The Cardinals outlasted Mooney 1-0 in eight innings.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
CANFIELD -- To be continued.
The high school softball series between Canfield and Mooney is just heating up.
Canfield may have won 1-0 in eight innings Saturday at McCune Park, but the game that counts comes May 14. That's when the teams rematch in a Division II tournament game at Mooney's Volney Rogers field.
"It really counted tonight," emphasized Canfield coach Fred Mayhew. "Of course, that [May 14] is a big game."
Both coaches elected to play at full strength and not hide anything for the tournament game.
"We're not going to do anything differently than come out that much harder next time," Mooney coach Mark Rinehart said. "We know it can go either way, so we'll take our chances the next game."
It was a well-placed hit by Ginny Naples that pushed across the winning run for Canfield (11-10). Naples delivered a one-out infield single between first and second that plated Nikki Garrett for the win.
Garrett began the eighth by beating out the throw of Mooney shortstop Danielle Kepics, who made several tough stops, for an infield single.
Garrett moved to second on Liz Brown's ground out, advanced to third on a passed ball and came home on Naples' hit, just avoiding the throw home by Mooney second baseman Katie Stickel.
"Any hit is perfect in this kind of game," said Mayhew, referring to the pitcher's duel.
Canfield's Megan Turocy outlasted Mooney's Melissa LaRosa. Turocy (9-7) limited Mooney to two hits while striking out eight and walking two.
"Megan Turocy is most effective when she's hitting her spots. That's what she did tonight," Mayhew said. "She mixed in her pitches effectively."
LaRosa (6-3) allowed eight hits while striking out three and walking none. She was able to escape several jams and also benefited from her staunch defense.
"There were tremendous defensive plays all the way around," Mayhew said.
Mooney (14-5) had its opportunities, the best of which came in the sixth inning.
With two outs, Kepics reached on an error, and Andrea Fryda singled to center field -- the first hit off Turocy since the first inning -- sending Kepics to third. Fryda went to second on the throw. But LaRosa lined out to center field to end the inning.
"We hit the ball hard most of the night, but a lot of them didn't find any holes," Rinehart said.
LaRosa and her defense hung tough. The pitcher got Mooney out of a jam in the sixth inning.
Brown led off with a double to right field, and pinch runner Stephanie Zunic went to third when Naples' fly ball to right was mishandled. Naples then stole second.
But LaRosa struck out Stephanie Mistovich, and got Trish McHenry and Carolyn Ross to ground out.