Gators settle for split with St. Joseph

Pine Manor and St. Joseph split two tightly-contested games Tuesday afternoon, with the Gators holding on for a 4-3 win in Game 1 and St. Joseph jumping on Pine Manor early in a 4-2 win.

The Gators got on the board thanks to some two-out lightning in the bottom of the third. Kayla Nielsen (Saco, ME/Thornton) doubled home Michelle Myers (Freeport, NY/Freeport) from first and came around to score on Courtney Wallace’s (Steep Falls, ME/Bonny Eagle) single to right.

After Kaylyn Delgado (Worcester, MA/Bartlett) walked to load the bases, Siobhan Raymond (left, Winchendon, MA/Gardner) struck the big blow with a single to center that put the Gators on top 4-0.

The Blue Jays put two on base with no out in the top of the fourth, but settled for a April Campanella (Berlin, CT/Berlin) sac bunt that scored Emily Hummel (Hebron, CT/RHAM) as its only run.

Pine Manor got the run back two innings later with Michelle Campbell’s (Baltimore, MD/Seton Keough) single that plated Nelson (Rockport, MA/Rockport), increasing the lead to 4-1 after six.

Nelson, meanwhile, had been in cruise control on the mound, but that was about to change. After pitching around trouble for most of the first four innings, the freshman settled down in the fifth and sixth, only to get into trouble again in the seventh.

Errors from Raymond and Nelson with a walk in between soon found the pitcher in a one-out, bases loaded jam. Then, with a 1-2 count to Stephanie Valerio (Wolcott, CT/St. Paul), the second base player laced a ground rule double to right that pulled the Blue Jays to within a run, at 4-3.

Nelson then got Melanie Bush (Bristol, CT/Eastern) to tap into a fielder’s choice, and with the bases again loaded, froze Jackie Peck (Montville, CT/Montville) to end it. In all, Nelson struck out six, walked three and allowed three runs, none of which were earned.

For the Jays, Hummel struck out four over six innings, scattering eight hits and giving up four runs, all earned. At the plate, Hummel went 1-for-3 with a run, while Valerio went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s.

Seniors Wallace and Raymond each went 2-for-3, with the latter driving in two. Kayla Nielsen (Saco, ME/Thornton) went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Jays struck first in the late game, getting one across in the first on a Hummel double that plated Valerio after her lead-off walk. St. Joseph added two more in the second, both on a two-out Valerio single, which put the visitors up 3-0. With Raymond on in relief in the third, the senior induced a run-scoring fielder’s choice before striking out Campanella and Ashley Ryan to get out of the second-and-third jam.

St. Joseph started Kristin Parente (Burlington, CT/Lewis Mills) blanked the Gators through two, but ran into trouble with two outs in the third. Myers doubled to center and trotted home one batter later on Nielsen’s line drive homer down the left field line.

Wallace then reached on an error and Raymond walked, before Parente got some big time help from her defense. Delgado skied a two-strike offering to shallow left-center, but Nicole Williams came racing over from center to make a sliding, backhanded catch, saving at least one run.

From there, the story of the game was the relief pitching. In relief of Nelson, Raymond came on for five innings of one-hit, shutout ball, striking out six and walking only one.

Unfortunately for Kristi Lyman’s Gators, Hummel was just as sharp in relief of Parente, blanking the Gators on two hits over three, striking out four in picking up the save. In tallying the win, Parente let up two earned over four, fanning a pair and walking two.

Pine Manor will resume its tie game with Simmons in the top of the eighth inning tomorrow afternoon at Boston Common and plays on Friday at Suffolk at 3:30 p.m.

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