by RICK BLOOM
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF A WARMER AND DRYER SPRING than is normally the case here on the “Northcoast” (ok, until a mid-April reprisal of winter !) the Brush Arc ladies softball team, small in numbers yet big in heart, charged into the 2020-21 season with a new coach (Scott Paluscsak), a new team mantra (“Cero Miedo” – Zero Fear), and a new appreciation for the sport (fast-pitch softball) that was taken from them by last spring’s Covid-forced shutdown of spring sports programs nationwide.
As of this writing, the Arcs have suffered some in the pitching area, and at times defensively but some dangerous hitting, led by senior Clara Discenzo – among the finest players in this region / state and a West Virginia Wesleyan commit – have rendered Brush entertaining to watch even if on the “wrong side” of a 3-8 record thus far. Discenzo, an accomplished catcher who can play several positions, was leading ALL of the Northeast Ohio / News-Herald coverage area with a .781 batting average (25 for 32) to go with 17 runs scored (tied for 5th in area), 15 RBI (tied for 9th), and 3 home runs (tied for 4th, with teammate Niyah Lester). Other Arcs to have surfaced in the area stat leaders include infielder Bailey Kalan ( a .438 average on 14 hits in 32 at-bats)…P Gianna Ross (13 for 32 / .406 batting average AND 36 strikeouts from the mound, good for 11th in our area)…OF / C Julia Monaco, among the leaders in runs scored with 10 – just ahead of Lester, Marshayaun Wilson, and Ryon Swift with 9 each…and Lester has knocked in 10 runs in 11 games….The Lady Arcs still have a lot of action in front of them, with 8 WRC Conference games still to be played, several non-conference battles on the slate, and what promises to be an exciting weekend on May 1 and 2, when Brush travels to North Ridgeville both days for competition in the “Battle On The Lake” Tournament. The team looks for more wins during the 2nd half of their season, but one thing IS for certain; for this group of girls – diamonds really ARE their “best friend” !!!
For recaps of the first 11 softball games, and a link to the area high school softball leaders (courtesy of THE NEWS-HERALD), keep reading below !
BRUSH ARC softballer Clara Discenzo playing travel ball (above) and officially signing with West Virginia Wesleyan alongside her father, Mike during the winter.
High School Softball Statistics For April 21
Lakeside Runs Away With Early Lead in Victory
LAKESIDE 9, BRUSH 4
The Brush Arc ladies softball club, under the direction of Head Coach Scott Paluscsak, fell behind early in the season opener against the Ashtabula Lakeside Dragons and couldn’t come back in a 9-4 loss on March 27. Lakeside took the lead on a run-scoring single in the first inning. Clara Discenzo collected four hits in defeat. Discenzo homered in the first, doubled in the third, singled in the fifth, and singled in the seventh. Katlyn Mead earned the victory in the pitcher’s circle for Lakeside. The ace allowed nine hits and four runs over seven innings, striking out nine and walking one. Gianna Ross took the loss for Brush Varsity Arcs. The righthander went six innings, allowing nine runs on eight hits and striking out two. Brush hit one home run on the day – Discenzo went yard in the first inning. The Arcs totaled nine hits. Discenzo and Ross each racked up multiple hits for Brush. Discenzo went 4-for-4 at the plate to lead the ladies in hits. Lakeside tallied eight hits. Naomi Cruz and Nicole Lemponen all managed multiple hits for Lakeside. Cruz led Lakeside with three hits in four at bats. Lakeside was sure-handed and didn’t commit a single error. Lemponen made the most plays with ten.
BRUSH 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 – 4 9 1
LAKESIDE 5 0 0 1 0 3 x – 9 8 0
Brush Defeats Chagrin Falls Despite Allowing 4-Run Inning
BRUSH 21, CHAGRIN FALLS 4
Even though the Brush Arcs gave up four runs in the first inning, they showed resolve and defeated Chagrin Falls 21-4 on March 30. Sara Hartle, Rodriguez, Moffa, and Plante each had RBIs in the big inning for the Tigers, cutting in to a 7-run Arc advantage. Brush fired up the offense in their half of the first inning. Niyah Lester singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring two runs. Lester earned the win for Brush. The pitcher went three innings, allowing four runs on one hit and striking out four. Gianna Ross threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen. Myers took the loss for Chagrin Falls. The junior was roughed up for 13 hits and 14 runs over four and a third innings, striking out five. Brush tallied 19 hits. Clara Discenzo, Julia Monaco, Marshayuan Wilson, Bailey Kalan, Lester, and Ross all had multiple hits for the Arcs. Discenzo went 4-for-5 at the plate to lead Brush. The Arcs ran wild on the base paths, as two players stole two bases. Monaco led the way with a pair. Moffa led Chagrin Falls with one hit in three at bats.
BRUSH 7 5 6 1 2 x x – 21 19 1
CHAGRIN FALLS 4 0 0 0 0 x x – 4 1 6
Painesville Riverside Captures Lead Early to Defeat Arcs
RIVERSIDE 19, BRUSH 0
Brush fell behind early, down 11 after 2 innings, and couldn’t come back in a 19-0 loss to Riverside on April 7. Riverside scored on a single by Amanda Kolar, a single by Emily Lamos, and a single by Delaney Keith in the first inning. The Brush struggled to contain the high-powered offense of Riverside, giving up 19 runs. Riverside got things started in the first inning. Kolar drove in one when Kolar singled. Lamos earned the victory in the pitcher’s circle for Riverside. The hurler lasted five innings, allowing zero hits and zero runs while striking out ten and walking zero. Gianna Ross took the loss for Brush. The righthander went five innings, allowing 19 runs on 20 hits and striking out two. Riverside hit four home runs on the day. Kolar had a dinger in the fifth inning. Emma Kovalchuk went for the long ball in the second inning. Maren Kelly went deep in the fourth inning. Lamos had a homer in the third inning. Riverside saw the ball well today, racking up 20 hits in the game. Lamos, Kelly, Kovalchuk, Keith, Kolar, Megan Lehner, and Allison Buttari each racked up multiple hits for Riverside. Riverside didn’t commit a single error in the field. Kovalchuk had ten chances in the field, the most on the team.
RIVERSIDE 3 8 2 4 2 x x – 19 20 0
BRUSH 0 0 0 0 0 x x – 0 0 2
Arcs Chewed Up By Beavers
RIVERSIDE 18, BRUSH 2
Brush struggled to get their offense going on April 9, as they had 2 days earlier while getting easily dispatched by Riverside, 18-2. Brush actually took a brief lead getting things started in the first inning when Clara Discenzo hit a solo homer. Riverside pulled away for good with five runs in the second inning, wiping out a 2-0 Arc lead. In the second, Maren Kelly singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run, Abby Watson singled on a 1-2 count, scoring one run, and Emma Kovalchuk doubled on a 1-0 count, scoring three runs. Riverside scored eight runs in the fourth inning. Grace Fisher, Megan Lehner, Kovalchuk, Amanda Kolar, Emily Lamos, and Molly Binkiewicz each had RBIs in the frame. Lamos led things off on the rubber for Riverside. The hurler went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out 11. Niyah Lester led things off in the circle for Brush Varsity Arcs. The pitcher allowed 14 hits and 18 runs over four innings, striking out two. Brush Varsity smacked one home run on the day. Discenzo dialed “long distance” in the first inning. Ryon Swift, Bailey Kalan, Faith Shook, Julia Monaco, Gianna Ross, and Discenzo each managed one hit for Brush. Riverside accumulated 14 hits. Watson, Kovalchuk, Kelly, and Lamos all had multiple hits for Riverside.
BRUSH 1 1 0 0 1 x x – 2 6 3
RIVERSIDE 0 5 5 8 x x x – 18 14 1
Arcs Hold Onto Victory As Tigers Nearly Erase 8-Run Deficit
BRUSH 12, CLEVELAND HEIGHTS 10
The Brush Arcs got out to an eight-run lead in the fifth inning but had to hold on for a 12-10 victory over Cleveland Heights on April 10. The Tigers scored six runs in the failed comeback on a single by LaToya Martin in the sixth, an error, a walk to Jane Smirler, and a double by Frannie Gullen in the seventh. Both pitching staffs had their hands full, frequently dealing with runners on base. Brush collected 12 hits and Cleveland Heights had five. Brush Arcs got things rolling in the first inning when Gianna Ross tripled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run. After Heights scored one run in the top of the fifth, the Arcs answered with one of their own. Brush Varsity then answered when Ross reached on a dropped third strike. The Arcs pulled away for good with nine runs in the third inning. In that frame, Clara Discenzo tripled on a 3-2 count, scoring one run, Ross doubled on a 3-2 count, scoring one run, Faith Shook singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run, an error scored two more runs for Brush, followed by a Bailey Kalan double on the first pitch of her at bat, scoring two runs, and Discenzo doubled on a 1-2 count, scoring one run. The Tigers scored four runs in the sixth inning. The big bats were provided by Smirler, and Gullen, both sending runners across the plate with RBIs in the inning. Ross was credited with the victory for the Arcs. The senior righty allowed five runs on four hits over five innings, striking out ten. Skyler Speer threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen. Serenity Myles took the loss for Cleveland Heights. The converted catcher lasted six innings, allowing 12 hits and 12 runs while striking out 12. Brush registered 12 hits. Discenzo, Kalan, Ross, and Jada Butler all managed multiple hits for Brush. Kalan and Discenzo each ripped three hits to lead the brown & gold. Myles went 2-for-5 at the plate to lead Cleveland Heights in hits. The Tigers stole five bases during the game as two players stole more than one. Smirler led the way with two.
CLEVE HTS 0 0 2 0 1 4 3 – 10 5 2
BRUSH 1 0 9 0 1 1 x – 12 12 4
Rangers Corral Arcs In Big Way With Shutout
EASTLAKE NORTH 14, BRUSH 0
Brush watched the game slip away very early and couldn’t recover in a 14-0 loss to North on April 13. North scored on a home run by Dodd and a walk by Cicero in the first inning. The Brush struggled to put runs on the board and had a tough time defensively containing North, giving up the 14 runs. The Rangers opened up the scoring in the first inning. Dodd homered on a 1-0 count, scoring three runs. One bright spot for the Arcs was a single by Bailey Kalan in the first inning. Dobida led things off in the pitcher’s circle for North. The bulldog went five innings, allowing zero runs on six hits, striking out nine and walking zero. Niyah Lester was on the rubber for Brush. The righthander lasted four innings, allowing nine hits and 14 runs while striking out two. Clara Discenzo led the ladies from Lyndhurst with two hits in two at bats. North collected nine hits on the day. Dodd, Wilson, and Zaleski all collected multiple hits for North. Dodd went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Rangers in base knocks. North didn’t commit a single error in the field. George was perfect in the field with nine put outs / assists.
BRUSH 0 0 0 0 0 x x – 0 6 1
NORTH 4 2 5 3 x x x – 14 9 0
Brush Taken Down By Eastlake North Again
EASTLAKE NORTH 28, BRUSH 4
Brush fell behind into a huge hole early and couldn’t mount any sort of come back in a 28-4 pasting to Eastlake North on April 14. North scored on a walk by Augusta, a walk by Dobida, a double by Siekaniec, a single by Cicero, an error, a single by Zaleski, a single by Augusta, and a groundout by Siekaniec in the first inning. The Arcs struggled to contain the high-powered offense of North, giving up 28 runs. North fired up the offense in the first inning. Augusta drew a walk, scoring one run. Dobida led the Rangers to victory on the rubber. Dobida lasted two innings, allowing two hits and one run while striking out four and walking zero. Leskanic threw three innings in relief out of the bullpen. Gianna Ross took the loss for Brush. She worked five innings, allowing 28 runs on 21 hits while striking out seven. Brush launched one home run on the day, when Niyah Lester connected in the fourth inning. The Arcs collected eight hits on the day. Clara Discenzo, Ryon Swift, and Bailey Kalan each collected multiple hits for Brush. Discenzo went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead Brush in hits. North piled up 21 hits on the day. George, Wilson, Dodd, Mason, Augusta, and Siekaniec all managed multiple hits for North. North was flawless in the field, with George picking up the most chances in the field with eight.
NORTH 12 4 6 1 5 x x – 28 21 0
BRUSH 1 0 0 1 2 x x – 4 8 7
Willoughby South Edges Brush In WRC Play
WILLOUGHBY SOUTH 11, BRUSH 7
Brush dug itself an 8-2 deficit after 4 innings and couldn’t recover in an 11-7 loss to the South Rebels on April 16. The Rebels scored on a groundout by Grace Woodcock, an error, and an stolen base by Catherine Heckman in the first inning. Brush lost despite out-hitting South 14 to ten. In the first inning, South got their offense started when Woodcock grounded out, scoring one run. South scored three runs in the fourth inning. The Reb batters contributing to the big inning included Makenna Matriano and Gracy Gialamas, all driving in runs in the inning. Leah Richter led things off in the pitcher’s circle for the women of Willoughby. Richter went six innings, allowing seven runs on 14 hits and striking out five. Niyah Lester was in the pitcher’s circle for Brush. The righthander lasted seven hurled a complete game, allowing ten hits and 11 runs while striking out four. The Arcs racked up 14 hits on the day. Lester, Marshayuan Wilson, Clara Discenzo, Gianna Ross, and Aiyanna Stovall each had multiple hits for Brush. Wilson and Lester had three hits each to lead Brush. South had ten hits in the game. Woodcock, Matriano, and Heckman all had multiple hits for the Rebels . Woodcock led South with three hits in five at bats. Willoughby South stole six bases during the game as two players stole more than one. Woodcock led the way with three.
SOUTH 3 0 2 3 1 0 2 – 11 10 1
BRUSH 0 2 0 0 2 2 1 – 7 14 5
APRIL 17 – Game 1 (of doubleheader)
Lester Delivers Four Runs, But Brush Varsity Arcs Falls To Andrews Osborne Academy
ANDREWS OSBORNE ACADEMY 16, BRUSH 10
Brush Varsity Arcs fell 16-10 to Andrews Osborne Academy on April 17 despite four RBIs from Niyah Lester. Lester drove in runs on a home run in the fifth and a home run in the sixth. Despite the loss, Brush did collect 12 hits in the high-scoring affair. Unfortunately, Andrews Osborne Academy had 14 hits on the way to victory. Brush Arcs captured the lead in the second inning. Andrews Osborne Academy took the lead for good with 11 runs in the third inning. In the third Amy Andrews was struck by a pitch, driving in a run, Paige Canter singled on a 2-2 count, scoring one run, Brittney Cower singled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run, an error scored one run for Andrews Osborne Academy, Nancy Singleton doubled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring two runs, Alicia Minter doubled on a 1-2 count, scoring one run, Jamey Jackson doubled on a 1-1 count, scoring two runs, #Beth Thomas singled on a 2-1 count, scoring one run, and Rhianna Bryce doubled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run. Brush Varsity Arcs tallied three runs in the sixth inning. The offensive onslaught from Brush was led by Marshayuan Wilson and Lester, who all drove in runs. Denise Brooker got the win for Andrews Osborne Academy. The hurler lasted seven innings, allowing 12 hits and ten runs while striking out four. Gianna Ross took the loss for Brush. Ross surrendered 16 runs on 14 hits over six innings, striking out four. Brush tallied two home runs on the day. Lester had a homer in both the fifth and sixth innings. The Arcs saw the ball well today, stacking up 12 hits in the game. Bailey Kalan, Lester, Ryon Swift, and Julia Monaco all managed multiple hits for Brush. Kalan went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead Brush in hits. The brown and gold stole six bases during the game as two players stole more than one. Swift led the way with two. Andrews Osborne Academy racked up 14 hits on the day. Singleton led Andrews Osborne Academy with four hits in four at bats.
BRUSH 0 3 0 1 3 3 0 – 10 12 2
AOA 2 0 11 0 2 1 x – 16 14 2
GAME 2 (of doubleheader)
Discenzo Shines at the Plate in Brush Varsity Arcs Victory Over Andrews Osborne Academy
BRUSH 25, AOA 16
Clara Discenzo collected five hits in six at bats, as Brush Varsity Arcs defeated Andrews Osborne Academy 25-16 in Game 2 of the twin-bill. Discenzo singled in the first, singled in the second, doubled in the second, homered in the sixth, and singled in the seventh. There was plenty of action on the basepaths as Brush collected 15 hits and Andrews Osborne Academy had nine. Brush got things started early in the first inning. Discenzo singled on a 1-2 count, scoring one run. The Arcs notched 11 runs in the second inning. The offensive onslaught by Brush was led by Marshayuan Wilson, Discenzo, Niyah Lester, Julia Monaco, Alanna Silverman, and Ryon Swift, all knocking in runs in the inning. Andrews Osborne Academy scored five runs in the fourth inning. It was a 15-13 Brush lead after 4 innings. Gianna Ross got the win for Brush. Ross allowed five hits and ten runs over five innings, striking out eight. Skylar Ham took the loss for Andrews Osborne Academy. The pitcher lasted seven innings, allowing 15 hits and 25 runs while striking out six. Lester started the game for Brush Varsity Arcs. The righthander surrendered six runs on four hits over two innings, striking out six. Brush socked one home run on the day. Discenzo had a homer in the sixth inning. Brush piled up 15 hits on the day. Discenzo, Ross, Monaco, and Aiyanna Stovall all managed multiple hits for the Lyndhurst ladies. Discenzo went 5-for-6 at the plate to lead Brush offensively. Andrews Osborne Academy collected nine hits, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
BRUSH 3 11 1 0 0 5 5 – 25 15 3
AOA 1 5 2 5 1 2 0 – 16 9 1
SOUTH “REBELS” AGAINST ARC PITCHING
WILLOUGHBY SOUTH 23, BRUSH 2
Brush gave this one away early and couldn’t sustain any offensive challenge in a 23-2 loss to the South Rebels on April 19. South scored on a walk by Emma Woolnough, a double by Catherine Heckman, a double by Morgan Staska, an error, a walk by Ryan Wallace, a walk by Makenna Matriano, a double by Woolnough, and a single by Heckman in the first inning. Brush struggled to contain the high-powered offense of Willoughby South, giving up 23 runs. Emily Kelly was on the rubber for South. The sophomore righthander went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out 13. Gianna Ross led things off in the circle for Brush. Ross lasted four innings, yielding 14 hits and 23 runs. Bailey Kalan went 2-for-2 at the plate to lead the Arcs in hits. South totaled 14 hits. Heckman, Woolnough, and Caleigh Meden each had multiple hits for the Rebels.
BRUSH 1 0 0 1 0 x x – 2 4 5
SOUTH 12 0 3 8 x x x – 23 14 1