SPORTS

Lady Pats fall to Oakers in DI finals

By ALEX SPONSELLER
Posted 7/1/21

The Pilgrim softball team fell to Coventry 7-4 in the Division I State Championship last week at Rhode Island College.

The Lady Pats entered the championship series with one playoff loss in the …

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SPORTS

Lady Pats fall to Oakers in DI finals

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The Pilgrim softball team fell to Coventry 7-4 in the Division I State Championship last week at Rhode Island College.

The Lady Pats entered the championship series with one playoff loss in the double-elimination tournament. After topping St.

Ray’s in an extra-inning thriller in the semis, Pilgrim turned around on Friday to shut out the Oakers 3-0 to force the deciding final game on Saturday afternoon.

Coventry rolled to a four-run first inning to take the 4-0 lead and put Pilgrim in an early hole. Pilgrim committed several errors in the first and second inning to eventually fall behind 5-1.

The Pats trailed 7-1 heading into the seventh and scored three runs to put the pressure on the Oakers … but Coventry would hold on to secure the win.

Amelia Murphy and Lily Brown each went 2-for-3 with RBI in the loss, while Madi D’Amato and Madison Wrench added
the other RBI.

Alyssa Twomey pitched six innings for Pilgrim, allowing three earned runs and striking out seven batters.

“We knew going in that we had a young team so we were going to have to get out to a fast start. When they scored those four runs, we knew we were in some trouble.

From there, we settled down a bit and the game went as I kind of expected it would.

Low-hitting, both sides manufacturing runs. Unfortunately the first inning and a few errors killed us,” said Pilgrim coach Carlos Rodas, who fielded a young team that included six underclassman starters.

“We have a young team this year, especially with COVID happening.

This is a big stage.

Not that the stage was too big for them, but I think the nerves just got the better of them a little bit today.”

Twomey was lights out in the circle in the two games prior.

On Friday night, Twomey held Coventry to no runs, three hits while striking out five batters. Brown added an RBI at the plate while Twomey hit a solo home run in the sixth.

Twomey pitched nine innings against St. Ray’s in the semis and allowed no runs on four hits while recording eight strikeouts.

Sophia Chevian knocked in the deciding two runs in the ninth inning to give Pilgrim the 2-0 victory.

Rodas was proud of his team’s resiliency throughout the playoffs, especially in the final inning where it nearly pulled off the unthinkable. “I knew that until the last out was recorded that we were going to battle. That was one thing that this team did all year long, that part never went away,” said Rodas.

“Even when we were down 4-0, I knew that they would keep fighting.

When you are with a team for a full season, you get to know their DNA. Even in the seventh inning, we knew it was unlikely but we at least had a shot. That’s what made this tough.”

With such a young roster, Rodas feels that this year’s postseason experience will pay dividends moving forward.

“This run is huge, and that is often underrated at the high school level. There’s just so much pressure put on these girls to perform.

Unlike travel, they are performing for their schools, their community, their friends, the people that are most important to them.

That’s what makes high school softball special but at the same time it makes moments like these tough,” said Rodas.

Rodas also appreciates the leadership of his senior core and their help during his first season as the team’s coach.

“We feel that we will be back here next year, and it is because of the seniors. You can’t build anything without a foundation and that’s what they were,” Rodas said.

“They started the culture, the traditions, and as long as I’m coaching at Pilgrim I will be indebted to them.”

softball, sports

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