(Groveland) Molly LeBel was unhittable and her teammates had hits throughout the lineup.
Molly faced eighteen Tigers and struck out sixteen including the last eleven straight. The talented freshman reached 200 strikeouts for the season today.
Pentucket overwhelmed O’Bryant, 16-1, in a D3 Preliminary Round game that ended after 4 ½ innings.
“That was my best game yet,” said Molly after learning of the numbers she had put up.
“I realized early on that they weren’t catching up to the speed,” added Molly, “so I was just throwing straight down the middle.”
“She was a wonderful pitcher,” said O’Bryant coach Bridget Ryan post-game. The team from Roxbury and the Boston City League struggled to make contact most of the afternoon.
The Tigers manufactured a run in their first at-bats. Freshman Rylee Hamblin scored the O’Bryant run. Rylee walked, stole second, and reached third on a throwing error. She came home on a wild pitch.
Down 1-0, the Panthers (12-9) put on a hitting show in their half of the first inning. They sent sixteen batters to the plate, hit three doubles and four singles, and scored eleven runs.
Kendra Griffin and Bailey Stock each drove across two runs in the game-deciding starting inning.
“Everyone hit the ball really hard today,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards. “There were very few grounders.”
There were only two O’Bryant errors so almost all the runs were earned.
Pentucket added three more in the second. Jocelyn Bickford had a two-run single while senior Emma Lopata put a scare into the visitors to the dog park beyond left field.
“I hit another homer earlier in the season to the same spot,” recalled Emma. “This time, however, I think I hit a dog out there which wasn’t so good.”
Emma was back in the third inning with an RBI single while teammate Kayla Murphy scored Emma with a double in that same inning.
“We were missing three starters,” said Coach Ryan afterwards. “They were on a field trip, so I had to put a lot of kids in different positions. Pentucket, however, is a very good team.”
The Panthers advance to the next round on Tuesday (4PM) against Arlington Catholic. I strongly suspect that #26 Pentucket will find #7 AC a bigger challenge than #39 O’Bryant was today.
The big adjustment for Pentucket in this game was replacing play-every-inning catcher Ella Agocs. Freshman Jocelyn Bickford was given the assignment.
“Jocelyn did amazing,” said pitcher Molly LeBel. “It was her first time behind the plate. I was very impressed with her.”
Jocelyn loved the next assignment. “I had never done it before,” she said. “It was so much fun. You get a nice perspective of the game back there.”
“Both Molly and Jocelyn were awesome,” said Coach Smith.
Kayla Murphy (3 hits), Nikki Mitchell (3 runs), and Jocelyn Bickford (3 RBI) had the top stats for Pentucket.
The weather continues to prevent anyone from putting away the cold-weather gear. Felt like an April game to me.
Nice to have players introduced and the National Anthem played.
O’Bryant 1 0 0 0 0 = 1
Pentucket 11 3 2 0 – = 16