LISBON - The Lisbon softball team continued its winning ways, while East Palestine showed signs of improvement Thursday.
Early RBI triples by Haille Metzgar and Taylor Siefke set the tone for the Blue Devils as they knocked off the young Bulldogs, 12-5, in Inter-Tri County League action at the Dickey Complex.
"We just kept pushing through and got our win," Siefke said.
The Blue Devils improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the ITCL upper tier in nearly the same manner as its 24-1 victory over Youngstown Christian from Wednesday.
The Blue Devils took advantage of miscommunication from the Bulldogs as RBI triples from Metzgar and Siefke gave the Blue Devils an early 5-1 lead in the first inning, and grew a nine run lead with an RBI single from Kaitlyn Gorby.
"We hit the ball good and fielded the ball really good," Siefke said. "We didn't make a lot of mistakes, and it was about pushing through."
Compared to Youngstown Christian, the Bulldogs pressured the Blue Devils more as the Bulldogs scored three runs in the fifth inning.
"They were good competition," Siefke said. "They hit some gaps, and we just couldn't get to them."
The early advantage from the Blue Devils is what coach Dave Crismon looks to see as the season continues.
"We came out and almost went through the order and scored five," Crismon said. "That's the answer that I want this team to go out and get, not to get behind the eight-ball because a young team could be down a few runs, and have to push a panic button. They didn't have to do that."
Slowly, the Bulldogs (0-4, 0-3) started to rebuild after their messy 20-0 loss to South Range on Tuesday.
Sophomore Carlee Biegenwald struck out three and walked nine in six innings, but struggled in the first inning as the young Bulldogs gave up five runs due to what coach Dan McKinstry saw as inexperience and miscommunication.
"We were down by five runs when we could've been down by one," McKinstry said. "Our pitchers are young and inexperienced, and the one thing we don't want to do is have to throw more pitches than you absolutely we have to, and so defensively, we didn't make enough poise."
Signs of hope came to the Bulldogs in the fifth inning as Carson Rutledge and Jessica Leake had RBI singles to slightly close the deficit.
"Offensively, we hit the ball probably better than we have all year," McKinstry said. "I thought we did a better job tonight at the plate making good decisions."
As the Bulldogs look for their first win, the team looks to take advantage of a few days of nice weather to work with.
"We just haven't been outside enough to be able to work on situations outside," McKinstry said. "We've been in the gym and we've been on the football field, but that's not the same as getting out on the diamond."
Both teams return to action today as the Blue Devils head to Southern Local and the Bulldogs host Struthers.
East Palestine's game against Struthers today is a makeup game, originally scheduled for Apr. 4 during the Ursuline Breast Cancer Tournament at Candlelight.
Haley Huff twisted her ankle in the top of the sixth inning as she was attempting to tag first but returned.
"She'll be all right," McKinstry said. "She was trying to tag first with (Taylor) Siefke there, and she landed on it awkwardly, but once she got up, she was fine."
L-Haille Metzgar, wp (7IP, 4K, 0BB) and Devyn Flory.
EP-Carlee Biegenwald, lp (6IP, 3K, 9BB) and Haley Huff.