Hoffman blast sparks 7-run inning in Dragons’ victory
Through three innings Thursday, the Warren softball team had collected just three hits and was clinging to a 1-0 lead over visiting Titusville.
Kiersten Hoffman led off the bottom of the fourth inning and blasted a 1-1 pitch over the left-centerfield fence and sparked a 7-run outburst that led to a 10-0, five-inning win over the Rockets. The offensive production backed a no-hitter from pitcher Ellie Lobdell — her second in a week.
After being stymied for most of the first three innings, the Dragons offense produced a big innning for the second consecutive day. Warren had a 10-run fourth at Slippery Rock Wednesday.
The Dragons (4-1) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first. Celia Chase stepped in with two away and fell behind 0-2. She fouled off a number of pitches, but the ball hit her finger on one and freshman Alix Lytle had to step in to finish the at-bat. Lytle worked the count to 2-2, then sent the next pitch to the centerfield fence for a double.
Hoffman singled her home.
Warren had a pair of injury scares in the inning. First, the hit to Chase’s finger, then Hoffman collided with one of the Rockets while stealing second. Both Dragons were able to stay in the game.
The Dragons looked poised to add to their total in the third. Morgan Munksgard hit a line drive to left. The ball bounced off the left fielder’s glove and rolled to the fence. Munksgard found herself on third with no outs, but was stranded there and Warren took the 1-0 lead into the fourth.
Ellie Lobdell reached on an error following Hoffman’s homer and Gracie Wood sac bunted Lobdell to second. Kelsey Stuart reached on an error and Grace Wortman was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Munksgard ripped a 2-run double to put Warren up 4-0. Lex Nyquist hit a RBI single to left and an error allowed a second run to score and Nyquist to advance to third. Julia Lobdell’s squeeze bunt scored a charging Nyquist and the Dragons suddenly had a 7-0 lead. One out later, Hoffman reached on an error and another run came across.
Ellie Lobdell struck out the side in the top of the fifth, and the Dragons offense went right back to work in the home half. With one out, Stuart reached on an error and advanced to second on the play. Wortman singled to center and the centerfielder bobbled the ball which allowed Stuart to come across. Meredith Morrison came in for Wortman as a courtesy runner and just beat the throw home on Munksgard’s line drive single to end the game.
Hoffman and Munksgard each had a pair of hits with Munksgard driving in three and Hoffman two.
Ellie Lobdell went five no-hit innings. She walked two and struck out 10.
“Ellie was in command and it was nice to see with our bats getting a late start,” said Warren coach Jon Sitler. “All of her pitches were working, and she is heating up as the weather is heating up. Kiersten’s bat has been hot as well, and her homer couldn’t have come at a better time. It was nice to see us adjust for the second day in a row. We are aggressive. At the plate and on the bases. We — all the coaches — believe in each and every player, and we told them that tonight. We always believe it’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’ That was certainly the case the past two days.
“Every player in the lineup contributed,” said Sitler. “From one to nine — where Lex at the top and Morgan at No. 9 have been scorching the ball of late. We’re getting better every day. All we can ask.”
Warren is back in action Saturday. The Dragons host Slippery Rock as part of a softball/baseball doubleheader with the Rockets. The first pitch for both games was pushed from noon to 1 p.m.
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Kemp ss 2-0-0-0, Finley 3b 2-0-0-0, Houck 1b 2-0-0-0, Scott c 1-0-0-0, Green lf 1-0-0-0, Sines rf 2-0-0-0, Herman p 2-0-0-0, Sutley dp 2-0-0-0, Russell cf 1-0-0-0, McGarvie 2b 0-0-0-0, Totals 15-0-0-0
Nyquist ss 3-1-1-1, J. Lobdell 2b 3-1-1-0, Chase 1b 2-0-0-0, Lytle ph 1-1-1-0, Hoffman 3b 3-1-2-2, E. Lobdell p 3-0-1-0, Irwin pr 0-1-0-0, Wood cf 2-0-1-0, Stuart rf 3-2-1-0, Wortman c 2-0-1-0, Morrison pr 0-2-0-0, Munksgard dp 3-1-2-3, Madigan lf 0-0-0-0, Totals 25-10-11-6
Titusville 000 00x x – 0 0 8
Warren 100 72x x – 10 11 0
DP-None. 2b-Lytle (W), Munksgard (W). HR-Hoffman (W). SB-Hoffman (W).
IP H R ER BB K
Herman (L) 4 11 10 6 0 3
E. Lobdell (W, 4-1) 5 0 0 0 2 10