The Pilgrim softball team continued to roll last week, topping Cranston West and Prout to clinch the first seed in the Division I playoffs this week.
“(We’re on a 10-game winning streak), we have some good momentum going into the playoffs. But at the same time, I’m sure Chariho has momentum, La Salle has momentum, we’re not taking anyone for granted. We’re going to have to play single elimination, luckily, it’ll be in our house but it will be nerve-racking wherever it is. That will be something, we’ll have to deal with that. We’re confident and excited to get the playoffs going,” said Pilgrim coach Paul Kennedy.
Deidra Clements had her first varsity start in the circle for the Pats against Cranston West. Clements racked up eight strikeouts as Pilgrim went on to win 15-2. Hailey MacKinnon led the Pats at the dish with three RBI while Cat Fallon added two.
“We came out hitting. We went up 3-0, they came back to make a game of it and made it 3-2, but then we had those big innings. It was nice to see the bats come to life. We went with Deidra (in the circle), it was time, she pitched a few innings earlier but this was her first varsity start and boy did she come up big. She used her off-speed stuff, kept them off balance, she had a great game,” said Kennedy of Clements, who’s strong outing earned her the game ball.
The Pats went on to cruise past Prout in a 9-0 thumping in their makeup game on Saturday afternoon. Fallon returned to the circle for Pilgrim, where she pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just one hit. It was Fallon’s third one-hitter of the year, along with her three no-hitters.
Kennedy has been excited with his team’s play down the stretch, and feels that Pilgrim has arguably the best pitching staff in the state between Fallon, Clements and Emily Carter.
“I tell the girls, ‘there are teams out there that would kill to have one of our pitchers,’ I have three very, very good pitchers right now. A lot of teams would die to have any one of them,” said Kennedy.
The Pats will now wait until their first-round matchup at home. Kennedy and company are confident heading into the postseason as the No. 1 seed, and also hope experience will pay dividends.
“We have some young kids in the lineup but we have a lot of veterans that are excited to get back,” said Kennedy. “A lot of them have been to RIC so I’m hoping that experience will benefit us.”