MAC SOFTBALL Halfhill's doubles power Canfield
The Cardinals have won six straight in conference play.
CANFIELD -- Scoring runs in each of the first three innings, the Canfield High softball team jumped out on Niles and never looked back.
The Cardinals (13-1, 6-0) defeated the Red Dragons, 6-2, to remain undefeated in the Metro Athletic Conference and tied with Poland for first place.
"The girls are gaining confidence with each game," Cards coach Fred Mayhew said. "And with the heart of the season coming up, it's good to see everyone believing in themselves."
Canfield wasted little time getting on the board, parlaying two hits and two errors into a 2-0 lead after one inning.
Halfhill leads rally
Freshman Bryanne Halfhill had the big hit of the frame, the first of her two doubles. Halfhill also added a single and scored three runs.
"It was nice that the hits meant something," Halfhill said.
The hosts used three hits in the second, all singles, to build a 3-0 lead. Only outstanding defensive plays by Niles prevented further damage.
Again in the third, Halfhill was in the middle of a rally scoring on Tricia Bettura's single to make the count 4-0.
Bettura scatters six hits
Bettura, the winning pitcher and a freshman, upped her mark to 4-0 by limiting Niles to six hits.
"Right now my goals are to pitch a no-hitter, win state, win the MAC, win the regionals and win everything else," said Bettura, who walked one and fanned five.
Niles got back into it in the fourth when Ashley Lokash's double scored teammates Ashley Byrom and Sarah Fenstermaker to make the score 4-2.
"My kids played a decent game and I'm walking away from here thinking we did pretty good against a team that's ranked [seventh in Division I] in the state," Niles (4-7) coach Beth Ciminero said. "I thought the kids held their own today."
Canfield answered in their half of the fourth as Bettura and Courtey Porter hit RBI doubles.
Danielle Spencer had the fifth Canfield double while also collecting a single.
Before returning to league action next week, Canfield will take part in Massillion Washington's two-day tournament this weekend.