Menegos helps Quakers to win over Lisbon, 14-8

LISBON – Salem junior Rachel Menegos wanted to make changes to her swing after last softball season. Just one game into 2013, she is already seeing results.

“I dipped my shoulder a lot and I also pulled my head a lot,” Menegos said. “So I’ve been working on keeping my head on the plate and pulling my hands to the ball and not over-swinging.

Menegos launched a triple and a double in the third and fifth innings to help spark the Quakers offense to the tune of 14 runs on 17 hits to lead Salem to a 14-8 victory over Lisbon on Monday afternoon. Menegos finished with a pair of RBIs and a run scored.

Menegos teamed with Kaylin Wood to power the Quaker offense. Wood notched four singles and drove in six runs.

“I thought we hit the ball very well and I think everyone contributed,” Salem coach Jodie Hippely said. “I’m excited about this win and I hope that we can keep it going with a week of home games coming up.”

Menegos put herself through several drills in the offseason to eliminate her bad habits, and implemented a new routine into her pre at-bat ritual.

“To keep my hands going to the ball I line the bat up to my belly on the fence and I swing through,” Menegos said. “I do that everytime I step up to the plate and it really keeps my swing consistent.”

With her hands locked into position, her eyes focused on pitch selection. When Menegos saw what she wanted, she pulled the trigger.

“If it (the ball) was coming down, I was swinging the bat,” Menegos said. “I’ve really worked on my hitting and I think it showed this game.”

Hannah Carner earned the win on the mound for the Quakers. The junior hurler was pegged to an early lead and backed by consistent offense.

“People were in scoring position and we were able to get them in,” Hippely said. “To get a win here in our first game is great. we’ve got some good speed n the bases so i think we’re going to try and take advantage of that.”

Calen Otto was saddled with the loss for the Blue Devils. Otto pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up nine earned runs on 11 hits. Allison Cosma and Kenadee Pezzano each drove in two runs to pace the Blue Devil offense.

“We knew going into this year that we have kids that have to grow up sooner rather than later,” Lisbon coach Dave Crismon said. “We’ve got first-year kids playing and a lot of youth.”

The Blue Devils inexperience was exposed in situations throughout the afternoon, but Crismon is confident that when his team corrects those mistakes, results will soon follow.

“If we start doing those things then I think we wil be a competitive softball team,” Crismon said. “I understand we’re going to take our lumps early, but I’m hoping that they stay focused and we get to a point where we are competing at a level that I know they’re capable of.”

Otto was tagged for the loss for the Blue Devils. She gave up 10 runs on 10 hits in five innings.

‘”You never like to lose, they need to learn from today and then come out tomorrow and try to fix that,” Crismon said. “We just have to correct some softball things and that’s going to come with a lot of maturity in the game and experience.”

Salem will host Marlington today, while the Blue Devils will host Lowellville.