Through six innings Reed (16-3-3, 8-0) was on the verge of shutting out the Miners, cruising along with a fairly unthreatened 4-0 advantage. Hanging onto its three remaining outs, Bishop Manogue nearly fought its way back with its last at-bats.
With the Raiders holding a four-run edge in the top of the seventh and just a pair of BMHS runners having reached second base to that point, it appeared the Blue and Gold would coast to victory. However, the Miners still had some fight left.
Christa Young started the rally with a double to the right-center field gap. After a fielder’s choice moved her to third, Morgan Barnes stepped to the dish and promptly cut the Reed lead in half with a two-run shot deep to left field.
The Miners kept the pressure on as J’Naey Soule singled to bring the tying run to the plate. An error and a sacrifice bunt then put runners in scoring position with two away, leaving Manogue in position to take its first lead of the contest. After a short conversation in the circle, Reed starting pitcher Jackie Sertic closed out the game by inducing a groundout for the win.
“Jackie pitched well all game,” Reed coach Jon Wunder said. “Megan (Dettling) had been warming up a little bit throughout the game, but we had confidence in Jackie to finish it out for us and she did.”
Before the late-inning dramatics, the Raiders gave themselves a favorable cushion in the bottom half of the third frame.
With neither offense producing much and the game still knotted at 0-0, Kiara Shirley got things going for the Raiders by taking first base after a hit-by-pitch. A sac bunt by Chelsea Cummings then moved pinch-runner Laura Frost to second base. A dribbler back to the pitcher off the bat of Cassy Walsh left Frost in a rundown, but a Manogue throwing error ended up in left field, giving Frost plenty of time to score and leaving Walsh on second.
Marriah Levesque followed with a hard single into left field before stealing second to put a pair in scoring position. Mary Dettling then dug into the batter’s box and traded places with Levesque as she ripped a double to the right-center gap to hand the Raiders a 3-0 lead. A fielder’s choice and an error plated Dettling to leave Reed on top 4-0.
Sertic finished her complete game effort with four strikeouts, seven hits allowed and no walks. At the dish, the Raiders collected just three hits but capitalized on two Manogue errors.
“Manogue is a good team and you have to play seven strong innings to beat them,” Wunder said. “We got a solid pitching performance and a solid defensive performance. It was a hard fought game on both sides.
“They made a couple mistakes in the third inning and we sprinkled in some hits. We just took advantage of that situation. That’s what good teams do; they take advantage of a good opportunity when they get them. We’re getting better throughout the year and that’s a good sign for us.”
Reed returns right back to action, hosting North Valleys today at 3:45 p.m.
“I want to see another solid pitching performance and I want to see us continue to play good defense,” Wunder said. “On top of that, you always want to see better hitting and more hitting, so those will be our goals against North Valleys.”