Nevinski’s two HRs powers Maplewood in 7-4 victory over Bristol

Staff photo / Brian Yauger. Maplewood senior Ella Nevinski is mobbed by teammates after hitting one of her two home runs during Wednesday’s contest against Bristol.

JOHNSTON — A pair of two-run home runs from senior Ella Nevinski helped push Maplewood past Bristol in a 7-4 victory on Wednesday to punch the Rockets’ ticket to a district semifinal appearance.

“I’m very proud of my girls. That was our first sectional championship in probably quite a few years,” Rockets coach Jessica Urchek said. “We threw in a new bunt coverage tonight because I knew that their leadoff hitters were going to lay it down to the third base side. It worked maybe 50% of the time. They have a strong top of the lineup, so I thought we held them to a minimal amount of runs.”

Nevinski got things rolling for the Rockets with a two-run home run that brought home sophomore Lauran Krieg as well.

Maplewood would keep tacking on runs inning by inning until they were stalled out in the fourth.

Bristol broke through in the top of the fifth, finding gaps and were able to knot the game at 4-all.

“I think we just switched the momentum a little bit, and we knew that we needed to have more faith in ourselves,” first-year Panthers coach Katie Roman said. “Putting (Raegan Macklin) on the mound and (Ellie Anderson) having that big at-bat, it’s huge for us.”

That tie didn’t last long after that rush from Bristol. Their next chance at the plate, Maplewood powered through, and the Rockets tightened up on defense to keep Bristol off the scoresheet for the remainder of the contest.

To break the tie, Nevinski hit her second of the night with an inside the park home run that scored herself and Lauran Krieg once again.

“Getting out of that inning (helped) and then at the plate, we came out with a nice hit and Ella’s second home run of the day to put two more runs on the board brought our energy right back up,” Urchek said.

Bristol’s season ends at 10-8

“I’m incredibly proud of my girls,” Roman said. “We started out not quite sure what we were going to get into after coming off a 2-17 season, (but we finished) 10-8. I’m incredibly proud of them. They should be proud of themselves, especially with all the injuries that we had early on. We weren’t sure what to expect and it was all hard and I’m so proud of them and they need to be proud of themselves. I just can’t be more proud of them.”

In preparation for the postseason, Maplewood faced some tough teams down the stretch. Knowing they’d see faster pitching once the tournament began, the Rockets had a tough backend to the schedule with Mathews, Chalker, and Pymatuning Valley.

“We definitely upped our schedule playing some harder teams,” Urchek said. “This one kind of threw a little bit of a problem in there because we saw some slower pitching at the beginning and we’ve been facing a lot faster pitching. We did up our schedule to play some tougher teams to get us in close game situations and respond to it, and today that worked in our favor.”

The Rockets now travel to the Jackson-Milton District to take on third-seeded Mineral Ridge. Start time is 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

Have an interesting story? Contact Brian Yauger by email at byauger@tribtoday.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @_brianyauger.


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