Lobdell spins gem, homers in strong offensive attack as Lady Dragons secure spot atop Region 6
TITUSVILLE – There was a thought going into the season by some pundits that Region 6 was wide open.
Warren has essentially put that to rest.
Ellie Lobdell struck out 13 and the Lady Dragons pounded out 17 hits, including a home run by their pitcher en route to a 6-3 win over Titusville that secured at worst a share of the Region title.
Warren, now 11-2 overall and 9-1 in the Region (two games clear of Harbor Creek and Corry), can wrap it up outright with a win over Franklin on Thursday.
“We still haven’t put it all together yet, and that’s a good thing,” said Warren coach Jon Sitler. “We hit great today, but when we can put all the facets of our game together, we can be scary. That’s the goal.”
Celia Chase led Warren’s offensive attack, going 4-for-5 with three RBI, and she along with her teammates at the top of the lineup got things going right away in the first inning.
Lex Nyquist led off with a single and Kelsey Stuart sacrificed her to second and reached on an error. Chase followed with a sharp single that brought in Nyquist and Gracie Wood’s RBI base hit knocked in Stuart to give the Lady Dragons a 2-0 lead.
Lobdell, meanwhile, was on top of her game from the get go.
She struck out the side in the first inning, and fanned 28 Rockets (4-7, 3-7) combined between Saturday’s game and Tuesday. All three runs against her were unearned, and she allowed just two hits.
“There’s a point in time where you just have to say ‘hey, it’s your ball, take it,'” Sitler said. “She’s done well. We’ve told her for the last couple of years, when you hit your sports, you’ll do well. Now she’s mixed in a change-up and mixing in her rise ball too.”
Jordan Sitler’s RBI single brought in Chase in the third for a 3-0 advantage in the third, but the Lady Dragons did leave the bases loaded for the first of two times.
Titusville scored two runs without a hit in the third, aided by a pair of Warren miscues, but they remained unfazed.
“Whether we’re down, up, make a mistake, these girls are hungry,” coach Sitler said. “They’re excited, and that’s what makes me excited.”
Julia Lobdell got the offense rolling in the fourth, leading off with a single and a double by Nyquist put runners on second and third.
Chase came up and delivered once again, ripping a double off the fence to make it 5-2.
Titusville cut the margin to 5-3 with another unearned run in the fifth, but Lobdell helped her own cause in the sixth, getting the run right back on a towering home run that cleared the center field fence by a wide margin.
“That was a shot,” Sitler said. “Right before that, Kiersten (Hoffman) almost had one. The great thing about it is they’ve played ball together for so long that they communicate with one another. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kiersten told Ellie what to look for.”
Lobdell got stronger as the game went on, striking out five of the final six batters she faced.
In addition to Chase’s four hits, Nyquist and Sitler had three each and Stuart two. In fact, everyone in the Dragon lineup had at least one.
They also got down several bunts, something that was a point of emphasis in practice.
“We can play small ball and we’ve got power,” Sitler added.
Warren now has the aforementioned game against Franklin on Thursday before traveling to Mercyhurst Prep on Friday.
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Nyquist ss 5-2-3-0, Stuart rf 4-1-2-0, Chase 1b 5-1-4-3, Hoffman 3b 4-0-1-0, E. Lobdell p 4-1-1-1, Munksgard cr 0-0-0-0, Wood cf 4-0-1-1, Sitler DP 4-0-3-1, Wortman c 4-0-1-0, J. Lobdell 2b 4-1-1-0, Wilson lf 0-0-0-0, Totals 38-6-17-6
Wynn 3b 4-1-0-0, Kemp ss 3-0-0-0, Scott c 3-0-1-0, Houck 1b 2-0-0-0, Wheeling lf 3-0-0-0, Mercer dp 3-0-0-0, Young cf 3-0-0-0, Finley 2b 2-1-0-0, Moore rf 1-1-1-0, Aul p 0-0-0-0, Totals 24-3-2-0
Warren 201 201 0 – 6 17 4
Titusville 002 010 0 – 3
2B – Chase (W), Nyquist (W), Scott (T); HR – E. Lobdell (W); WP – E. Lobdell; LP – Aul
Warren: E. Lobdell 7 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 13 SO
Titusville: Aul 7 IP, 17 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
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JV: Warren 11, Titusville 1
Warren’s bats stayed hot in the JV contest, pounding out 13 more hits in an easy win.
Sitler, Hoffman and Morgan Munksgard had doubles, while Stuart, Munksgard, Mariesa Clarke and Ashleigh Deppen all had multiple hits.
Kyleigh Wilson, Munksgard and Deppen all had multiple RBI.
On the mound, Sitler struck out five in three innings of work and Stuart recorded all six of her outs via strikeout over two innings.