Hanover Lady Cats shutout Brickies 6-0 in key softball test

A USA-365 special report by Mark Smith


Hanover freshman Camryn Veteto (2) lines a first inning single for the Lady cats
Saturday against Hobart. Veteto is now to the batting order this season batting second. (All photos by Mark Smith)
Junior Sophia Barbosa (22) rounds third and heads for home in the second inning against Hobart. HC led 3-0 after two innings.
HC's Alexis Mokos (17) greets pinch runner Samantha Graves (9) after she scored in the fourth inning. Hanover won for the sixth consecutive game Saturday at home.
HC shortstop Sophia Barbosa (22) watches shortstop Alyssa Gill (17) focus on this third-inning ground ball Saturday against Hobart. Gill has 15 RBIs in her first seven games.
Hanover sophomore first baseman Kylee Gill (17) grabs this hard ground ball for a third inning out. Counting the designated player, Hanover started one sophomore, two freshmen and seven juniors against Hobart.
Hanover's Sophia Barbosa (22) watches Alyssa Gill (17) make this over-the-shoulder catch Saturday against Hobart.
HC's Kylee Gill (24) heads for home Saturday in the third inning against Hobart. The Lady Cats led 6-0 after just four innings.
Hanover junior third baseman Sophia Barbosa (22) makes a quick move after Hobart's Amanda Sandilla (13) pulls one down the line. Hanover won for the sixth time in seven games.
HC second baseman tags Hobart's Emily O'Kelly (44) and is about to throw to first for a double play to end Saturday's game. Hanover has not played an error less game yet this year but they did turn two ground ball double plays Saturday.
Hanover's new coach Amanda (Wendlinger) Suarez is new, but then she really isn't. Suarez was an assistant coach for now-retired Larry McMillen for the last two seasons and she was the winning pitcher in every playoff game when Hanover won the Class 2A state championship in 2004. (All photos by Mark Smith)

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Revised: April 23, 2016.

Team (Record) / Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Hobart (5-2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 4
HANOVER CENTRAL (6-1)  2 1 0 3 0 0 - 6 6 3

Saturday, April 16, 2016 - Sunny, 70-degrees in CEDAR LAKE, IN

WP - Marlee Hanlon (5-1), CG, 0K, 0 walks
LP - Abby Brownfield (1-1) 0K, 0 walks 5 runs - 3 earned (3.3 inn.)

HOBART (5-2)
Maddy Adams (SS) 1-for-3
Emily Zanolla (CF) 1-for-2, sac bunt
Hope Messina (3B) 0-for-3
Amanda Sandilla (C) 0-for-3
Brooke Nicksich (2B) 0-for-3
Natalie Giangillio (RF) 1-for-3
Alexis Geary (1B) 1-for-3, double
Emily O'Kelley (DH) 0-f0r-3
Abby Brownfield (P) 1-for-1

Skyler Barnett (CF) 3-for-4, 3 RBIs
Camryn Veteto (RF) 1-for-4, RBI
Alyssa Gill (S) 2-for-4, double
Alexis Mokos (C) 1-for-3, RBI
Dakota Ward (CH) 0-for-3
Kylee Gill (1B) 1-for-3
Marley Hanlon (P) 0-for-3
Sophia Barbosa (3B) 0-for-0, Sac bunt, HBP, walk
Abby Thompson (2B) 0-for-2, sac bunt

CEDAR LAKE (4-16-2016) When Hanover Central finally got some weather worth playing in, they made the most of it last week, topping Griffith 5-1, River Forest 11-1 and Hobart 6-0 Saturday to run their first winning streak of the season to six games.

True, the Brickies didn't pitch senior Maddie Adams, who had struck out 13 in a 2-0 win over Andrean Friday, but Hanover didn't care. Since a season opening 5-1 loss to Munster on March 24, HC (6-1), a two-time defending Class 3A regional champ, has won six in a row and outscored the six teams 55-11.

"The first game was a Monday during spring break," said HC's new/old coach Amanda Suarez, the HC graduate and last year's assistant coach who took over for longtime head coach Larry McMillen this year. "It was the day after Easter. It was hard to get the ball rolling. The loss to Munster was what it was. We just had to learn from it and move on."

"The good news is: We've lost to Munster every year and we still went on to win sectional and regionals. It should mean nothing to these (HC has seven juniors and several third year starters) girls because they've lost to Munster every season."

The sun was shining on Hanover centerfielder Skyler Barnett again. HC's leadoff batter reached base four times inside a three-hit day and even though Barnett batted a solid .337 (34 of 101) last season, that was then and this is now. After Saturday, the left-handed hitting junior had 18 hits in her first 26 (.692) at-bats. How is she doing this?

"Last year, I wanted to hit the ball far," Skylar admits. "I wanted to be the one who carries the team. Now I just want base hits. Just get on and score runs."

It's no secret that Hanover wants to end the season at the state finals this year. The Ladys Cats' junior class includes four girls who are starting for the third season in a row. Barnett, catcher Alexis Mokos, third baseman Sophia Barbosa, shortstop Alyssa Gill, pitcher Marlee Hanlon and second baseman Abby Thompson are all juniors and all starting.

"I love it. " Barnett said. "Coming from travel ball, I love playing with all the same girls here in school. The core of all these juniors we've played together since we were in (Cedar Lake) town ball. A long time."

"We had more errors than were on the board," said Hobart coach James Wright, who also thought the first inning changed the game. With leadoff man Maddie Adams at second base and one out, Hobart's Hope Messina pulled a ground ball that should have been a base hit. The ball hit Adams in the baseline and she was ruled out, the second out of what would be a scoreless first inning.

"That ball was going through. That would have been a hit. We'd have had runners at first and third, at least, with just one out. If we score there, that changes the way the game goes."

"They have a fine team. They hit the ball really well, but we didn't play. We had four errors on the scoreboard. We made more than four."

HC quickly took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Barnett, Camryn Veteto, Gill and Mokos started the inning with consecutive base hits.

Hobart was not sharp and Hanover, despite three errors, did make some strong defensive plays, including a tag-and-throw double play by Abby Thompson to end the game in the seventh inning.

"We've made some position changes, " Suarez said. "We have two freshmen on the field. Camryn Vetetio. She bunts well and a lot of girls at the top of the order, that (bunting) messes with their head. She just plays the game. It's an easy call to put her there, because she doesn't take her 'at bat' out into the field."

Maddie Miller is the other freshman. Maddie in right. Camryn in left. They add a little speed to the team. Something we need."

CAT NOTES: Hanover doesn't have a plan to make up their late March postponement with Chesterton.

"It probably wont be made up," said HC coach Amanda Suarez, "It would be fun to play them, but we have so many games every week now. I don't think it would be good to overplay the players. Conference is more important."

HC hosts Bishop Noll (6-2) Tuesday at 5 p.m.