MAYFIELD - When Saratoga Central Catholic's Myah Ondreyko blasted a home run over the center-field fence, it did more than just give the Lady Saints the lead. It woke the Mayfield Lady Panthers up.
After allowing another run in the top of the third, the Lady Panthers responded by sending 14 batters to the plate in an eight-run, eight-hit third inning to spark their 13-4 Western Athletic Conference victory Monday at Mayfield High School.
"For some reason there is always that one inning where we are down and make errors," Mayfield coach Jamie Hurd said. "I give them the look and they realize Coach is serious and we need to do something here. We have been hitting the snot out of the ball lately. It seems like it has been at the end of the game lately, but today, it was in the beginning and that helped."
Mayfield catcher Jen Little lays out in an attempt to catch a foul ball during Monday’s Western Athletic Conference softball game against Saratoga Catholic Central at Mayfield High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Ondreyko battled Husain through a seven-pitch at-bat before driving a 3-2 pitch over the center-field fence. Natalie Pikus followed with a single before Husain got out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts and a pop-up.
The Lady Panthers could not immediately come up with an answer and fell behind 2-0 after Amelia Bielefeld led off the third inning with a single and came around to score after an error, a walk and a single by Liza Orsini.
"We always seem to get down in almost every game but we don't hang our heads, and I am proud of that," Hurd said. "They know they can win."
Husain started the Mayfield rally in the bottom of the third with a single. Seven Lady Panthers reached base before the first out was recorded on a sacrifice bunt. Four of the next six batters also reached base before the Lady Saints were able to shut down the rally.
In the inning, Husain had two singles, two runs scored and an RBI, while Mackenzie Biggers had two singles and a run scored. Kiera Davis had a two-run single, while Nicole Little had two RBIs off a pair of bases-loaded walks. Lisa Hime and Maria Messina also collected hits in the inning.
Spa Catholic threatened a comeback in the fourth inning when Jocelyn Maher led off the inning with a single and advanced to third before the Lady Panthers caught Maher in a rundown between third and home for an inning-ending double play.
Mayfield tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth. Back-to-back singles from Biggers and Nicole Little put runners in scoring position and Messina picked up the RBI to extend the Lady Panthers' lead to 9-2.
The Lady Saints got a pair of runs back in the top of the sixth off a pair of Mayfield errors before the Lady Panthers settled down to get out of the inning with a 9-4 advantage.
Mayfield put four more runs on the board with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Husain tripled to deep center field and scored on a throwing error. Hime and Biggers followed with back-to-back singles and scored on Nicole Little's two-run triple. Lindsey Barber made the score 13-4 with her RBI single to score Little.
Spa Catholic could not capitalize on a bases-loaded, two-out situation in the top of the seventh before Barber recorded an unassisted put-out to end the game.
Husain finished with eight strikeouts in the circle, while connecting for a triple and two singles at the plate. Biggers finished with four singles, while Nicole Little had a triple, single and four RBIs. Messina contributed three singles and two RBIs, while Barber and Hime had two singles apiece.
"Staying focused, bearing down and getting the hits when we need to," Husain said, has been the key to the Lady Panthers' success this season. "It [Ondreyko's home run] kind of hurt us, but we made up for it and came back to get the win. That is all that matters."
Bielefeld finished with seven strikeouts and five walks, while giving up 18 hits in the circle and contributing two hits to the Lady Saints nine-hit attack. Natalie Pikus finished with two singles.
Mayfield 13, Saratoga Catholic 4
Saratoga Catholic011 002 0 - 4 9 3
Mayfield008 014 x - 13 18 5
Bielefeld and Ondreyko; Husain and J. Little.