By Ryan Jones
Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin scored five runs in the inning to win 5-4.
BOARDMAN — One big inning courtesy of Notre Dame Cathedral Latin’s offense shrouded an otherwise impressive performance by the Mooney High softball team.
The Lions scored all five of their runs in the fourth inning Monday and held off Mooney (15-5) for a 5-3 victory at the Fields of Dreams.
Mooney coach Mark Rinehart said Notre Dame’s fourth-inning surge caught him by surprise.
“In the first three innings, they [Notre Dame] hadn’t caught up to our pitcher Jamie [Clausen],” Rinehart said. “They had been late on her fastball. So going into the inning I wasn’t worried about how she was throwing.”
Clausen (5-2) issued a lead-off walk to Emily Redig. Opposing pitcher Kristi Janoske followed with a two-run blast to right-center field to give Notre Dame a 2-1 lead.
After a groundout, Stacey Miozzi doubled to left center and scored when Shannon McVey hit a two-bagger to right-center field.
Rinehart said he thought the key to the fourth inning was the leadoff walk.
“We’ve been preaching all year to our pitchers about bases on balls,” Rinehart said. “You just can’t give up walks to a team as proficient as they are.
“That said, I’ve been overly pleased with how Jamie [Clausen] has pitched this season. She’s only a freshman and she’s improved with every start,” Rinehart said.
Notre Dame (15-1) added two unearned runs in the fourth inning. After McVey’s RBI double, pinch hitter Kerri Janoske’s made the second out of the inning. McVey, who advanced to third on Janoske’s groundout, scored on a wild pitch during teammate Dani Ramos’ at bat to make the score 4-1.
Ramos reached on an error and eventually scored on Alex Cribari’s RBI single to push the lead to 5-1.
Rinehart said his team is aware of the importance of playing a clean game in the field.
“We didn’t get off the field when we had the chance to,” he said. “They [Notre Dame] are a quick team on the base paths, so we had to be crisp in the field, but we also needed to be smart.”
Mooney produced all of its offense by way of the long ball. Christina Hrehor put the Cardinals within striking distance in the bottom of the fourth inning. The sophomore lifted a two-run homer to left field that cut the lead to 5-3.
Teammate Chrissy Porter put Mooney up 1-0 in the second when she lauched a solo shot to center.
Mooney had chances to further the comeback, but came up empty both times.
With runners on first and third with one out in the fifth, Krissy Cormell attempted to steal home when a pitch by Janoske reached the backstop, but she was tagged out at the plate.
“That’s a read play for our players,” Rinehart said. “I don’t blame her for hustling and going for it. At this field when the ball gets behind the catcher, it’s usually a run. I don’t know that anyone that’s been out in that situation all year.”
With one out in the sixth, Hrehor missed her hitting her second home run by no more than two inches as her drive to dead center bounced off the top of the fence and landed back in play. She had to settle for a double with one out, but the next two Mooney batters struck out to end the threat.
Katie Hughes went 2-for-3 with two singles and a run scored to lead Mooney. Hrehor also went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer and two RBI’s.
Janoske tossed a complete game six hitter with four strikeouts for the winners.