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WOONSOCKET --- The 1-3 start is surprising. So was Mount St. Charlesâ€™s play in its Division I-North game against visiting Smithfield on Tuesday afternoon.
The Mounties turned in a lackluster performance against their neighboring foes and dearly paid for it in a game that took nearly three hours to complete. The Sentinels banged out 14 hits and took advantage of five Mount errors and a number of wild pitches and passed balls en route to a 15-10 victory.
The Sentinels (2-2) snapped a 7-7 tie with a seven-run rally in the top of the sixth that saw them bat around their lineup and take advantage of five hits and three walks off ace pitcher Olivia Hendricks.
An inning earlier, the Mounties erased a 7-2 deficit by scoring five times. They also sailed around their batting order and received a three-run homer from Hendricks and a two-out, two-run single by Carissa Gould that made it a new ballgame.
This was indeed a very tough defeat for the Mounties, who appeared in the Division I championship game in each of the last two seasons and have what many softball enthusiasts believe is another solid team that could make another long run at Rhode Island College come playoff time.
The Sentinels also didnâ€™t bring their â€˜Aâ€™ game, as they committed three late errors and teamed up with the Mounties to produce double digits in wild pitches and passed balls. But in the end, they picked up the statistic that mattered the most, the â€˜Wâ€™.
The Mounties, who went into action with their catcher, Briana Castro, limited to courtesy runner duties because of an injury, traded runs with their visitors in the second inning before taking a 2-1 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly to left by Hendricks.
But Smithfield grabbed the lead for good in the fourth, as three errors and run-scoring singles by Samantha Melaragno and Kelsey Marchetti accounted for four runs. Melaragno ended the game in grand fashion by going 3-for-5 with three runs scored and three runs batted in.
After the Sentinels extended their lead to five in the top of the fifth, the Mounties, who were limited to just one hit by Sentinels pitcher Alexa Shilko through the first four innings, answered back in their half of the fifth.
With one out, Emily DiCecco reached base on an error, Emily Hendricks lined a single to left, and Olivia Hendricks followed with a line shot that sailed over the head of left fielder Bryanna Caron and allowed her to circle the bases with ease for her home run.
Then with two down, Nicole Rodrigues laced a single to left, Taylor Dill doubled into the gap in left-center, and Gould lined a single into right-center to tie the score.
The Mounties had the momentum, but not for long, for the Sentinels came back big in the sixth. Abbigael Cook and Melaragno had RBI singles in the inning, and Caron laced a two-out, two-run triple to cap the uprising.
The Mounties will try to put this loss in their rearview mirror when they return to action on Friday when they play the first of five straight games against the Division I-Centralâ€™s teams. They will host Warwick Vets in a 3:30 p.m. game.