Hilltoppers Softball Takes 2 from Rival Bombers
May 2, 2024 by Alan Kornspan

The Chardon Hilltoppers and the Kenston Bombers met on the softball field for a home-and-away series April 24 and 25.

Game photos click here.

The Chardon Hilltoppers and the Kenston Bombers met on the softball field for a home-and-away series April 24 and 25.

In game one at Kenston, the Hilltoppers offense dominated and they defeated the Bombers 23-0 in five innings. Chardon got out to a quick 7-0 lead after two innings, then added six runs in the third, three runs in the fourth, and seven runs in the final inning.

The next day, although the Hilltoppers got out to a 3-0 lead after two innings, both teams did not score in the third or fourth inning. Chardon added a run in the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-0 lead heading into the sixth inning, then scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to make the final score 9-0.

In both contests, the Hilltoppers had excellent performances at the plate.

In their 23-0 victory, five Hilltoppers had multiple hit games: Grace Legan (4-4, 2 RBI), Riley Ford (3-4, 2 RBI), Alexa Anderson (3-4, 4 RBI), Jadyn Tarantino (2-4, home run, 3 RBI) and Emma Anderson (2-4, 2 RBI).

Chardon continued its success at the plate on April 25, scoring nine runs on 12 hits. Leading that offense were MacKenna Banville (3-4, 4 RBI), Savannah Murray (3-3, home run, 3 RBI) and Legan (3-4).

Over the two games against the Bombers, Legan went 7-8 at the plate. Through 16 games, she also led the Hilltoppers in batting average (.559), hits (33), home runs (4), triples (2) and RBI (21).

Legan said that during her at-bats, her focus has been on getting base hits and staying patient.

“You can coach for a long time and not have a player like her,” Chardon Head Coach Stewart Landies said. “That young lady is amazing. I would say that I am surprised, but I am not.

“For four seasons, we’ve coached her. She started as a freshman and she’s always batted .400 or higher — incredible.”

Another highlight for the Hilltoppers in their 9-0 victory was Murray’s second-inning home run.

“This is our sixth year coaching (at Chardon), and I’ve never seen somebody hit one that far — and it was into the wind, so that ball was just crushed,” Coach Landies said.

In the two Hilltopper victories, Chardon was also dominant on the mound.

In the first game, at Kenston, Jenna Hendricks pitched a five-inning shutout, only allowing two hits and striking out eight Bomber batters.

Hendricks said the approach on the mound for the Hilltopper pitching staff has been to stay very focused on accuracy by hitting the spots they are aiming at.

“We’ve been working super hard at practice to get that consistency, so that’s been a big part of our game plan,” Hendricks said.

In the second game, at Chardon, freshman Alexa Anderson started and pitched six innings of shutout softball, only giving up three hits and striking out 12 Bombers.

Anderson was relieved by Hendricks, who pitched a scoreless seventh inning to close out the game for the Hilltoppers.

With the victory on the mound, Anderson moved to 7-0, with a 1.45 ERA. In 38 innings of work this season, Anderson had struck out 35 batters.