(Groveland) “That pitch was just right, that’s all I can say,” said an excited Nikki Mitchell afterwards.
Nikki laced a two-strike, two-out double to right that drove across the game-winner for Pentucket.
“It was amazing,” Nikki said. “I am so happy. I knew we could do it.”
Notre Dame Academy took the hard-luck 7-6 loss on Monday afternoon.
The Lancers (6-3) carried a 6-1 lead into the Pentucket seventh. Lancers’ starter Carly Smith entered the inning with seven strikeouts and no walks. The home team only had two hits.
There was little reason to think that things would change so drastically in the final half inning.
But change they.
“We’ve been in every game so far and we don’t give up,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.
Nikki Mitchell started the inning with a walk and ended the inning with a walkoff double.
Pentucket got four walks in the inning and benefitted from a high throw to the plate that scored a run.
The excitement grew as the inning unfolded.
After Carly Smith registered her eighth strikeout, Pentucket was down to its final out and trailed 6-4. They did, however, have two runners on and Kayla Murphy batting. Kayla had struck out twice but this time, down to her last strike, she found the gap in right-center and tied the game.
After an intentional walk to Meghan Hamel, it was Nikki Mitchell’s turn. Nikki had collected Pentucket’s first hit in fifth inning. Nikki, like Kayla, got two strikes on her before hitting a ball over the rightfielder’s head which easily scored Kayla with the game-winner.
The team immediately mobbed Kayla after she scored while Nikki stood at second base. “I was a little surprised by that,” laughed Nikki. Shortly thereafter, however, the team got it walkoff celebration corrected and descended on Nikki.
“Kayla and Nikki with two strikes on them got the job done for us,” said Coach Deb Smith.
“It was a tough loss,” said NDA coach Fred Smith. “At the end there were a couple of walks by us and a couple of big hits by them.”
“We were on the other end of a game like this against Whittier on Friday,” he added.
“We’ve been working so hard as a team,” said Coach Deb Smith. “Everyone did their job today. It was a total team effort.”
Lexi Martineau paced the Lancers with three of their five hits. She scored three runs and drove in two.
Lexi’s first hit drove in two runs in the 3-run NDA third inning.
Two walks, two hits, and two wild pitches gave the Lancers two more runs in the fifth inning.
Meanwhile NDA’s Carly Smith retired twelve straight batters before Pentucket put a hit batsman and two singles together to load the bases. Emma Lopata drove in Pentucket’s first run with a fielder’s choice.
NDA got the run back with a hit and three straight walks in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 6-1.
A key play in that NDA seventh inning was an attempt to steal home that turned into the final out of the inning. There had been three straight walks.
And that set the stage for Pentucket’s ten-batter, six-run, final inning.
The weather was unpleasant. You really have to dress for winter!
Notre Dame 0 0 3 0 2 0 1 = 6
Pentucket 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 = 7
(The pictures will enlarge.)