Since then, Norwalk has been on a mission. That mission carried over to scoring 29 runs in two games against Western Reserve on Saturday as the Truckers came away with a 7-2 win in Game 1 and a 22-3 win in Game 2. It was the Truckers’ third consecutive win that included a big Northern Ohio League win over Shelby on Wednesday.
After a very competitive Game 1 that saw the Truckers pull away late for the win, the bats stayed alive as they put up 13 runs in the first inning of Game 2. The Truckers piled up nine hits in the inning drawing two walks and reaching base by error twice. They had six doubles in the inning.
Sydney Hughes started the game off with a walk and stole second before Kaitlyn Stoll’s single and Maddie Deiderick’s walk. Kayla Appeman drilled a shot to third base that was mishandled and Addie Mannino reached on a dropped third strike. Leah Malson reached on an error and Emma Kastor delivered an RBI double. The first four Trucker runs scored on passed balls.
After an Elyse Balduff fly out to second, Alishia Leimeister added a single followed by a Hughes single the second time around. Stoll then crushed a 2-RBI double to deep left center and Deiderick added an RBI double. Appeman traded spots with Deiderick with an RBI double of her own before Mannino grounded out to third. Malson then added an RBI double followed by yet another RBI double from Kastor, her second of the inning. Balduff grounded out to short to end the inning, but the damage was done and Norwalk put up a 13-spot to open the game.
The Lady Roughriders responded well scoring a run in the bottom of the first. Emmalee Cooke led off with a single and advanced to second on an error before moving to third on a Jacy Riley groundout. Caylee Baker then laid down the perfect bunt to score Cooke to get on the board.
In the top of the second, the Truckers picked up right where they left off scoring four more in the second. Leimeister led off with a single and Hughes reached on an error to start another huge inning. Stoll stepped to the dish and delivered another 2-RBI double giving her four RBI and three hits in the first two innings. Deiderick followed up with a single and Appeman reached on an error. Mannino delivered an RBI single to finish off the scoring.
The Lady Riders again showed fight scoring another run in the second after Cassie Bomar led off with a single and was driven in by Emma Jennings. Western scored another run in the fifth after Cooke started things off with a single and was driven in by an RBI single from Baker.
Norwalk scored four more in the seventh with Kastor adding the only RBI hit with a single. Hughes, Stoll, Mannino and Malson all scored.
The two wins were exactly how Norwalk coach Julie Schmidt was hoping for after the loss to Bellevue gave the Truckers their first L in the column.
“I think they let it fuel them,” Schmidt said. “They made it something that drove them to be better. It was exactly what we talked about after that loss. The bats have come alive and it is great to see. We are experimenting with some different things with our line up and our approach so it is great to see those things working. It is nice to see them have a fire under them. Losing is never a fun experience, but sometimes it turns into a good thing with lighting a fire and the team performing much better after it.”
Western Reserve coach Bob Cooke was please with his team’s effort in the first game when the Riders took Norwalk to the brink and held the lead late in the game.
“That was a game where we were still missing a couple of starters, but still putting together a lineup that gave us the best chance to win,” Cooke said. “It seemed to work because we were hitting the ball well and they were up the entire game. We played great defense in that first game and we are still moving players around to see what works the best. Norwalk is a great hitting team and we were in the game the whole way in Game 1. Most importantly, the girls were very happy with that game and they saw the process and how well things worked.”
After Appeman picked up the Game 1 win, sophomore lefty Karissa Conrad threw the second game picking up her first career win at the varsity level. She threw five innings allowing five hits and three runs and struck out five.
“She stepped up and it was great to be able to get her that experience on a varsity mound,” Schmidt said. “She is just a sophomore so she has plenty of time left with her. She is a lefty and we have a very good future with her for the next couple of years. She threw strikes and did exactly what we needed her to do today.”
Stoll led the way in Game 2 with three hits, four runs and four RBI while Kastor added four hits and three RBI. Joci Leto, Mannino, Deiderick and Leimeister added two hits a piece.
“Today was a huge confidence booster,” Schmidt said.
The Lady Riders fall to 0-7 on the season and will look for their first win on Thursday in a home game against New London.
“We have a lot of practice time coming and we are hoping for some good weather so we can get out on a field and actually practice,” Cooke said. “We have been in a gym so much so it will be great to get back on the field, get healthy and iron some things out to get that win.”
The Truckers improve to 6-1 on the year and host Sandusky on Monday.