kids.”

The Blue-and-Gold plated their first runs of the season in the top of the third.

Micca Mirabella singled, stole second and scored on a double off of the fence in left-center by Shayna Mirabella. She later came home on a wild pitch.

In the fourth, Catholic Central had the bases loaded with just one out. Metcalf, who ran for Lloyd after Lloyd singled to start the inning, scored on a wild pitch. Capaldi, who singled with one out, scored when Shayna Mirabella reached on an error making the score 4-0. Meadows retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.

The Crusaders loaded the bases in the fifth with no outs, but scored a pair of runs – one coming on an RBI single by Capaldi.

The Crusaders capped the scoring with three runs in the sixth. Lloyd plated a run with a double, and Metcalf brought got two with a double of her own.

In the seventh, Anderson led off with a double, but Lloyd struck out the next three batters to keep the Red Knights off of the scoreboard.

“We are trying to get our hitters to hit the ball,” Mosti said. “We left some girls on base. We did the best we could.”

Both teams are scheduled to play today on the road. Catholic Central will play against Bishop Donahue down at the I-470 Complex, while Toronto travels south to take on Buckeye Local.

“Catholic Central is a tough team,” Mosti said. “They have good bunters and good slap bunters.”

Catholic Central 9, Toronto 0

Toronto 000 000 0 – 0 3 4

Catholic Central 002 223 x – 9 10 0

TORONTO (1-2): Meadows (LP, 4K, 3BB) and E. Anderson; Berger S; E. Anderson D; Kosikowski S.

CATHOLIC CENTRAL (1-1): Lloyd (WP, 12K, 2BB) and Daley; M. Mirabella S; S. Mirabella S, D, 2 RBI; Gulan S; Sepik S; Lloyd 2S, D, RBI; F. Capaldi 2S, RBI; Metcalf D, 2RBI.