BRUNSWICK — Is the Medina softball team good because of solid pitching or because it hits the yellow right off the ball?
Much like the chicken and egg debate, there are many theories as to why the Bees continue to win under coach Jessica Toocheck.
Everything was on display Wednesday in a 7-1 Greater Cleveland Conference win over Brunswick.
The victory brought Toocheck’s career record to 170-67 and kept Medina (16-4, 8-1) in the driver’s seat in the league race.
“I think it’s a combination of both,” said Bees shortstop Anna Aquino, who was one of five Medina players with multiple hits. “Caitlin (Dunlap) did an amazing job in the circle today. We were right there backing her up, but also you can’t win games without hitting some, too. We did a really good job today.”
The Bees entered averaging 6.8 runs on 9.9 hits. They hit the runs mark and went bonkers at the plate, collecting 13 hits off the Blue Devils (9-9, 5-6).
“I do think it’s both,” Bees center fielder Alexa Nau said. “(Dunlap) did a great job pitching and hitting her spots and throwing her off-speed pitches. We did a great job in the field. We have a loud dugout and that leads us to do well in the games.”
Except for two singles from Alyssa Olah and a run-scoring double by Olivia Campbell, Dunlap (6-2) kept Brunswick at bay. She struck out five and didn’t walk a batter in her third complete game of the season.
“These girls really feed off each other in all areas,” Toocheck said. “Whether that’s on the field, off the field, offensively or defensively, they enjoy their time with each other and they want to be there to support one another.
“(Dunlap) did a great job with keeping hitters off balance with the types of pitches that she throws. She was hitting her spots, which gave her more confidence. She was able to stick with her best pitches.”
Dunlap was afforded that luxury thanks to an offense that put up three runs in the second, two in the third and another in the fourth.
Whether it was Nau (3 singles, 2 RBIs), Aquino (single, 2 doubles, RBI, run), Meadow Nardone (2 singles, RBI) or Catherine Stossel (single, double, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), someone was getting it done for the Bees.
“I think it just boosted the whole team’s confidence,” Dunlap said. “I just threw my normal game knowing I had them behind me, but those runs definitely helped build the confidence and helped us play better.
“Like (Nau) said, Brunswick is a strong hitting team, but it helps knowing I’m hitting my spots and am on my game.”
After beating Avon and Northwestern over the weekend, the Blue Devils have fallen to Mentor and Medina.
“I’m going to be honest with you: My team is in a funk,” Brunswick coach Julie Salzman said. “They can’t get out of the funk. I thought we had turned the corner on Saturday after playing two really good games. Then we came out Monday and got hammered by Mentor.
“They’re just not communicating. They’re playing as individuals. We have no leadership right now. We’re just a bunch of individuals trying to get through a game.”
Medina 7, Brunswick 1
MEDINA 032 100 1 — 7 13 0
BRUNSWICK 000 010 0 — 1 3 3
WP — Caitlin Dunlap (6-2) 7 innings, earned run, 5 strikeouts. LP — Rebecca Zemanek (3-5) 7 innings, 4 earned runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts. Medina (16-4, 8-1) — Alexa Nau 3 singles, 2 RBIs; Anna Aquino single, 2 doubles, RBI, run; Meadow Nardone 2 singles, RBI; Catherine Stossel single, double, 2 RBIs, 2 runs. Brunswick (9-10, 5-6) — Alyssa Olah 2 singles; Oliva Campbell double, RBI.