The 2nd-seeded Pilgrim Lady Patriots were outdueled in extra innings by the 3rd-seeded La Salle Academy Rams 6-4 on Friday night at Rhode Island College during the Division I Double Elimination Softball winners’ bracket.
La Salle junior Gabby DeLuca drove in the go-ahead run plus an insurance run in the top of the ninth and gave La Salle the win.
“That was a classic,” Pilgrim head coach Paul Kennedy said. “From beginning to end, it really was. They had us, we had them. We had them, they had us. It was back and forth. The last few innings were just incredibly intense.”
Despite the fun that was had during the contest, Kennedy was upset that the team didn’t come out victorious.
“Obviously just very disappointed in the outcome,” Kennedy said. “It was just a fun game to coach, to watch. Dramatic hits from both teams. Dramatic home runs from both teams. Just a great game and hats off to La Salle. They nipped us today. We had them last week and they got us today.”
“I told the girls that we played a very good game and they just beat us,” Kennedy added. “Nothing to be concerned with, we played a very good game.”
Pilgrim ace and University of Maine commit Cat Fallon pitched a complete game and struck out 11.
“She threw a lot of pitches,” Kennedy said. “She went the whole nine innings. A couple of runs in the early innings and then she shut them down for four straight innings. She made some huge pitches when we needed her. They got her a little bit in the late innings there, but she was strong the whole game, made some fantastic pitches for us.”
La Salle took an early 1-0 lead when freshman infielder Olivia Gilbert hit an RBI single in the top of the first inning.
Then in the second inning, with the bases loaded and Kayla Baptista batting, sophomore Lauren Geremia scored from third on a passed ball and extended La Salle’s lead to 2-0.
Pilgrim tied the game at 2 in the sixth, when with one out, junior left fielder Megan Cooney hit a two-run bomb to left field.
“At a time when we weren’t doing a lot of hitting, her home run was just huge,” Kennedy said. “Her first of the year. She had a couple last year, but that was her first of the year, and boy did she come through at a big time for us.”
After that, Fallon was hit by a pitch and then sophomore third baseman Jillian Ricci blasted an RBI double to right-center and gave the Pats a 3-2 edge.
However, in the bottom of the inning, La Salle got a one-out double from Gilbert and then Molly Morales, a senior catcher, launched a two-run bomb of her own, over the left field wall and put La Salle up 4-3.
In the bottom of the seventh, Pilgrim’s Madi D’Amato launched a two-out double to left. Then, Dyonna Rodas hit an RBI double to score D’Amato and knotted the game at 4.
Pilgrim had a chance to win it in the bottom of the eighth with runners at first and second and two down, when Karly Evans, the senior first baseman, belted a ball to the outfield, and Hope Frye tried to score from second, but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Later in the top of the ninth, La Salle’s Gilbert blasted a bullet at the second baseman D’Amato, and it ricocheted off her glove, and allowed Gilbert to reach base. Following that, Fallon walked Morales. Then, DeLuca rocketed a two-run double into the outfield and gave La Salle a 6-4 lead.
With the loss, Pilgrim drops into the losers’ bracket. The Pats were scheduled to play the winner of the Cumberland and Chariho game on Sunday however, Chariho’s field was flooded on Saturday which pushed its game against Cumberland to Sunday.
Chariho went on to beat Cumberland 6-0 and were scheduled to travel to Pilgrim on Monday for a matchup with the Pats at 430 pm, but it was postponed due to rain.