Phillips loses no-hit bid in 7th, guides Panthers past Ea­gles

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ

jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

— For six in­nings Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Per­ryville ju­nior pitcher Emily Phillips nav­i­gated her way through the Bo­hemia Manor lineup with ease, and took the mound for the fi­nal frame with the in­ten­tion of main­tain­ing a shutout and se­cur­ing her team’s third-straight win to be­gin the sea­son.

She had lit­tle re­gard for the fact she was just three outs away from mak­ing his­tory.

The ju­nior had her bid for a no-hit­ter bro­ken up in the bot­tom of the sev­enth in­ning when Anna Tid­aback led off with a sin­gle to right field. Al­though two run­ners even­tu­ally scored in the frame, Phillips re­cov­ered to shut the door as the Panthers held on for an 8-2 vic­tory over the host Ea­gles in Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion soft­ball ac­tion.

“No. It didn’t cross my mind,” Phillips said of her no-hit bid en­ter­ing the fi­nal in­ning. “I just­played it like it was an­other in­ning.”

Her catcher, se­nior Carly White, had no idea her pitcher was even flirt­ing with a no-no.

“I didn’t even know,” White ad­mit­ted af­ter­wards. “I just knew she was mow­ing them

CH­E­SA­PEAKE CITY

down.”

Af­ter Tid­aback reached on the hit and ad­vanced to sec­ond on a wild pitch, she made her way to third on a sin­gle to right field by pinch hit­ter Elle Meyer be­fore cross­ing the plate on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Me­gan Horsey. Horsey then scored two bat­ters later when Mor­gan Mullin con­nected for the in­ning’s third sin­gle to right field. Phillips then ended the game by strik­ing out the next bat­ter. She fin­ished the con­test with two strike­outs and five walks.

“I warmed up ex­tra early to make sure all my pitches were warm be­cause this is a big game for Per­ryville. Per­ryville and Bo Manor have been ri­vals for a long time, it’s been back and forth, so I just had to trust my pitches and trust my de­fense,” Phillips said. “It was very in­tense and very nerve-wrack­ing. I didn’t know what to ex­pect so I just went out there and played my best.”

Bo Manor (3-1 over­all, 0-1 divi­sion) had run­ners ad­vance as far as sec­ond base in three of the first six in­nings but each time Phillips found a way to es­cape. She in­duced a ground ball with two run­ners on and two outs in the first in- ning, and re­ceived help in the form of a dou­ble play in the fourth in­ning when cen­ter fielder Ni­cole DiGi­ambat­tista made an ath­letic catch and threw to sec­ond base to dou­ble up the run­ner, who had left too early. The Panthers (30, 1-0) then main­tained their shutout in the sixth in­ning when a fielder’s choice and two in­field pop outs erased a pair of walks.

“She’s us­ing her change up early in the count, she’s get­ting ahead a lot more and she’s mak­ing the op­po­nent beat us, which is what we want,” Per­ryville coach Dave Roark said of Phillips. “We have a solid de­fense and we’ve been putting it to use all year. She’s hit­ting the zone and that’s the big­gest thing for her.”

Of­fen­sively, the Panthers used a six-run sixth in­ning, high­lighted by a two-out, three-run home run to left field by White, to break away on the score­board. With three run­ners hav­ing al­ready scored in the frame and Am­ber Keene and Ellen Lit­tle both in scor­ing po­si­tion, White stepped into the box and de­liv­ered the big­gest hit of the af­ter­noon.

“I just wanted to hit the ball in play. I wanted to get it in the grass and kind of get a run in. I didn’t ex­pect [the homer],” White said. “The wind helped me out a lit­tle bit.”

Per­ryville

fin­ished

with nine hits, while pro­duc­ing base run­ners in all but one in­ning against both start­ing pitcher Rachel Jones and re­liever Tay­lor Ab­sha­gen. Both pitch­ers were All-County selections a year ago.

“Right now, I’m still try­ing to fig­ure out what the best lineup go­ing for­ward is. The girls are just kind of tak­ing turns. We had sev­eral hits from our 6-7-8-9 hit­ters today. They re­ally started a few big in­nings and [there was] a few key Bo Manor mis­takes,” Roark said. “I don’t think we had a lot of hits, but at the same time it seemed like we had two base run­ners ev­ery sin­gle in­ning. The op­por­tu­ni­ties are there and if you give us that many op­por­tu­ni­ties we’re go­ing to get in our fair share of runs. It’s be­cause the girls are poised this year.

“This isn’t the new group that’s to­gether like it was last year where they were all first-year var­sity play­ers and a lot of them didn’t have that ex­pe­ri­ence. They’re con­fi­dent and they’re com­fort­able. You keep giv­ing us the base run­ners and hope­fully we’ll con­tinue to put the pres­sure on the other team.”

The vic­tory came one year af­ter the Panthers dropped both their reg­u­lar sea­son meet­ings against the Ea­gles last spring. The con­test also proved to be a po­ten­tial post­sea­son pre­view as both teams com­pete as mem­bers of the 1A North Re­gion Sec­tion I play­offs.

“I def­i­nitely didn’t give the girls the old line: “This is just like any other game” be­cause I would be ly­ing to them and they would know that. Bo Manor, they got us twice last year. They’re a good, qual­ity team and to go where we want to go, they’re a huge ob­sta­cle. We have a lot of re­spect for their abil­ity to play. It was more than just the third game of the sea­son. This was a big win for us,” Roark said. “The UCBAC [and] the Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion is bru­tal. We have a lot of tough teams to face so, like I told the girls, we have a lit­tle bit of a tar­get on our back now.

“If we were kind of un­der the radar, we’re not any­more.”

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JOR­DAN SCHATZ

Per­ryville ju­nior pitcher Emily Phillips de­liv­ers dur­ing her team’s 8-2 vic­tory over host Bo­hemia Manor in Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion soft­ball ac­tion on Wed­nes­day. Phillips car­ried a no-hit­ter into the sev­enth in­ning.

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