ROCKPORT— Clutch. If one adjective could be used to describe the now 14-4 Rockport Vikings softball team, clutch would be the undisputed term.
After Hannah Lorden tied the game in the bottom of the 7th, Mollie Watson delivered the game winning walk-off double in the bottom of the 9th to defeat Pentucket 11-10 at Rockport High School. The win marked the regular season finale and senior day for the Vikings and it was fitting that senior captain Amanda Chalmers scored the winning run in the contest.
Trailing the entire game, the Vikings eventually tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the sixth with two runs and were forced to score a run in the seventh after Pentucket slugger Nicole Chevalier hit a solo home run in the top half of the inning.
Hannah Lorden displayed the Vikings' clutching hitting ability with a sharp line drive to left field for a game tying RBI in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.
Tied 8-8 heading into the 9th, Rockport pitcher Kristin Turner was facing Chevalier with a runner on first and two outs. Instead of walking Chevalier, who already had two home runs in the game, Vikings coach Dianne Parisi opted to let her all-star pitcher challenge Chevalier. Unfortunately, the result was not in the Vikings favor.
Trying to pitch Chevalier on the outer half of the plate, Turner left a pitch up and in and Chevalier deposited it over the left-center field fence for her third home run on of the game. The two run blast put the Sachems up 10-8, however, Rockport dug deep with a comeback of their own.
Sophomore Meghan Tupper started off the bottom of the 9th with a sharp single up the middle. After a walk and wild pitch put Tupper at third base, Haley Lorden followed with a walk. With Hannah Lorden batting next, Rockport got their first big break of the inning.
With runners on 1st and 3rd, Lorden hit a weak grounder to third. Third baseman Megan Haley was initially going to try and retire Tupper at home, but opted to throw to first. Her hesitation gave Lorden just enough time to beat the throw while Tupper's run cut the Pentucket lead to one.
Amanda Chalmers followed with a bunt single, however, the Sachems recorded the first out of the inning after Haley Lorden got too aggressive and tried to score from second on the bunt. With one out and Gabby Muniz up, the Vikings got their biggest break of the game.
With Chalmers on first and Hannah Lorden on second, Muniz smashed a low line drive that was snagged by Pentucket pitcher Carley Desjardins. Dasjardins tried to double up Chalmers on first, however, first baseman Ty Feeney didn't get back to the bag in time. The break gave Mollie Watson a chance to step-up to the plate and she made the Sachems pay.
Facing a two out, two strike situation, Watson took an inside fastball and unleashed it into the left-center field gap for the walk-off, game winning double. The game winning hit by Watson capped a back and forth affair that didn't lack excitement.
Coach Parisi cited her team's resilience in their back and forth victory.
"One of the biggest things that we are good at is never giving up and fighting to the end," she said. "You put the ball in play, you make things happen and that's what we did. We were aggressive on the bases, took some chances here and there and it worked out in our favor."
Rockport concludes it season at 14-4 and is awaiting its seeding in the Division 3 North State Tournament, which will be released Tuesday.