Local Sports

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

District Softball: Mohawk powers its way past North Baltimore


Jenny Weinandy was worried her Mohawk softball team might be rusty from a five-day lay-off.

She needn't have worried. All it took was a trip or two through the lineup for her Warriors to get their timing back.

Cambria Kohlenberg tripled in two runs in the fifth inning and singled in two more in the sixth, highlighting two late rallies that powered Mohawk to a 10-2 win over North Baltimore on Tuesday in a Division IV district semifinal game at Findlay High.

"I was concerned because we haven't played in a while," Weinandy said. "I mean, our practices have been perfect. Our hitting in practice has been perfect. But it's a different story when you get out here on the field."

Mohawk led 2-0 after 51/2 innings. But Allison Price, the No. 9 hitter in the Warriors' lineup, and leadoff batter Sarah Runion laced the first pitch they saw from North Baltimore pitcher Cheyenne Hernandez for base hits. Kohlenberg, a freshman center fielder on a young Mohawk team with just one senior on the roster, hammered a 3-2 pitch to deep right center.

Hannah Bryan got the tip of her glove on the ball, but couldn't quite snare it as two runs scored.

After a pop-out, Taylor McClain lined an RBI-single, Julie Adelsperger reached on an error and MacKenzie Sowers and Hannah Kieffer singled in runs to push the lead to 8-0.

McClain, Adelsperger and Sowers teed off on the first pitch they saw. Kieffer's RBI-single came on an 0-1 count.

"We were definitely attacking the ball," Weinandy said. "Pitchers are always trying to get ahead of the hitters. We look for those first-pitch strike tendencies so we can stay ahead of the pitcher."

"We came in here with big thoughts and hopes that we could keep up with these guys," North Baltimore coach Frankie Hernandez said of Mohawk, a two-time state champion (2003, '05) that is currently 22-4 and ranked No. 7 in the state polls.

"We did (stay with them) for four innings. It was 2-0 going into the fifth and we still had it in our hands, but they started timing up my pitcher and started making good hits."

North Baltimore (15-9) managed just five hits off Adelsperger, a junior right-hander who struck out eight and walked five.

That came one day after the Tigers pounded out 22 hits and scored 14 runs in a 15-14 loss to Fremont St. Joseph, a setback that ironically kept Mohawk (9-1 MAL) and North Baltimore (8-2 MAL) from having any shot at sharing the league title with St. Joe (11-0).

"I'm not sure if we used up all of our sticks last night or what," Hernandez said.

"Maybe our bats just cooled down. We had hits, but we couldn't string them together and couldn't get a whole lot of things going.

Kohlenberg added a first-inning single to her two-run triple in the fifth and two-single in the sixth.

Adelsperger slugged a leadoff homer in the second inning, and McClain made it 2-0 with an RBI double in the third. Runion and Clara Adelsperger added two hits each for the Warriors, who advance to Friday's district final against either McComb (18-7) and New Riegel (19-7).

Kelsey Gazarek had two of North Baltimore's five hits, including a lead-off infield single in the sixth when Adelsperger swung to both ends of the pitching spectrum.

After Gazarek beat out her grounder to deep short, Adelsperger struck out Courtney Bretz on three pitches, walked Ricci Emahiser on four, struck out Hernandez on three and walked Jasmine Bretz on five.

With the bases loaded, Haleigh Fleck came through with a clutch two-out, two-run single before Adelsperger got Nique Buchanan on a come-backer to the mound.

"Julie did a good job of finding her spots early on, but then she struggled," Weinandy said.

"She said her flick (wrist snap) was off. I said, 'Well, we need you right now, so you better turn your flicker back on."

In an ironic twist, Mohawk and North Baltimore will square off again today at North Baltimore for an MAL game postponed earlier this season. There will, however, be no league title or tournament advancement on the line.

"Tomorrow we'll go out there, have fun and play the best we can," Frankie Hernandez said.

"We'll leave it all out on the field, and then we will be done with the season."

North Baltimore 000 002 0 -- 2 5 5 Mohawk 011 053 x -- 10 13 0

WP -- J. Adelsperger. LP -- Hernandez. top hitters: (NB) Gazarek 2-1B; Fleck 1B, 2 RBI. (Moh) Runion & C. Adelsperger 2-1B; McClain 1B, 2B, 2 RBI; J. Adelsperger HR, RBI.

records: North Baltimore 15-9, Mohawk 22-4.

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