Porter's had a 5-2 lead after three innings that turned into a 12-6 deficit. A valiant four-run rally in the bottom of the 7th came up just short. Junior Juliana Diamantis, and freshman Nia Carroll shared the relief pitching duties. Carroll was a revelation in her first action, pitching to contact, including a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th.
We spoke all week about tightening up the defensive fundamentals: calling the ball, taking good angles, hitting the cutoff, generally not giving the opponent extra outs. Except for one inning, we locked it down. Jenna Hall ('20) was sparkling behind the plate, blocking ball after ball and not allowing Deerfield to advance on the basepaths. The one time they tested her arm she threw out a runner at second. She also blocked the plate on a tag play at home. The only time we kicked the ball around a bit was in the 7th. Nia should have gotten out of the inning, but Deerfield scored two runs on two errors, which came back to haunt us.
We had by far our best hitting day against a solid Deerfield pitcher. All twelve players on our roster got on base at least once, and eight different players scored. Juniors Lucinda DeLaney, Natalie Brennan, and Diamantis all had their best games at the plate, spraying line drives around the field. Aimee Sardilli ('21) had a couple of singles, and freshman Sam Manafort had an RBI groundout in the 7th in her first plate appearance of the season.
It was a white knuckle finish with Porter's needing six runs in the 7th to extend the game. The inning began with two singles and Manafort's groundout. Then Aimee Sardilli singled and DeLaney walked to load the bases. After a force play, Brennan and Maddie Guilmartin ('21) hit singles of their own to bring us within two. With two outs and four runs in, junior Morgan Pickett stepped in with a runner on third. She drove a ball to left-center, our farthest shot of the season. The Deerfield centerfielder got a great jump and made a spectacular running catch to end the rally. Her teammates mobbed her in center as Porter's was left to ponder what might have been.