A wild comeback falls shy

A wild comeback falls shy

Image Credit: Dave Mast

Garaway, the East District #4 seed, took on Martins Ferry at Harrison Central High School in a Div. III district semifinal game on Monday, May 16, and it was a game to remember.

What looked to be a blowout win for Martins Ferry turned into a real nail-biter in a game that saw Garaway plate nine sixth-inning runs to take the lead, only to let it slip away in the end in what became a 10-9 loss.

The Lady Pirates threatened in the top of the first inning when Jodi Mast singled, hitting the right-field line. Jordy Keim then rifled a rocket back through the middle, but a diving play cut down Mast at second. That was big because Isabelle Tetreault lined a single up the middle, moving Keim to second with two outs. That was as far as the Lady P’s advanced, and the Purple Riders came in to bat.

Two errors opened the door in the bottom of the first, allowing Martins Ferry to take a 2-0 lead.

Tetreault walked a pair in the second, and with two outs and two on, Danielle Lude doubled to left to make it 4-0.

With two outs in the top of the third, Mast singled for her second hit of the game, but Keim’s long fly ball to center came up just shy of a home run, leaving the Lady P’s trailing 4-0 through three when Tetreault sailed through the bottom of the inning.

The Purple Riders picked up their fifth run to add to its lead in the fourth inning. In the top of the fifth, Amia Proper lashed a single to left to lead off the inning, but Meghan Petitte’s long drive to right center was tracked down to end the inning with the Lady Pirates remaining scoreless.

At that point rain forced another lengthy rain delay, and when the teams resumed play, Martins Ferry went back to work at the dish, plating a quick run, taking advantage of a wild pitch to make it 6-0.

Kelsi Gillespie replaced starter Laura McFarland on the mound, and that seemed to inspire the Lady Pirates.

Mast remained a thorn in the side of the Purple Riders, leading off the sixth by ripping a line-drive single to center, and after a lengthy at-bat, Keim hammered an RBI triple to the wall in center to allow the Lady Pirates to finally break through on the scoreboard.

When Tetreault doubled home Keim and advanced to third with no outs, Garaway was creeping back into it. Grace Yoder hit a shot to short and reached via an error to trim the Purple Riders’ lead in half.

Shelby Gerber grounded into a fielder’s choice, forcing out Yoder at second, and Proper ripped a shot to right for a single, putting runners on the corners with one out.

Lily Specht then crushed a double off the wall in center field, scoring both runners to trim the Garaway deficit to 6-5. That was it for Gillespie, bringing McFarland back to the mound. A walk put two runners on for slugging catcher Petitte, who reached on an infield single to load the bases for Mast, who hit an absolute rocket that was snared by a leaping second baseman for the second out. That left things up to the dangerous Keim, who stepped in and clobbered an inside-the-park grand slam to take a 9-6 lead. Tetreault singled to center before Martins Ferry was able to finally escape the inning.

Right back came the Purple Riders, who scored quickly to make it 9-7. With two outs Nevaeh Hall singled home two runs and reached third on two errors to tie things at 9-all. Eve Agnew then helped Martins Ferry recapture the lead when her liner back through the box banged off Tetreault’s glove for a single.

Down to their last at-bats, the Lady Pirates still had life, and it grew when Proper singled with one out. Specht struck out for the second out, bringing Faith Windle to the plate, who worked the count to full before popping out to end the game.

Tetreault, who set several records on the mound this season for Garaway, threw 158 pitches in the contest, striking out nine and walking seven, allowing seven hits. Mast, Tetreault and Proper all collected three hits for Garaway.

With the win Martins Ferry improved to 18-1 while the Lady P’s fell out of tourney play with a 17-7 mark.

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