Article By: Aaron Rivera
Moh-Beel! USA (14-4) @ E1 Pro Ballers (6-12)
WP: Gabby Johnson (7-1), Alexis Bannano (3-1)
The first and third place teams met in a July 10th battle, each after coming off consecutive losses. Moh-Beel! USA would get back on track while E1’s skid goes to 8.
After the four day weekend, Moh-Beel! USA showed no rust, coming in strong and scoring in all five innings of a truncated game. Kaleigh Todd returned from a finger injury and started the game with a single, two batters later Savannah Horvath took a Devin Brown-Lowe (2-4) pitch long to score two. The following inning Rachel Vieira, Laurisa Hernandez, Todd, Aaliyah Gibson, and Stephanie Texiera would all score in a monstrous effort that saw two homers from Horvath (28 runs, 10HRs) and Texiera, and prompted Anna Biondo (10 Relief appearances) to come into the center-circle for E1. Gabby Johnson (7-1) started for Moh-Beel! USA and held off the E1 Pro Ballers for two innings before they broke through in the third with an Alyson Shaw single in front of a Makayla Reed home run, but by this point, it was a long game of catch-up they could not win. Moh-Beel! scored 3 in the third, then 3 more in the fourth (all three on Allyne Clark’s first home run of the season) that kept them well ahead of the 8-run-rule. E1 would not go down without a fight, however, as they got three of their own on a rally that started with pitcher Anna Biondo’s first run of the season as a batter. After five innings the difference was 10 runs so Moh-Beel! USA cruised into their thirteenth win of the season. Horvath would lead her team with six RBIs, while Texiera and Clark were right behind with 3 a piece. Gabby Johnson goes to a league-leading six wins on the season with a five strikeout complete game. Final Score: 16-6
A dramatic early afternoon game on the eleventh would pit Paige Crawford and Caitlyn Whiteside against each other, though neither would get the win. In the offensive Moh-Beel! USA first, Aaliyah Gibson and Savannah Horvath would come in to score on a Maddy Grimm home run. E1 Pro Ballers would respond immediately with two runs of their own as Makayla Reed singled in Alyson Shaw, then scored herself on a Libby Sugg double. Both pitchers would find their rhythms following that scoring first and quiet the bats for a short while. In the fourth, E1’s rally-queen Savannah Sturgill got a single and a run when Shaw got a double: tying the game. Libby Sugg found her pitch in the fifth and blasted E1 into their first lead with her 9th homer of the season. Moh-Beel! made a change to Alexis Bonanno (3-1) in the 6th, but E1 and Savannah Sturgill scored again, padding their lead at two. With only half an inning separating E1 from their first win in July, they sent in Anna Biondo (0-5) to close out the game. Moh-Beel! would sour those hopes in a big way, batting around their line-up, getting an RBI or run from every single batter to score eight runs! Maddy Grimm’s sac-fly brought home her housemate Savannah Horvath to tie the game, before an Ashley Razey 2-run home run gave them a lead. Kennedy Cline went 4-4 on the afternoon batting behind Razey. Now down by six runs, the E1 team went down in order to end the game. Late game theatrics gave Moh-Beel! USA an 11-5 victory.
The Field (6-12) @ Performance Lab (10-8) WP: Caitlin Perry (1-4) A. Lipovsky (6-2)
Running on hot streaks, Performance Lab (6 wins) and The Field (2 wins) squared off.
Game one would be a test of nerves for the pitchers Abbey Pratt (1-2) and Caitlin Perry (1-4). Pratt seemed to have the upper-hand early, making her way through The Field’s lineup without so much as a walk the first time through. Perry, on the other hand, surrendered a run to the first batter, Xiarysse Emerenciana, who was driven in on a Jamie Johnson sacrifice fly. Things were quiet until the fourth, where The Field would load the bases with two singles and a walk with one out. Abbey Pratt would force two consecutive fly-outs to save the inning. Performance Lab came to the plate and mimicked the top half of the fourth, though Jessica Burlingame would come home on an infield hit by Haley Cooper to extend the lead to two. The Field finally strung hits together in the top of the sixth inning: Alyssa Singleterry would start the show with a single and a stolen base, then Rhiannon Sassman followed it up with an RBI double. Aubree Mouthaan got an RBI double of her own, followed by singles from Molly Sturdivant, Mackenzie Chitwood, Kaylee Fox, and Leah Mele. When the dust settled, The Field had a 5-2 lead after trailing all game, and Madeline Yannetti had come in to relieve Abbey Pratt. Perry would fan two in the subsequent half-inning to preserve the lead before The Field extended the lead by three more with a seventh inning shot by Chitwood (8HRs, 17RBIs). Performance Lab would respond in the bottom of the seventh when Khala Taylor came home on a fielder’s choice, but by then there were two outs, and The Field came away with an 8-3 win. That win coupled with the E1 loss made third place in the league a tie at 6-11.
The Primetime slot on the eleventh belonged to The Field and Performance Lab so Arianna Young (3-4) and Allison Lipovsky (6-1) put on Primetime performances. As they did the night before, Performance Lab scored Xiarysse Emerenciana (15 runs) in the first with the third batter (Jessica Burlingame this night) but then fell silent offensively until the sixth. Lipovsky did her part: The Field would only see four batters reach base all night as she threw 3 walks, and one runner reached on an error. Performance Lab struggled similarly against Arianna Young, between the first and sixth they would only get one hit as “pitcher-only” Abbey Pratt hit for the first time in her first at-bat of the year. In the sixth Performance Lab scored an insurance run as Burlingame got her second RBI on a sac-fly to bring in Shanysse Emerenciana. With a 2-0 lead, Allison Lipovsky would get strikeout number ten (97th of the season), and bring home her sixth win of the season to split the series at one win apiece.
With weather postponing the all-star game, the best players on every team get a well-deserved rest to help them prepare for a highly anticipated game, then back to reality with the final stretch of the regular season.