NEWARK — Some key factors combined to play into the Newark Lady Norsemen's success against the Earlville-Leland Red Raiders during Monday's Little Ten Conference matchup.
While the Lady Norsemen registered only six hits on the day, they took advantage of four Raider errors to plate all their runs unearned. Newark also capitalized by scoring on a wild pitch and a passed ball while turning a walk and a hit batsman into runs. Additionally, the Lady Norsemen stole seven bases and kept E-L at bay most of the contest as the Raiders stranded nine runners on base overall.
All these facets combined to help Newark forge out a 5-3 league victory over E-L here at Newark High School in game one of a two-game set between the clubs.
"We have to take advantage of little things when we can, and especially if our opponent throws the ball around we want to score as many runs as possible in any way we can score them," said NHS first year coach Tim Schofield. "It doesn't matter to me how we score, and today we took advantage of a lot of factors to get our runs home.
"We also only struck out two times, so we were putting the bat on the ball even though we didn't get many hits. It was a solid effort overall for us."
Newark (15-5, 11-3 LTC) also got a solid pitching performance from sophomore Sophie Schomer (13-4). The right-hander scattered eight hits while walking three and striking out six.
Freshman Emily Schofield recorded two hits for the Lady Norsemen and also scored a run as her team started quickly in the bottom of the first, jumping on the Raiders first miscue.
With two out, Naomi Sweeney reached on an infield hit against E-L starting and losing pitcher Kennedy Meloy (4 IP, 0 ER 3 H, 4 BB, 2 K), stole second, went to third on an error and tallied after a wild pitch to make the score 1-0 after one.
Three more unearned runs would follow in the bottom of the second. With one out, J.J. Mitchell walked, went to second on a passed ball and came home after the Raiders' second error. Emily Schofield was hit by a pitch, stole second and eventually tallied on a passed ball. Alyssa Schofield also reached on an infield error, made it to third on another passed ball and finally scampered home after Riane Tomsa's RBI single to center to make the score 4-0 after two.
Newark went up 5-0 after four against relief pitcher Haley Michael when freshman Skyler Chavoen singled to left, went to second on Emily Schofield's base hit and tallied one batter later on the fourth and final E-L gaff.
But the Raiders (14-7, 10-4) weren't done and battled until the end.
E-L plated an unearned run off Schomer in the top of the fifth. Julia Niles (2-for-3) reached on a two-out error. Emily Cook then walked, and sophomore Jadyn Pickert (3-for-4) singled to load the bases. Niles then tallied after Meloy (2-for-4) stroked an RBI single to center that cut the gap to 5-1.
The Raiders would add two more in the seventh after Niles led off with a double, and one out later scored after a two-run home run to left from Pickert.
But Schomer immediately followed and got the last two outs of the contest, which ended her team's opportunistic outing and E-L's difficult day.
"Today wasn't the best performance by both our defense and our pitching," said E-L veteran coach Shannon Cook. "We also didn't hit the ball when we needed to and left way too many runners on base, but the girls kept fighting until the end of the game.
"Hopefully we can turn things around against Newark tomorrow."
Newark 5, Earlville-Leland 3
E-L (3) — Brue ss 4-0-0-0, Niles cf 4-2-2-0, Cook 3b 3-0-0-0, Pickert 1b 4-1-3-2, Meloy p/dp 4-0-2-1, Michael dp/p 4-0-1-0, Farley cr 0-0-0-0, Weymouth c 2-0-0-0, Fries 2b 2-0-0-0, Myers lf 3-0-0-0, Harness rf 0-0-0-0. Totals 30-3-8-3.
NEWARK (5) — A. Schofield ss 4-1-0-0, Tomsa rf 4-0-1-1, N. Sweeney 2b 4-1-1-0, Kala cf 2-0-0-0, B. Sweeney 1b 3-0-1-0, Hatteberg lf 2-0-0-0, Mitchell 3b 1-1-0-0, Chavoen dp 3-1-1-0, E. Schofield c 2-1-2-0, Schomer p 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-5-6-1.
E-L (14-7, 10-4) 000 010 2 — 3 8 4
Newark (15-5, 11-3) 130 100 x — 5 6 1
LOB – E-L 9; Newark 6. 2B – Niles. HR – Pickert. SB – A. Schofield 2, Tomsa, N. Sweeney, Kala, Mitchell, E. Schofield. CS – Hatteberg. HBP – E. Schofield (by Meloy).
Earlville-Leland ip r er h bb k
Meloy (L, 8-3) 4.0 4 0 3 4 2
Michael 2.0 1 0 3 0 0
Schomer (W, 13-4) 7.0 3 2 8 3 6