LINCOLN â€” Down, but not out.
That was the mindset of the players of ninth-seeded Mount St. Charles Academy during their Division I playoff matchup with top-seed Lincoln High on Saturday.
Facing a three-run deficit entering the seventh inning, the underdog Mounties scored four times in the final frame en route to a 4-3 win over the Lions in the opener of the double-elimination tourney at Lonsdale Elementary School.
Taylor Messier tied the contest at 3 with a two-run double and teammate Emily Hendricks drove in the game-winner with base hit in the gap.
MSC coach Cliff Matthews felt a 6-4-3 double play by his defense an inning earlier helped create the spark in the productive seventh.
â€śThat sort of got the girls going,â€ť he said. â€śThe girls felt like the game is not over until the final out and didnâ€™t give up. Lincoln played clean softball. Thatâ€™s a talented team. Our girls just kept pushing. There were a lot of contributions.â€ť
Lindsey Mayer gave the Lions a quick 1-0 advantage with a first-inning homer. Lincoln also scored in the third and fourth innings on its way to jumping out to a 3-0 cushion.
Mountâ€™s comeback in the final inning didnâ€™t start off well as the leadoff hitter struck out. But the Mounties then loaded the bases with a walk and back-to-back singles from Hannah Gardella and Emily Hendricks. Nicole Grinsell drove in the first run for the Mounties with a groundout. With Gardella and Hendricks on second and third, Messier knotted the score with her two-bagger and Emily Hendricks finalized the score with her single.
The Mounties advance to a winnerâ€™s bracket contest with fourth-seeded Cumberland on Monday at 3:30 p.m. at Rhode Island College. The Lions play a losersâ€™ bracket tilt with Bay View on Sunday.
Mount St. Charles 000 000 4 â€“ 4-9-0
Lincoln 101 100 0 â€“ 3-7-0
Kristen Rodrigues, Olivia Hendricks (6) and Alyssa Lanzi. Alyysa McCoart, Lindsey Mayer and Ali Dzialo. 2B â€“ MSC, Taylor Messier. L, Emily Bouthilette. HR â€“ L, Mayer
Cumberland wins thriller
EAST PROVIDENCE â€” â€śIt was the most amazing game I have ever been involved in.â€ť
Those were the words of Cumberland High coach Marty Crowley after his fourth-seeded club defeated No. 5 seed Bay View Academy, 6-5, in a 10-inning, opening-round playoff game at Tucker Field Saturday afternoon.
The Clippers overcame an early 4-0 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. After the Bengals came back with another run in the sixth for a 5-3 advantage, starting pitcher Bethany Paul (three hits) sent the game into extra innings with a two-run homer in the seventh. Bridget Connorâ€™s sacrifice fly in the tenth to plate teammate Sam Bertheman solidified the win to earn the Clippers a winnersâ€™ bracket game with ninth-seeded Mount St. Charles on Monday at Rhode Island College.
â€śEverybody was a hero today,â€ť Crowley said. â€śIt was an epic victory for our program. They were resilient. They stayed mentally focused. It was a great game.â€ť
Trailing by its 4-0 score entering the home half of the fifth, Cumberlandâ€™s Kelsey Cahill reached base on an error. Kayleigh Martins (two hits) followed with an RBI double and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Krissy Peffer. Paul singled and scored on a RBI base hit by Christina Speroni to get the Clippers within a run at 4-3.
After the Bengals took their 5-3 lead in the sixth, the Clippers knotted the contest in the seventh with Peffer hitting a single and Paul crushing her game-tying homer to deep left field.
With the international tie-breaker rule in effect, allowing a player at second base to begin the extra innings, the Clippers were finally able to break away in the 10th on Connorâ€™s sacrifice fly. Just a half inning earlier, the Cumberland sophomore threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate from second base.
â€śThere were so many twists and turns,â€ť Crowley said. â€śIt was a heck of a game. I am very proud of them. They battled and fought like heck and were rewarded for their efforts.â€ť
Bay View 202 001 000 0 â€“ 5-8-4
Cumberland 000 030 200 1 â€“ 6-8-2
Bethany Paul and Kristy Peffer. MacKenzie Smith and Jazz Clarke. 2B â€“ C, Kayleigh Martins. HR â€“ C, Beth Paul.