(C-2) Cal- Mum 7 (C-1) Gananda 2
On Friday evening (May 27) the state qualifier for Class “C” unfolded at the “new & improved Dog House”. ( I simply called it the “Schuster-Stewart Sports Complex…because I’m sure that Karen Schuster & Dave Stewart MUST have had something to do with the complete overhaul & renovation of the Branch Street Complex.). Ganada took advantage of an early error, but Cal-Mum’s bats came alive late in the game as they scored runs in the 4th, 5th & 6th innings & tamed the previously unbeaten Panthers by a final score of 7-2 to move on to the Far West Regionals coming up this weekend.
The game opened as a pitcher’s duel as Emily MacDonald had the grapefruit for Cal-Mum, & Bri Walker was in the circle for the Blue Panthers. In the home half of the first Gananda got on the board first in the game as Emma Drake walked, & Jenna Trabalzi reached on a bunt single. The Red Raiders defense then turned a nice 4-6-3 double play pushing the runner over to 3rd & it looked like the maroon & gray would wiggle out of things. Following a pair of intentional walks to load the bases & put a force on at every base….an errant pick-off throw to first sailed past the first baseman allowing the first run of the game to score. Cal-Mum would put 2 runners on board in the 2nd, but Bri Walker struck out 2 hitters to close the door on that threat. The Red Radiers finally broke through & took the lead for good with a 4-spot in the 4th. With one out Emily MacDonald doubled to center field. Andrea Coyle tied the game with a single to right. Grace Walker would sacrifice both runners along to 2nd & 3rd. Sami Bickford’s single put Cal-Mum in front 2-1. When Megan Little was hit by a 1-2 pitch the visitors saw Gillian Flint rip a double up the right field line to score both runs making it 4-1. With one out in the bottom of the 4th, Bri Walker stepped in & stroked an opposite field home run to left center making it a 4-2 game. Cal-Mum played long-ball in their half of the 5th when Amanda Mietlicki singled to left, & then Meghan Mietlicki connected on a long, high drive to centerfield that went out of the ballpark for a 2-run homer extending the Red Radiers’ lead to 6-2. C-M added a single run in the 6th when Sami Bickford was hit by a pitch…Megan Little laid down a nice sacrifice moving the runner into scoring position. Gillian Flint followed with a sharp single to left that was mis-handled by the Panthers outfield allowing the hitter to wind up at 3rd. Cal-Mum would threaten again in the 7th as they had 2 on & one out, but the Panthers infield turned a home to third double-play to end the inning abruptly. The Red Raiders again elected to “intentionally walk the #3 # 4 hitters & hurler Emily MacDonald then recorded the final 3 outs on infield grounders to claim a 7-2 win & move onto the Far West Regionals this coming weekend.
For the Red Raiders ( 20-5) Emily MacDonald notched the win in the circle with a complete game 3 hitter giving up 2 runs, 1 earned while striking out 7 & walking 4 (all of them intentionally). Offensively Gillian Flint was 2-4 with a double & 3 rbis…Amanda Mietlicki had a hit & scored a run…Meghan Mietlicki clubbed a 2 run homer….Emily MacDonald had a double & scored a run….Andrea Coyle was 2-3 with a double, an rbi & scored a run…Grace Walker had a sacrifice….Sami Bickford was 1-1 while Allets Schicker scored twice…& Megan Little had a sacrifice & scored a run. ” Strange strategy” of the night went to Cal-Mum skipper Dan Dickens who was “intent” on issuing “intentional walks” to Gananda’s 3 & 4 hitters in the game. The strategy worked in 2 at-bats for each of them. The one time Cal-Mum elected to pitch to Bri Walker, the leftie swinger sent one out of the ballpark. (Now I know why they walked her). In catcher Caitlin Donnelly’s last ups…Cal-Mum had issued the first 2 balls of the intentional walk & then got a pitch too closed to the strike zone & the junior backstop reached out & poked a single to right.
For Gananda (21-1) Bri Walker scattered 8 hits on the slab, as all 7 Red Raider runs were earned. She would strike out 10 & walk 3 in the season-ending setback. Jenna Trebalzi had one of the hits…Caitlin Donnelly had one, & Bri Walker’s homer was the other as the Panthers’ season came to a close