By Jay Young
The Southwestern softball team (1-0) was able to make the climb out of a daunting 6-0 hole on Thursday afternoon in Division 1 West action to claim a resilient 7-6 final-inning win over visiting Jamestown (0-1).
Southwestern’s Sydney Burk delivers a pitch during Thursday’s Division 1 West softball game against Jamestown. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jay Young
The Lady Red Raiders opened up their big lead in the top of the fourth inning, but could not hold off a storm of Southwestern bats late in the game as rain drenched the chilly field.
A clutch leadoff double by starting pitcher Sydney Burk ignited the Southwestern offense in the sixth inning while singles from Summer Borysoff and Britta Johnson helped the Lady Trojans close the Jamestown margin.
After entering their final at bat still in a 6-4 hole, more timely hitting from Xiane Smith, Burk, Borysoff and Johnson helped spur on the comeback along with great base running from Kate Johnson.
After pulling even with Jamestown in the final frame it was a line drive single over shortstop by senior Alex Sullivan that sent Johnson around third and on to home to seal the victory.
"Coming back from 6-0 to win 7-6 in the bottom of the seventh is a great win," said Lady Trojans coach Jennifer Anderson. "Absolutely (I was concerned), I mean we've got a young team. We have six or seven sophomores and freshman on here, but we had them step up and do a great job.''
Anderson has plenty to be excited about for this season after watching her youthful team pick up a come-from-behind win in their opening game that also included clutch plays from all-across the roster.
Freshman pitcher Burk showed poise on the mound and at the plate as she finished the complete game with five strikeouts, six walks, six earned runs and a pair of hits in the win.
"You can't say enough about Sydney,'' Anderson said. ''She does a great job, even as a freshman. She knows the game, is mentally tough and has worked hard in the offseason to do as well as she does. She's great.''
Mary Cersosimo also impressed on the mound for Jamestown despite being unable to maintain her team's lead in the final innings. The senior fanned eight in her complete game performance with five walks and also picked up three singles and three RBIs for the Lady Red Raiders.
Jamestown got its offense going in the top of the third frame after loading the bases on a walk, a single from Hannah Pollino and another infield hit by Kaleisha Mosley. With no outs and runners all around, Cersosimo cracked another base hit to send Pollino and Katelynn Spunaugle across home plate. The next infield strike from senior Jessica Pace scored Mosley for Jamestown's final run of the inning and a 3-0 lead.
See LADY TROJANS, Page B4
From Page B1
Burk was able to regain her focus on the mound after giving up the runs and ended up stopping the bleeding with a pair of strikeouts.
After picking up its early lead, Jamestown and coach Bill Canfield were able to maintain their momentum moving into the fourth while the Lady Trojans were still unable to get on the board.
Midway through the contest rain started to become a serious factor as balls became harder to handle and both pitchers struggled to keep their hands warm.
The next Jamestown run came thanks to a wild pitch from Burk as Lydia Sposato was able to turn on the jets from third base and score to up the lead to 4-0. Before Burk could recover from the missed pitch, Cersosimo hammered another RBI-single to score Pollino and the Lady Red Raiders ended the inning with a 5-0 margin.
That lead would stretch to six thanks to more speedy base running by Jamestown, this time from Mosley who tagged up third after a popup and beat the throw at home.
As Burk stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth Southwestern was going to need something epic to close the gap, let alone post seven runs for the win.
That was exactly what the Lady Trojans got as the freshman pitcher dropped in a double and then was sent home on an RBI-single from Borysoff for the Lady Trojans' first run.
Swift pinch running by senior Kristy Baggiano allowed Southwestern to pick up its next run as she sprinted for home after tagging third on a sacrifice fly from Maggie Burns.
After Burk's earlier wild pitch gifted Jamestown a run, Cersosimo repaid the favor by tossing a ball wide that allowed Britta Johnson to score and bring the Lady Trojans within three.
A quick seventh inning at the plate from Jamestown sent Southwestern back to bat and three runs down, but Anderson's team was up to the challenge.
Cersosimo lost her handle on another pitch, as the rain continued to come down at the start of the inning, which allowed Kate Johnson to move into second base.
Johnson's speed paid off when Smith struck a short grounder up the first-base line and beat out the throw for an RBI-single.
Another pair of singles by Burk and Borysoff got runners back in scoring position for Southwestern with only one out and Britta Johnson stepped up to hammer the game-tying hit down the first-base line.
After climbing all the way back from being down six, Sullivan was not going to be denied as she stepped to the plate with the game on the line and belted a decisive single to score Johnson.