Hartman slugs 2 homers in Fair Lawn win by Chris Iseman of The Record
CLIFTON – Fair Lawn’s lineup put its full potential on display.
Power. Speed. Patience at the plate.
“I feel like if we’re really zoned in, we can hit well,” sophomore centerfielder Bailey Hartman said.
The Cutters were zoned in on Monday, and Hartman was right in the middle of it all.
Hartman slugged two home runs, Danielle Burke hit another and Emily Meerholz was solid in the circle as Fair Lawn defeated Clifton, 12-3, in a Big North crossover game.
Burke hit a three-run blast in the first inning, while Hartman hit a solo shot in the fifth and three-run homer in the sixth.
Hartman finished 2-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBI.
The sophomore doesn’t look a typical power hitter, but the ball jumps off her bat.
“She’s got just perfect timing,” coach Sue Benjamin said. “She’s not afraid to go for it. She’s just some natural power.”
This was Hartman’s second multi-home run game in less than a week after she hit two homers against Lakeland on Wednesday.
“She’s got some good pop, great athleticism,” Benjamin said. “She’s a big part of our team.”
Fair Lawn took control of the game during a seven-run sixth.
Danielle Jurcevic and Amanda Kopf each singled to start the inning, and Raina Alexander hit an RBI double to right.
Burke then drove in a run with an RBI fielder’s choice before Hartman delivered her three-run home run.
Amanda Laudani, who finished 4-for-5, tripled and then scored on Kira Meerholz’s RBI infield single. Kopf then had an RBI single to cap the Cutters’ scoring.
“It’s really fantastic to see because we’re the type of team where we have the ability to hit throughout the lineup, and we have the ability to run and execute,” Benjamin said. “Our squeeze play and our hit-and-run didn’t work for us, but we contributed enough offensively with the bigger hits to be able to try those things, and if they didn’t work out, it didn’t hurt us.”
Clifton struggled to get much going against Emily Meerholz, but the Mustangs broke through in the fifth.
Lauren Brown hit a two-run single and later scored on a Fair Lawn error.
But that was all Clifton could get.
The Cutters had two losses last week, but their performance on Monday showed how tough of a team they can be.
With a loaded stretch of games coming up, they’re hoping to hit their stride at just the right time.
“We’re still working on our lineups,” Benjamin said. “Now is the time we’ve got to right the ship because there’s no going back.”