SOFT­BALL

Dorchester Star - - Sports - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

C-SD 7 — Colonel 6 CAM­BRIDGE — Af­ter lead­ing by four runs in the sixth in­ning Thurs­day, March 31, Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High’s soft­ball team found it­self down a run in ex­tra in­nings.

Vik­ing se­nior Kaylie Seabrease stepped to the plate in the bot­tom of the eighth and ripped the first pitch to right for a dou­ble that scored Katie Smith from sec­ond to tie the game. Two bat­ters later, Seabrease dashed home on a wild pitch to score the win­ning run for a dra­matic 7-6 vic­tory over Colonel Richard­son.

“Seabrease, be­ing a four-year var­sity starter, we can al­ways count on her to come through with the hits and make big plays with the glove,” said Vik­ings head coach Kareem Otey af­ter the Vik­ings im­proved to 3-0 over­all, 2-0 North Bay­side. “Her baserun­ning is phe­nom­e­nal. As long as she gets on base, we know she is go­ing to make some­thing hap­pen. She was huge for us today at the plate and in the field.

“I am re­ally proud and im­pressed with my girls with how they just kept go­ing from the first in­ning to the eighth in­ning,” Otey added. “They just never stopped. They just never quit. We knew go­ing into this game that Colonel is a re­ally good team, their coaches are great and they never, ever give up.

“We had a feel­ing it was go­ing to be a fight, even be­fore the game started,” she said. “We knew we had to bring our A-game. De­fen­sively, we did a great job. Of­fen­sively, we were hit­ting re­ally well. Put those two to­gether, and we just hap­pened to come out on top today.”

Fresh­man Mad­die Led­num (10) picked up the win in re­lief of Vik­ing ace Paige Bleyer. Colonel’s Gabby Galante took the loss, giv­ing up seven runs — four earned — 10 hits while strik­ing out four in a com­plete-game ef­fort.

Led­num came on in re­lief with the bases loaded and one out in a tie game in the top of the eighth. Colonel’s Cor­ryn Jo­hansen laid down a bunt that sent Jen­nifer Lar­ri­more bolt­ing home from third. Led­num fielded the ball and fired to catcher Karli Lewis for the force just be­fore Lar­ri­more touched the plate.

Colonel (3-2, 1-1) got its first lead at 6-5 when Led­num walked Jazmine Brooks (3 for 4, three stolen bases, two runs, RBI) to force in a run. Led­num got out of the jam by get­ting Galante to fly out to left.

“Mad­die, might be a fresh­man, but she def­i­nitely has the skills of a vet­eran player,” Otey said. “I’m just re­ally im­pressed with how she kept her com­po­sure and came in to fin­ish the game for us. Her fu­ture is bright with us.”

Led­num (2 for 3, RBI) got the scor­ing started in the bot­tom of the first with a rocket sin­gle to right, scor­ing Bleyer for a 1-0 lead. The Vik­ings took a 2-0 lead when Alyssa Swann scored on an er­ror.

Bleyer shut down most of the Colonel hit­ters in the first four in­nings, ex­cept Brooks and Galante (2 for 3, two RBIs). Brooks got her sec­ond hit in the top of the fourth, stole sec­ond and scored on Galante’s sin­gle to make it 2-1. Bleyer in­duced two pop ups and got a strike­out to end the in­ning.

The Vik­ings got two runs back, when Smith drew a two-out walk and scored on a triple by Seabrease (2 for 4, two RBIs). Lewis (2 for 4, RBI) made it 4-1 when she ripped a sin­gle to left to plate Seabrease.

“Karli, also a four-year start­ing se­nior, did a great job be­hind the plate,” Otey said. “She got some big hits for us today.”

Cam­bridge-SD in­creased its lead to 5-1 in the fifth when Led­num scored on an er­ror.

“Early on, we got down, and we didn’t do enough things right to help our­selves out,” Colonel head coach Brett Ire­land said. “We got to do a bet­ter job early on, stay­ing in.

“We cer­tainly have to have a bet­ter ap­proach at the plate early on,” he added. “Once we started tak­ing pitches, we worked some counts and put some good swings on the ball. Give Cam­bridge a lot of credit. They got the best of us today.”

Down 5-1 in the sixth may shake some teams, but Colonel Richard­son has shown more than once this year no lead is safe. Just seven days ago, the Colonels erased a 5-0 deficit to stun Queen Anne’s 8-5.

With one out, back-to-back sin­gles by Galante and Mor­gan Wil­loughby, and a walk by Kaylie Moore loaded the bases. Lar­ri­more, Cam­ryn Plugge and Madi­son Bee each drew bases-loaded walks to cut the lead to 5-4.

In the sev­enth, Brooks led off with a sin­gle, stole her third base, then ad­vanced to third on an over­throw. Galante tied the score with a sac­ri­fice fly, plat­ing Brooks.

Colonel nearly took the lead two bat­ters later when Moore blasted a pitch to deep left with Wil­loughby on first. But Vik­ing left fielder Re­gan Jones made a div­ing catch for the sec­ond out be­fore Bleyer got an in­ning-end­ing fly out to cen­ter.

“We cer­tainly showed a lot of heart and stayed in the game,” Ire­land said. “Once they got up to five, we held them there to give us a chance to come back. When you are al­ways fight­ing from be­hind, and you feel like you are al­ways down, that adds a lot of pres­sure. It is eas­ier to play with the lead and put the pres­sure on them.

“Luck­ily, we can put this one be- hind us and play again to­mor­row,” he added. “We have lost two one- run ball­games. We are not do­ing enough of the lit­tle things con- sis­tently yet. Un­til we start do­ing the lit­tle things that add up to big pieces, then we will re­ally make

our im­prove­ment.”

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Mad­die Led­num rips an RBI sin­gle to right against Colonel Richard­son Thurs­day, March 31.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Karli Lewis rips an RBI sin- gle to left against Colonel Richard­son Thurs­day, March 31.

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Katie Smith rips a sin­gle to cen­ter against Colonel Richard­son Thurs­day, March 31.

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