Gabby Marcheschi lifts St. Anthony's in eighth inning
Gabby Marcheschi was told "just put the ball in play somewhere and we'll score a run."
It seemed to be bad advice.
Both St. Anthony's and Sacred Heart had been doing just that with the score tied, but it wasn't leading to runs.
In the top of the seventh inning, Sacred Heart's Kayla Fitzpatrick put the ball in play -- but it hit a baserunner for an inning-ending out, preventing the go-ahead run from scoring.
In the bottom of the inning, St. Anthony's Dominique Zummo also put the ball in play -- but the throw home resulted in an out at the plate, denying the walk-off run from scoring.
But putting it in play finally paid off for the Friars. Marcheschi did as she was told and drove in the winning run in a 4-3 victory over Sacred Heart Friday at Caledonia Park in Dix Hills.
"It wasn't the greatest shot, but I guess it worked," Marcheschi said. "It made me really happy to help my team win."
With the bases loaded and none out in the bottom of the eighth, Marcheschi hit a slow grounder to third. Zummo took off for home and slid in as the ball got away, lifting the Friars (10-1).
Zummo, who went 3-for-4, seemingly had given the Friars the victory in the seventh after driving a single to left. But Carly Steffen made a perfect throw to catcher Lauren Williams for the final out of the inning.
"I was pretty disappointed, but I knew in the next inning we could get them," said Zummo, who began the eighth at second base under the international tiebreaker rule. "We have a lot of heart."
The Spartans (4-5) took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth on an RBI single by Emma Nidermaier and an RBI double by Williams.
Hard-throwing St. Anthony's ace Aileen Reilly, who allowed six hits and struck out 11 in eight innings, helped her own cause with an RBI triple down the leftfield line to cut Sacred Heart's lead to 3-2 in the sixth. Marcheschi brought her home with a sacrifice fly to center.
So perhaps that advice wasn't so bad after all.
"We have great hitters," Reilly said. "When we get the bats going consistently, it's deadly."
Because when they put the ball in play somewhere, they score runs.