By Bill Rudick
MALVERN—the Hurricanes rallied for five runs in the sixth, and another in the seventh, but it wasn’t quite enough as Villa Maria dropped a 7-6 decision to visiting Villa Joseph Marie in the AACA match-up.
“You always want to win, but I’m actually really glad we finally got to play in a game like this,” said Villa coach Nicole Hartshorn. “Once you hit the post season, you’re going to find yourself in situations where you have to battle from behind like we did today.”
The Hurricanes dug themselves an early hole, giving up a pair of runs in the second, and two more in the third, as the Jems were getting the clutch hits at key moments that the Hurricanes were not.
Villa Maria left the bases loaded in the first, and stranded runners in scoring position in both the second and third.
Trailing 4-0 in the sixth, the Hurricanes finally began to string together hits. Alyssa Viscardo got things going with a lead-off double, and loaded the bases with singles from Mary Wilcox and pinch hitter Megan Hartz. Up next was Riley Miller, and after working a full count, stroked a single to left to put the Hurricanes on the board.
Marissa Bruder was next, and knocked in another two runs with a single. With Bruder at first, and Miller at third, Bri Wright hit a little comebacker. When the throw went to first, Miller took off for home, and dove in head first with the tying run.
“Riley was just awesome today,” said Hartshorn. “In every at bat, every move on the bases, she really came through for us. She’s a heckuva player.”
The Hurricanes briefly grabbed the lead when Fran Deluscio doubled to deep center. But the Jems answered right back with three in the top half of the seventh on hits from Meghan Alexander, Elayna Tsiaupulis, Brooke Marrell, and Fran Capozzi.
Miller came through once again for Villa Maria, ripping a two-out triple to the fence in the gap in left center to score Hartz, who had stayed in the game and collected her second base hit. But it wasn’t enough, as the Hurricanes fall to 10-2 (8-2 AACA) with the loss.
It was just the first meeting between the two teams, and the Hurricanes still hold the top spot in the league standings.
“I’m really proud of the way this team battled back,” said Hartshorn. “They never hung their heads or got down on themselves. They just kept pushing until the hits started falling in. That’s the way you’ve got to play in tight games when not everything is going your way. We might have fallen a little short today, but getting to face these pressure situations can only help in the long run.”
Villa Joseph Marie 7 Villa Maria 6
VJM ab r h bi VMA ab r h bi
Booth—LF 4 0 2 0 Miller—CF 5 1 3 3
Alexander—2B 3 2 1 0 Bruder—SS 5 1 2 2
Tsiaupulis–SS 3 2 1 0 Wright–2B 4 0 2 1
Marrell—C 4 2 2 4 Deluscia—3B 4 0 2 0
Capozzi—1B 3 1 3 1 Dascenzo—1B 4 0 0 0
Reifsnyder—P 4 0 0 0 Holyoke—RF 4 0 0 0
Hacker—3B 3 0 1 0 Viscardo—P 4 1 1 0
Abel—CF 2 0 0 1 Wilcox—C 4 1 2 0
Gordon—DP 3 0 0 0 Gosselin—LF 2 0 0 0
Totals 29 7 10 6 Hartz—PH/LF 2 2 2 0
Totals 38 6 13 6
VJM 0 2 2 0 0 0 3—7
VMA 0 0 0 0 0 5 1–6
2B—Marrell, Bruder 3B—Tsiaupulis, Miller
IP H R BB SO
Reifsnyder (W) 7 13 6 0 2
Viscardo (L) 7 10 7 1 7
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