Braves Take Girls RLL Softball Championship
The Girls Major Division Softball World Series went the distance with the F.C. Gerlach Braves outlasting an evenly matched T. Moriarty and Son Angels team two games to one. This was a World Series that demonstrated talent, character and the ability to perform under pressure by both teams, who could not have played any closer in the Series.
All three games were decided by one run with two of the games being decided in the victor’s final at bat. Offense was mainly on display throughout the epic battle, mixed in with a few top notch defensive plays. Game 1 was won by the Braves, 15-14, with the Angels answering the bell in Game 2, winning 18-17 to even the series. In Game 3 the Braves came from behind in their last at bat to take the Series with a 13- 12 victory.
In Game 1 both the Angels and Braves got length out of their starting pitchers with Julia Carey and Meagan McGinn, who got the win going 4 innings each. The Angels jumped out to a quick start scoring five in the first and one in the second for an early 6-0 lead.
Madison Efron singled to open the game followed by a double by Julianna DeSilva. They were driven in with doubles by Emma Knox and Kalyn Marrero. The Braves’ bats started to heat up in the bottom second, after consecutive walks to Renee Simos, Annie Velluzzi and Nicole Donnelly. Melissa Piccione who had four RBIs on the game, singled to drive the first two Braves runs of the Series.
The Angels came right back in the third inning when Marina Cregan smacked a triple to drive in a pair. The Braves took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning, starting with a lead off single by Theresa O’Connor. After a walk, Melissa Piccone belted a two-run triple, McGinn was hit by a pitch and Brittany Connolly singled to drive in two more. Renee hit a sacrifice fly, driving in her third run of the game. The inning ended with the Braves on top 14-9. The defensive play of the game occurred in the top half of the fifth, after Marina Creagan’s second triple of the game made the score 14-12.
Renee relieved McGinn, facing Emma Knox who drove the ball to the wall down the left field line, chased down by O’Connor, who threw a perfect relay to McGinn, who then fired a bullet to Piccione at the plate, who put a quick tag on Emma Knox. Jacqueline Banker came on to play second base. Simos went on to pick up the save and struck out three in 1 2/3 innings.
In Game 2 the Angels fought back from an eight-run deficit to win 18-17 and even the series at a game apiece. For the Angels, Emily Ferks reached base with two singles and a fielder’s choice and scored three runs. Nora Meehan had an RBI single. Lauren Peters reached base twice and scored once. Julia Carey had two hits and a walk and scored three times. For the Braves, Jenny Fahy had a two-run single in the first inning, Lauren Durante had 3 hits and scored twice.
The bats for both teams were sizzling as hot as the sun. The game went to the top of the sixth inning with the Braves trailing by one run, 16-15, and trying to wrap up the series in two.
The Braves scored two runs as Samantha Rom and Nicole Donnelly each had RBI singles. The Angels came to bat trailing 17-16 and facing the possibility of being swept. The girls showed tremendous character and struck quickly. A lead off walk to Erica Sorenson was followed by an RBI double by Julianna DeSilva to tie the game at 17 apiece. Sam Matthews had the big hit, a walk off single for an 18-17 win and suddenly the series was knotted at one apiece.
Game 3 would feature two veteran pitchers opposing each other, Marina Cregan for the Angels and Renee Simos for the Braves. After the Angels went down in order in the top of the first, the Braves came out swinging with two two-run homers by Samantha Rom and Britney Connelly. In the third Cassie Moriarty came up huge for the Angels with the bases loaded; Moriarty cleared the bases with a triple to cut the Braves’ lead to 9-7. Going to the fourth inning the game became a battle of the bullpens with Julia Carey pitching for the Angels and Jenny Fahy, who had a big RBI double earlier in the game, hurling for the Braves.
The Angels scratched out a run in the top of the fourth inning as Emma Knox reached first after being hit by a pitch and then stole the remaining bases. The Braves answered with one of there own on an RBI single by Melissa Piccone.
After four innings the Braves led 10-8. In the fifth inning, the Angels tied the game as Lauren Peters singled and Julianna DeSilva doubled. An RBI ground out by Samantha Matthews and single by Julia Carey tied the game at 10 apiece.
The Braves did not score in the bottom of the fifth so the teams went to the final inning of the final game tied. The Angels scored two runs as Madison Efron and Emma Knox were driven in by Nora Meehan and Kalyn Marrero. It should be noted the Braves pulled off two big fielder’s choice plays at second base to hold the Angels to only two runs. Going into the bottom of the sixth inning the Angels led for the first time in the game 12-10.
With one out Nicole Donnelly walked, Theresa O’Connor and Annie Velluzzi singled to load the bases. Melissa Piccone walked to cut the Angel lead to 12-11. That brought up Samantha Rom who the had the biggest hit of the Series, a solid line drive single to left field driving in O’Connor and Velluzzi.
The Braves won 13-12.