STEUBENVILLE - Play ball.
The Catholic Central softball team took advantage of three Madonna errors en route to a 5-0 victory Tuesday evening at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
The game was originally scheduled to be played at Madonna, but the game was moved as a result of unplayable fields at Starvaggi Park and at the Catholic Central Athletic Complex. The game was Catholic Central's first since blanking Toronto, 9-0, one week ago at home.
LEAVING FIRST — Steubenville Catholic Central’s Gabby Capaldi leaves first base behind Weirton Madonna’s Emily Pietranton as the ball heads toward the plate during Tuesday’s game with the Blue Dons at Franciscan University of Steubenville. The Crusaders left with a 5-0 victory.
-- Mike Mathison
"Absolutely, it is nice to be outside," Catholic Central (2-1) head coach Jim DiCarlo said. "I want to thank the college for allowing us to use their field. We really appreciate it. Neither of our fields were playable. We haven't played in a week.
"Give credit to Madonna. They hung in there. It was only 2-0 after five innings."
The Blue Dons have also had multiple games canceled due to the weather so far this spring.
"It was nice to be outside," Madonna (4-2) head coach Chris Conti said. "It was a good game. We made three or four errors in that one inning and they were able to score some runs. That put us in hole.
"I am very proud of the girls. They played a good game against a good team. Jim DiCarlo does a good job with them over there. Our girls did a great job. They played a very good game.
"We just made some little mistakes. I think the more we play the better we will get."
Alex McComb picked up the win for the Crusaders. She struck out nine,did not walk a batter and allowed singles to Brianna Fierro and opposing pitcher Courtney Kaczmarek.
"Alex pitched very well," DiCarlo said. "Madonna played good defense, and we played good defense."
Fran Capaldi collected two run-scoring singles for Central. Brittany Bertoia tallied two singles and an RBI and Maddy Gulan ended up with a triple. Also, Ashlynne Daley doubled, Micca Mirabella and Gabby Capaldi each contributed a base hit and Shayna Mirabella plated a run with a sacrifice fly.
Kaczmarek took the loss. She struck out one and walked one.
"Their pitcher pitched a very good game," Conti said. "She kept us off-balance. She threw her changeup in there.
"I thought Courtney threw a very good game for us. We played a very good game against a very good team."
The Crusaders scored a run in the bottom of the third without getting a hit. Micca Mirabella reached on a dropped fly ball, and the senior speedster stole second and third before scoring on a sacrifice fly to center field by little sister Shayna Mirabella to make it 1-0.
"It is always a good game when we play them," Conti said. "It was a good game last year. Today, it was 1-0 for a long time.
"They had some bunts that we didn't field well. We made some errors, but we will keep getting better the more we play. It is tough to play one day and then not play again until seven days later. Hopefully, we can keep playing and get into a rhythm."
The Crusaders added to their lead with a run in the fifth. Daley doubled to start the inning, and Maddie Metcalf came in to run for the team's catcher. Bertoia followed with a bunt single, and Fran Capaldi plated Metcalf with another infield hit making the score 2-0.
Catholic Central tallied three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Gabby Capaldi singled to start the inning and scored when Lloyd reached on a three-base throwing error. After a fly out, Bertoia and Fran Capaldi plated runs with bunt hits.
"We were very aggressive," DiCarlo said. "Sometimes that works in our favor. Sometimes it doesn't. Our stolen bases helped. I think we had six steals, but we also ran ourselves out of an inning."
Both teams are scheduled to play at 5 p.m. today. Madonna will play Oak Glen at home, while Catholic Central will play at Toronto. Catholic Central will play Thursday on the road in a makeup game against Bishop Donahue, while the Blue Dons will play at home against the Red Knights.
Catholic Central 5, Madonna 0
Madonna 000 000 0 - 0 2 3
Catholic Central 001 013 x - 5 8 0
MADONNA (4-2): Kaczmarek (LP, 1K, 1W) and Magnone; Kaczmarek S; Fierro S.
CATHOLIC CENTRAL (2-1): McComb (WP, 9K, 0W) and Daley; M. Mirabella S; S. Mirabella RBI; Gulan T, G. Capaldi S; Daley D; Bertoia 2S, RBI; F. Capaldi 2S, 2RBI.