CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Coach Michael Kernan, in his first year as Canfield’s softball coach, has the Cardinals back in the regionals for a second consecutive year.
Last year, the eventual Division II state champion Triway Titans had eliminated Canfield (7-1) in the regional semifinal.
Tomorrow, the Cardinals are set to Holy Name in the Sweet 16.
“Holy Name looks solid,” Kernan said. “They have a nice record, it looks like they get the bat on the ball.”
However, Canfield has one of the top hurlers in the state in junior Malena Toth. The Buffalo commit has posted an ERA of 0.75 in 122 innings and has compiled 244 strikeouts to go along with a perfect 16-0 record in the circle this season.
Toth also is batting .411 with three homers and 19 RBIs. She’s earned First-Team All-State honors.
A pair of seniors Hailey Freedy (OF) and Gianna Pannunzio (3B) were voted First-Team All-Conference. Freedy leads the team in batting average (.490) and base hits (35) as she’s scored 24 runs and drove in another 18. Pannunzio is also hitting above .450 (.455) with 28 runs scored and 18 stolen bases.
Freshman outfielder Jenna Triveri also earned First-Team All-League honors. She’s hitting for a .475 average (second on the team) and has scored 31 times and swiped 16 bases.
“This is a great bunch of ball players,” Kernan stated. “I could not have been more fortunate than to land this group of young ladies. They’ve made my first year very smooth and easy. They’re true teammates — close-knit and very unselfish — which in the end makes a huge difference to the team chemistry.”
Wednesday at 5 p.m., Canfield and Holy Name will take the field at Nordonia High School to try to advance to the Division 2 Regional Final versus either St. Vincent-St. Mary or Marlington.