By TRACY WATSON
For The Intelligencer
CAMERON - While the calendar has not even flipped to April, Coach Mark Witzberger's Cameron softball team has already hit its stride behind some heavy hitting and the arm of senior pitcher Tara Paczewski.
Friday provided even more proof the Dragons are breathing fire, with a three-inning thumping of visiting Bridgeport in the first game of a doubleheader.
Paczewski allowed two infield singles, fanning three and walking one, while Cassidi Richmond tripled twice and doubled and Ashley Berardi singled and blasted a home run in a 10-0 Cameron victory.
Game 2 provided a near carbon copy as the hosts again needed just three innings to pin a 10-0 whipping on their Buckeye State visitors.
The victories move Witzberger's group to a perfect 9-0 with a trip to Steubenville to face Catholic Central on the docket today.
"This is the most games we have played in the month of March in a very long time," Witzberger said with a smile. "But we really have benefited from the weather and our two-week spring break. It has allowed us to get on the field and everything else has just seemed to fall into place."
Cameron needed just one hit to put two runs up in the first - a leadoff double from Richmond, who scored to make it 1-0 when Paczewski reached on an error.
Audrey Bryan's run-scoring sacrifice fly made it 2-0.
The Dragons exploded for six runs in the second with a one-out error and back-to-back base hits from Berardi and Shenai Wade, which plated a run. Richmond followed with a two-run triple to deep right before Paczewski again reached on a Bulldogs miscue.
Lexi Benline's two-run triple to right capped the inning and pushed the margin to 8-0.
Bridgeport, which stranded a runner at third in the first, left girls at second and third in the second while the Dragons were looking to put the finishing touches on things in the bottom of the inning.
Berardi's one-out home run to right field left just one run needed for the mandatory 10. That came when Richmond tripled for the second time and Paczewski sent a rocket off the hip of Dogs pitcher Ashley Hadzima, which provided the final run and sent the teams to their respective dugouts while she was attended to on the field.
"It's a nice win, but it is a tough break for their pitcher and it really makes it to where you just can't enjoy it as much," Witzberger said. "I absolutely hate to see anyone get hurt.
"Overall, this team is really starting to pick up steam. We are hitting the ball hard all the way through the lineup and we are fielding very well also. And needless to say this is the encore year for Tara (Paczewski).
"I believe Tara has enjoyed every minute of her time in the circle here and I know we have enjoyed having her here every minute that she has been here."
Bryan added a single and an RBI for the winners. Sarah Bowers had an infield single leading off the first for Bridgeport while Peyton Stewart reached on an infield hit with two down in the second.