Soft­ball team falls to Colonels

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

CAM­BRIDGE — Colonel Richard­son High pitcher Mor­gan Wil­loughby knew the re­sult of the fi­nal play in Mon­day’s Class 1A East Sec­tion I semi­fi­nal against Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester be­fore the of­fi­cial call.

Wil­loughby went air­borne when catcher Cor­ryn Jo­hansen caught a strike from right fielder Jayna Turner and tagged out Karli Lewis at home for a game-end­ing dou­ble play that se­cured Colonel’s 6-3 vic­tory over the Vik­ings.

The game-end­ing play was one of two dou­ble plays by the Colonels — the first halt­ing Cam­bridge-SD’s big­gest threat.

The Colonels jumped to a 3-0 lead on Wil­loughby’s RBI sin­gle in the sec­ond and Madi­son Bee’s two-run sin­gle in the third.

Colonel head coach Brett Ireland knew the Vik­ings would not give up, and preached to his team to keep mak­ing all the lit­tle plays to pre­vent a come­back.

In the bot­tom of the fourth, Cam­bridge-SD (126) loaded the bases with one out on sin­gles by Alyssa Swann, Mad­die Led­num and Jamyra Ch­ester. Up to that point, Wil­loughby (7-1) had not given up a hit. Her next pitch, though, changed game’s com­plex­ion.

Vik­ing cen­ter fielder Emily Keener smoked a pitch up the mid­dle. The sure-handed Wil­loughby snatched the ball and im­me­di­ately fired home to Jo­hansen for the force, then watched her catcher throw

a strike to Gabby Galante at first for the in­ning-end­ing dou­ble play. One pitch. Two outs.

“When you get to the play­offs, and you get two good teams, the win­ner is usu­ally who can get the timely outs,” Ireland said. “Mor­gan, Cor­ryn and Gabby made a great dou­ble play to get us out of the in­ning when they had bases loaded.

“Mor­gan gave Cor­ryn a good throw, and Cor­ryn touched the plate and made a good shot to Gabby,” he added. “At that point, Cam­bridge was gain­ing mo­men­tum. We called time to set­tle things down, and then Mor­gan, Cor­ryn and Gabby made the play.

“Those are the plays you need to win ball­games,” Ireland con­tin­ued. “A few in­nings later, they hit one that looks to be go­ing into the gap, but Kaylie (Moore) takes a great an­gle in cen­ter field to cut the ball off to pre­vent ex­tra bases. That play proved to save a cou­ple runs later in the in­ning. We did a lot of lit­tle things to help us to­day.”

Down 6-0 in the bot­tom of the seventh, the Vik­ings con­tin­ued to fight. Ch­ester’s in­side-the-park home run to left put Cam­bridgeSD on the board. Keener reached on an er­ror and Gabby Lewis walked. Re­gan Jones sac­ri­ficed the run­ners for­ward.

Karli Lewis then blasted a two-run triple to deep left to cut Colonel’s lead to 6-3. The Vik­ings’ sea­son, though, ended on the fol­low­ing pitch, when Kaylie Seabrease skied to right field, where Turner made the catch and fired home for the game-end­ing dou­ble play.

“We just couldn’t get those key hits with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion,” Cam­bridge-SD head coach Ka­reem Otey said. “Colonel did a great job hit­ting to­day.

“Keener hit it hard in the fourth with the bases loaded, but right to some­one and they made the play,” Otey added. “We had some good hits that went right at peo­ple. But over­all, we just didn’t hit the way we needed to bat­tle against a good hit­ting Colonel team.”

Vik­ing Se­nior pitcher Paige Bleyer went the dis­tance, al­low­ing 10 hits, six runs and strik­ing out 11.

Wil­loughby pitched a com­plete game and took a no-hit­ter into the fourth in­ning. She al­lowed six hits, three runs and struck out three.

Wil­loughby got Colonel go­ing with an RBI sin­gle to left to plate Galante for a 1-0 lead in the sec­ond. Bleyer halted the next scor­ing chance by get­ting a strike­out and catch­ing a bunt at­tempt and fir­ing to third for a dou­ble play to end the in­ning.

In the third, Colonel’s first three bat­ters reached on a walk by Jen­nifer Lar­ri­more and sin­gles by Jo­hansen and Jazmine Brooks. Quick think­ing by Bleyer led to an out when she fired to third to catch Lar­ri­more in a run down. Bleyer then in­duced a pop up to Karli Lewis on a bunt at­tempt for the sec­ond out.

One strike away from get­ting out of the in­ning un­harmed, Bee smoked a two-run sin­gle up the mid­dle for a 3-0 lead.

The Colonels went up 4-0 in the fifth when Cam­ryn Plugge sin­gled, and scored on a triple to deep right by Galante (2 for 3).

A two-run sin­gle by Brooks (2 for 4, two RBIs) in the sixth in­creased the lead to 6-0 for Colonel.

“With two outs in the third and sixth in­nings, we got two-run sin­gles in each in­ning by Mad­die B and Jaz,” Ireland said. “That is what your se­niors do. They stepped up and got the big hits when we needed to.”

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester’s Karli Lewis rips a two-run triple to left against Colonel Richard­son Mon­day, May 16.

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