ELYRIA — Senior Caitlyn Minney got stronger, sophomore MacKenzie Phares swung a hot bat and Elyria rolled over Sylvania Southview 6-1 on Sunday afternoon.
It was the Pioneers’ third win of the day and treated them to their ninth championship in the 15th annual Elyria Classic. They were the only unbeaten in the six-team round robin, with freshman Elizabeth Ellis earning two wins in relief.
Columbia and Sylvania Southview finished the tourney 2-1, North Olmsted and Kenston were 1-2 and Elyria Catholic went 0-3.
The Pioneers (5-1) fell behind Southview 1-0 after the Cougars loaded the bases with one out in the first inning.
But the senior Minney wiggled off the hook, getting the next two batters to pop up and ground routinely to third.
“Everything was working today,” she said.
Elyria also defeated North Olmsted, 11-2, and mercy-ruled Kenston of the Chagrin Valley Conference, 15-3. Elyria went to bat leading 12-3 in the sixth, needing a run to invoke the mercy rule. But freshman third baseman Carly Bachna gave the Pioneers more than enough when she drilled a fence-clearing, two-run homer.
Coach Ken Fenik said the win over Sylvania Southview (3-4) was especially rewarding.
“It’s always been a top-notch program,” he said. “The first run we got to tie it up was real big, then we got confidence we could score more. Caitlyn was pretty strong. The defense was great, that double play (by Phares to Davis in the sixth) was awesome and it was a good team win. We got our bunts down and that’s our style of play.”
Elyria tied the score at 1 in the second on catcher Hailey Looney’s two-out RBI single. It scored junior Kaitlyn Laseke, who was running for Alexis Roseboro.
The Pioneers took the lead for good when Phares scored on a wild pitch. And they put it out of reach in the fifth when Holly Howser and Patty Davis scored on Phares’ two-out, two-run single.
Phares then ran home on Roseboro’s double to the gap in left-center. Howser drove Looney home with the final run in the sixth.
Looney, Howser, Phares and Roseboro all had two hits for the Pioneers. That group also accounted for the team’s five RBIs, two by Phares, who also scored twice.
Davis hit a two-run homer in Elyria’s win over North Olmsted in the first game of the day. Marie Masters had two singles and scored twice, and Kandis Laseke drilled a two-RBI double in the sixth.
“At the beginning of the season, Coach Fenik told me he really wanted me to work on my two-strike swing,” Davis said. “So I have to shorten up and hit whatever’s in the zone. It looked good and I just drove it.”
Minney started against the Eagles, allowed no hits and struck out five in two innings. Ellis, who drove two runs home, pitched the final five innings, allowing just three hits and striking out three.
Phares went 4-for-4 with three singles and a double, and scored three times in the Pioneers’ rout of Kenston. The freshman Bachna was 3-for-3 with a single and double, in addition to her homer, and Kandis Laseke hit two singles and scored twice.
Ellis improved to 2-1 when she picked up the win, again in relief.
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.