, Gloucester, MA

April 25, 2013

Softball: Last inning heroics power Georgetown past Rockport

By Conor Walsh

---- — ROCKPORT — No team feels good after a loss.

There are certain losses, though, that sting a little more than others.

The Rockport softball team can attest to that after yesterday’s 7-3 loss to Georgetown at Rockport High School. After spotting the Royals an early two-run lead, the Vikings clawed their way back in and took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Georgetown responded with two home runs — a two-run shot by Shannon O’Brien and a three-run homer by Allie Newbury — to completely reverse the game’s momentum in the top of the seventh inning.

The Vikings went down in order in the bottom of the seventh and fell, 7-3, in dramatic fashion.

“I felt confident (heading into the seventh),” Rockport coach Dianne Parisi said. “There was just a couple of little things today, some physical errors and a couple of walks, and not hitting the ball. We hit the ball well the other day, what can you do?”

Georgetown (6-1) manufactured two runs — one in the first, one in the second — as Rockport pitcher Jessica Collins settled in.

Once she did, the game became a pitcher’s duel as Collins and Georgetown pitcher Jane Erlandson kept bats quiet for much of the game, and it appeared that early 2-0 lead might be enough for the Royals.

That was until the Vikings’ bats came alive for the first time all game. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Kayla Parisi (2-3, run) notched Rockport’s first hit of the game, giving a spark to a scuffling lineup.

Collins followed with the game’s first big blow, as she stroked a line drive over Georgetown left fielder Maggie Noelk’s head for a two-run home run to tie the game and swing the momentum.

Rockport finally took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth when Hannah Lorden started the inning with a bunt single. A sacrifice by Megan Tupper moved Lorden to second base, and with third base abandoned by the Georgetown infield, Lorden smartly took the extra base.

A groundout by Mollie Watson plated Lorden and gave the Vikings an improbable lead in a game they’d been largely outplayed in.

The softball gods were just with Georgetown, however. After a leadoff single and a popout to start the top of the seventh, O’Brien stepped to the plate representing the go-ahead run and laced the first of the inning’s two home runs to right-center field.

An error and a walk sandwiched another popout and Newbury stepped to the plate with two runners on and two outs and hit a towering three-run homer to left field to completely blow the doors off the game.

“Any coach would be nervous down by one in the top of the seventh and you’re playing Rockport,” Georgetown coach David Tullgren said. “We have a battle cry: ‘Fight for it.’ I just told them, ‘Stay focused and fight for it. The sign of a good team is a team that can come from behind and take a game under adversity,’ and they did it. They stayed focused and they came out on top.”

Erlandson was the star of the game for Georgetown despite all the offensive fireworks, going the distance while surrendering just four hits and striking out seven.

The Vikings went out without much of a fight in the bottom of the seventh inning, falling to 2-3 on the season with their second straight loss.

“I think we have a very solid team, it’s just a matter of finding the niche and bringing it all together,” Parisi said. “It’s just a matter of time until everything clicks at once.”

agateHed:Georgetown 7, Rockport 3

agateText:at Rockport High School, Rockport

agateText:Georgetown: Crateau rf 5-1-2, Nutter 1b 3-1-1, Cudmore cf 4-0-2, O’Brien ss 4-1-2, Erlandson p 4-1-2, Fraser c 4-0-0, Terban 2b 3-1-0, Newbury dh 3-2-2, Noelk 4-0-3. Totals 34-7-12

agateText:Rockport: Lorden ss 3-1-1, Tupper 2b 2-0-0, Watson c 3-0-0, Parisi 1b/p 3-1-2, Collins p/rf 3-1-1, Faulds rf/1b 3-0-0, Nelson lf 3-0-0, Davis cf 3-0-0, Wonson 3b 2-0-0. Totals 25-3-4

agate_MLB_linescore9:Georgetown: 110 000 5 — 7

agate_MLB_linescore9:Rockport: 000 201 0 — 3

agateText:RBI: G, Newbury 3, O’Brien 2, Cudmore, Noelk; R, Collins 2, Watson.

agateText:WP: Erlandson; LP: Collins