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WRITER: Brian Yauger

Another battle

CANFIELD — No matter the sport, the “Battle of Rt. 224” brings out the toughness in each team. Even more so when it’s in the postseason. Canfield and Poland met up Saturday in the first round of the Division II, Region 6 lacrosse tournament, and in their second contest since April 20, the Cardinals rode a four-goal performance from Nicolo Cocca to a 9-6 victory. “We’re feeling pretty good,” ...

Phantoms finishing was a win in itself

YOUNGSTOWN — To say the 2020-21 season for the Youngstown Phantoms was tumultuous would be an understatement. With weeks in between games and very few contests with a full lineup, the odds were never fully on the team’s side. While the Phantoms finished with an underwhelming 12-30-5-2 record and as the only team to play less than 50 regular-season games, making it through a season where everything was ...

‘Win or go home’

BOARDMAN — The postseason is off to a hot start for the Cardinal Mooney softball program as it pulled away with an eight-run inning to beat Liberty, 12-4, in a Division III first-round sectional contest Tuesday. The Cardinals entered the bottom of the fifth up, 4-3, after surrendering three runs. Liberty had the bases loaded and no outs when Mooney swapped “Alainas,” putting Alaina Scavina in the circle ...

Bears bounced

LEETONIA — Coming off a 1-20 record in 2019, the only option for Leetonia’s softball team in 2021 was improvement. While the season didn’t end the way they wanted, this time in an 11-6 loss to Bloomfield in the opening round of the sectional tournament, the Bears had greatly improved upon their last season, ending the year with an 8-10 record. “We had a good season,” first-year coach Missy Brock ...

Run-rule routine for Mathews

VIENNA — Of the 24 games the Mathews softball team has played this season, the Mustangs have ended 16 of them early. The 16th came on Saturday as Mathews took down Jefferson, 10-0, in six innings. Emma Gates pitched a one-hitter for the Mustangs, recording nine strikeouts and walking none. She also was a force at the plate, hitting a three-run homer in the bottom of the third. It was a historic day for ...

Seventh heaven

BOARDMAN — Canfield’s girls lacrosse team picked up its seventh-straight victory Friday and its second in as many days, taking down Boardman 14-2 in a road victory over the Spartans. “We were a little messy,” Cardinals coach Holly Seimetz said. “We played last night, a victory over Stow, who’s a Division I school, and we played really hard and left nothing out there. I knew today coming in that we ...

Balancing act

BOARDMAN — In a season that’s been full of ups and downs, the Boardman boys lacrosse seniors made sure their senior night was full of ups in an 11-7 victory over Poland on Wednesday. “It was definitely balanced out for us,” Spartans coach Dave Peters said. “Our game plan was just try to keep possession and get off as many shots as we can, and we executed that pretty well.” Anthony Barber wasted ...

Kicking into gear

AUSTINTOWN — With the end of the regular season fast approaching, Austintown Fitch has plenty to be optimistic about as it continues to prepare for the track & field postseason. The Falcons racked up another meet victory on Saturday as the Fitch boys got points in the final two events at the 40th Optimist Meet at Austintown Fitch High School. Senior thrower JaMeire Robinson hit 176-6 on his final ...

Improving Poland shuts down Girard

POLAND — Coming into the season, Poland’s baseball team had very little varsity experience. While still nowhere near where coach Richard Murray wants them to be, the Bulldogs continued their growth, earning a 5-1 victory over Girard in a Northeast-8 Conference contest Monday. “I thought our pitcher did a nice job,” Murray said. “We scored early, and then we kind of put the bats away a little bit. The ...

Into the ring with passion

Sometimes running into something by chance is all that’s needed to kickstart a lifelong passion. That happened to Ellsworth native Zion Hensley three years ago after stumbling on some boxing equipment in a relative’s basement. To make sure this wasn’t just a passing phase like kids normally get, Hensley’s father, Jason Elliot, introduced her to the boxing world, expecting her to not like it. Safe ...