Article By: Aaron Rivera
The Field vs Performance Lab: 2-4, 1-2. WPs: Yannetti (2-2) & Lipovsky (3-1)
The third and fourth place teams faced off for two games, and with two narrow victories Performance Lab moves up to 2nd. The teams lost a game against each other so entering July 2nd, each had one win and loss head-to-head.
In game one, Caitlin Perry (0-4) pitched a complete game, and held Performance Lab scoreless for the first six innings with 6 strikeouts and a few stellar plays from her defense, while Allison Lipovsky (3-1) shut down The Field’s batters for 4 innings with 9 strikeouts before being replaced with Madelyn Yannetti (2-2) who would gain the win in extra innings. Perry would be the person offensively to score first, after reaching on a wild Yannetti pitch in the bottom of the 6th she was driven home by Rhiannon Sassman on a single, who would score herself on a wild pitch. The 2-0 lead would not last long, as Courtney Reeves tripled before Amanda Jones homered them both in to tie the game in the top of the 7th. A shocked Field team would put up little resistance in their final two chances, but Performance Lab was on a roll. Overtime began with the top of Performance Lab’s line-up: both Xiarysse and Shanysse Emerenciana got on base, and with them both in scoring position, Jamie Johnson secured the win with a double down the right field line. The field went down in order in the bottom half, and Performance Lab inched closer to an even record.
Game two was decided almost immediately with a two-run homerun by the second batter of the game, Shanysse Emerenciana of Performance Lab. Mackenzie Chitwood would start the 4th inning with a solo homer for the Field, but they could not convert any other opportunities for points; both teams left 8 runners on base. At a critical point in the game with bases loaded and two outs, Performance Lab substituted starting pitcher Abbey Pratt (3 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 SOs) for Lipovsky who didn’t allow so much as a hit in 3 1/3 innings, earning a win. Uncharacteristically she would get only 3 of her 10 outs via strikeout; after the series she leads the league by more than double the next pitcher.
Moh-Beel! vs E1 Pro Ballers: 3-2, 10-1. WP: Bonanno (2-0) & Gabby Johnson (6-1)
Moh-Beel! USA scored their second fewest points of the season but eked out a win then followed it up with a walk-off run-rule victory as E1 falls to third.
The 4 earned runs given up by Devin Brown-Lowe (2-2) in 2 games against Moh-Beel! USA is equal to the lowest single game totals of any other game against the league leaders, but she has two loses to show for the effort. Brown-Lowe faced Alexis Bonanno in the first game, who entered having not allowed a run in 7 previous innings of work. This streak would come to an end in the top of the first as Libby Sugg (who previously had a 2 HR 6 RBI performance against the same team) found a pitch she liked and homered to open the scoring. Moh-Beel! USA wasted no time in responding, as they would score on a Kaleigh Todd single in the following half-inning. In the fourth with Rachel Vieira on first, Paige Crawford would send a two-run shot to left to break the tie. Anna Biondo relieved Brown-Lowe in the 5th with bases loaded and would prevent any more runs by Moh-Beel! USA. In the bottom seventh Crawford would come in to pitch for Moh-Beel! USA, and despite the E1 Pro Ballers filling the bases and getting a run from Jordan Gentry, Crawford would get a save and end the game 3-2.
In the second game between the two, the E1 Pro Ballers would face Gabby Johnson(6-1), who they had previously beaten on the 20th. Johnson’s opposite number was Caitlyn Whiteside (2-2), who would spend the day swapping with Biondo who had seen success the previous night. Moh-Beel! USA’s night started in the first inning when Savannah Horvath would score off an Ashley Razey single with two outs. E1 would try to keep pace with a strong top of the 3rd inning that featured a Jordan Gentry RBI double. It would prove ultimately insurmountable however, as Moh-Beel! USA didn’t just respond with an inning starting homer from Horvath in the 3rd, but followed it with a massive 6 run 4th inning starring Maddy Grimm’s first of two homeruns. Gabby Johnson would find her stride around the same time, getting 4 strikeouts in the last two innings. Grimm would hit the game-ending homer in the sixth. Final score: 10-1.
Both Matchups featured teams on 2 game win-streaks, and both streaks move to 4 with one to be fittingly broken on the fourth. We will again see the top two and the bottom two facing each other on the 4th and 5th: Performance Lab (7-7) will take on Moh-Beel! USA (12-2), while the Field (3-11) and E1 Pro Ballers (6-8) are matched up.