cuyahoga falls: Sunshine and temperatures in the mid-50s greeted Springfield senior Quartni Whited and her teammates Thursday.
A break from cold weather brought a smile to Whited’s face.
So did a 13-0 win over host Woodridge in a matchup of last year’s softball division champions in the Portage Trail Conference.
Whited, a right-hander and the PTC Metro Most Valuable Player a year ago, pitched a shutout and hit a home run and single for the Spartans (2-0). She limited the Bulldogs (0-1) to two hits, stuck out 13 and walked none.
“This feels good because we are pumped about having a really good season this year,” said Whited, who relied on her screwball and riseball Thursday. “We have the potential to go very far. It feels good to come out and have a good start with two wins.”
Springfield junior Chloe Williams went 5-for-5 with three singles and two doubles. She also scored two runs and had two RBI.
“It is definitely nice to get outside and play because we have been stuck inside for so long,” Williams said. “It is nice to see all of our girls get outside and enjoy the weather. This is our second game and we have only had two practices outside.”
Springfield returns five starters and could have two more come back from injury off last year’s team that went 23-7 overall, 14-0 in the PTC Metro and was a Division II district finalist. Woodridge returns two starters from last year’s team that went 27-3 overall, 14-0 in the PTC County and was a Division II regional semifinalist.
“I am pretty impressed with us,” Woodridge coach Dan Schneider said. “We made some defensive plays and we played well early, and then the wheels fell off. We talk about confidence and we lost a little bit of confidence and it showed in some of our play. … We have a young team with no seniors.”
Springfield scored two runs in the first inning, one in the second, two in the third and one in the fifth to lead 6-0. The Spartans added three in the sixth and four in the seventh.
“We have worked really hard on our pitching, and our hitting coach [Doug Whited] has worked with them all winter long,” Springfield coach Roger Errington said. “We are just trying to get better each game. We are getting there. We have a lot of work to do.”
Seniors Lydia Sanner and Brittany Alekna both had two hits and one RBI. Sanner scored three runs. Williams, Alekna and sophomore Laura Stubbs each scored two runs and Stubbs had two RBI.
“I have a feeling that we have the potential to go very far because there is a lot of heart within the girls on this team,” Williams said.
The Spartans also got an RBI from junior Kassy Flores, junior Makayla Pigott and sophomore Kennedy Colegrove. Flores, sophomore Deanna Cole and junior Genny Pratt each scored a run.
Whited retired the first 14 batters she faced Thursday. She no-hit Waterloo on Tuesday in an 11-0 victory, and had 10 strikeouts, a single, triple, four RBI and two runs.
“Quartni is the real deal,” Errington said. “Last year, she split time with [current Mount Union freshman] Gabby Lessak. She is ready and looking for a college.”
Sophomores Kristen Donze and Samantha Schneider accounted for Woodridge’s hits.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.