On a cloudy and cool evening May 8 at Triton College, the Fenwick and Trinity High School softball teams warmed things up with an intense game, originally scheduled for the Fenwick Priory, that took extra innings to decide.
In a contest featuring several clutch hits, a fielding error was the difference in the Blazers’ 8-7 victory over the Friars.
“The fact that we were able to gut out a win was amazing,” said Trinity coach Ivette Cano. “It took each player to support each other for the result we got.”
Kailey Janda’s two-run homer off Grace Samatas in the bottom of the third inning gave Fenwick (11-12) a 2-0 lead. But Trinity (11-8) got to Friars’ pitching ace Talia Lorenzo (4.2 innings, 5ER, 8 hits, 10 strikeouts, 2 walks) in the top of the fifth.
With one out, Sofia Samatas’ single was followed by Kendall Hynes’ double. Then Lia Caporale executed a squeeze bunt for a RBI single to score Samatas.
Eleanor Flores drove in Hynes and Caporale with a double, then scored on Linnea Drever’s single. Drever, who took second on the throw home, promptly stole third and scored on an errant throw by Caity Barganski.
Cano praised the leadership and poise shown by her team.
“Having those two admirable characteristics helps them shine on the field and makes coaching easier for us,” she said.
In the top of the sixth, Hynes’ line drive up the middle appeared to glance off Lorenzo’s glove, then her mask. While the RBI single gave the Blazers a 6-2 lead, Lorenzo was taken out of the game as a precaution after being looked at by Fenwick trainer Tony McCormick.
“I don’t think it’s a concussion because her glove and mask helped her, and I think she’s going to be OK,” said Fenwick coach Bryan Hoffman.
Fiona Lundt’s two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh seemed to wrap the game up for Trinity. But Leah Lowery sparked the Friars in the bottom half with a leadoff homer, followed by singles from Barganski, Emma Meehan, and Tessa Nevarez to load the bases.
Janda brought them all home with a triple, then scored on Maya Stathas’ sacrifice fly to even things at 7-7 and force extra innings.
“I thought we were going to pull it out,” Hoffman said. “We started making adjustments towards [Grace Samatas], and I figured the longer the game went, the better odds we had of being victorious.”
With one out in the top of the ninth, Flores singled and moved to second on an errant throw to the infield. She advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored with two outs on an error by Meehan.
Janda (3-for-5) doubled with two outs in the bottom half, but Grace Samatas struck out Madelyn Entler to end the game.
“Grace is the youngest on our team and gives her all at practice and in games,” said Cano of the freshman.
Samatas went the distance for Trinity, allowing seven runs on 12 hits with no walks and one strikeout. Hynes went 3-for-5 and Drever and Flores each had two hits for the Blazers.
“Walking away with a win was a great feeling,” Cano said. “To see all the girls work together to come out on top is rewarding.”
Lowery, who took the loss, went 3.1 innings and gave up two runs (one unearned) on three hits with four strikeouts and a walk. She also went 2-for-4 at the plate, and Nevarez also had two hits for the Friars.
“We’re glad we had the opportunity to see Trinity today,” Hoffman said. “As crazy as it sounds, I’m glad the loss took place here now instead of later in the season. We now know exactly what to expect from them.”