The Toll Gate Lady Titans went to St. Mary’s Academy - Bay View and beat the Bengals 3-2 early Saturday afternoon in Division II fastpitch softball.
Katelyn Hawes, a senior, started in the circle for Toll Gate and pitched two shutout innings, yielding two hits and one walk with one strikeout. Hawes requested to leave the circle after the second inning because she had a migraine, she would later return to right field.
“Kate just wasn’t feeling like herself,” Toll Gate manager Shana Willis said. “So, she pulled herself out, which I respect because she wanted the team to succeed, and she didn’t feel like she was the best option at the time.”
So, Amanda Penney, a sophomore, started the third inning in the circle and settled in quickly, retiring the side in order.
“I warmed up in the third inning, just trying to focus on my spots,” Penney said. “I was trying to keep ‘em low because the umpire seemed to like it that way, and I had a great defense behind me.”
Penney pitched the final five frames and helped the Lady Titans close out the win against a tough Bengals (now 8-5) team on the road.
“I knew when I was coming in that they were a great team, and I just knew I had to be on my a-game the whole game,” Penney said.
Emily Heath started in the circle for the Bengals and tossed a complete-game gem, striking out 12.
In the top of the first, Toll Gate's Jill Walsh, a sophomore, belted an RBI triple to deep center and drove in senior Mallorie Link and put the Lady Titans up 1-0.
Next, Penney rocketed a comebacker at the pitcher, which scored Walsh and increased the Toll Gate advantage to 2-0.
In the fourth, Bay View pulled within 2-1 when with the bases loaded and none out, Isabelle Palmisano drove in Elayna Jaques when she hit into a force play at third.
Then, in the fifth, Toll Gate had runners at the corners before Link scored during a double steal, and upped the Lady Titans margin to 3-1.
"We were just trying to get that extra run in because we knew that two runs was probably not going to do it for us," Willis said.
Willis hit the nail on the head because in the seventh, Bay View inched within 3-2 when with two outs, Rebecca Vaillancourt crushed a double to deep left, off the glove of a charging Emily May, and that scored Ashley Anderson.
But the Bengals would strand the tying run, in Vaillancourt, at second, when Penney got Heath to fly out to Hawes in right for the final out of the game.
“It was a great team win,” Willis said. “Amanda came right in and did the job. And I will say centerfield played a heck of a game. Julia Grossi made some really nice defensive plays in the outfield. And then, Katelyn (Hawes) in the outfield, made a nice play in the seventh inning to get that final out. So, that was big. It was a nice team effort. Everyone here had an opportunity to help the team out today.”
With the victory, the Lady Titans improve their regular season record to 10-4.
Toll Gate plays next on Tuesday at 4 pm at Broad Rock Play Fields in Wakefield against South Kingstown (11-2).