Salisbury Press

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NANCY SCHOLZ/FILEPHOTO Kelly Garrigan helped to spark a rally against Palisades last week. NANCY SCHOLZ/FILEPHOTO Kelly Garrigan helped to spark a rally against Palisades last week.

Softball comes up just short against Pirates

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 by TODD KRESS Special to the Press in HS Sports

The Salisbury softball team trailed 7-2 heading into the sixth inning of last week's game against Palisades.

A large deficit, but certainly not one the Falcons thought was insurmountable.

And it nearly wasn't as Salisbury scored two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to make it a one-run game with runners on first and second base with just one out. But Dakota Zandarski's deep fly out resulted in a force-out double play at second that ended their hopes, with the Falcons falling 7-6 last Wednesday at Salisbury Middle School.

"These kids don't quit," said head coach Brian Covely. "And I know it's only the second game of the season, and I'm just going by the two scrimmages that we had and the Becahi game we had this past Saturday."

Although falling to Becahi 13-2, the Falcons went seven innings against the Hawks, showing their determination to continue battling until the final inning.

Kelly Garrigan started the comeback with a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth inning in which the first three batters reached base. Sarah Rogers got on via a single to left field. Zandarski followed that up by reaching on a hit by pitch, setting up Kayleigh Dottery with the bases loaded and one out.

Dottery then grounded into a fielder's choice that scored Rogers and Aubrey Miller's single to center field during the next at-bat scored Zandarski to make it 7-4 Palisades.

The seventh inning began much like the sixth did, as three of the first four batters reached base, setting up a bases loaded opportunity for Rogers with one out. After a foul ball on the previous pitch, Rogers connected on the next one, sending a grounder into center field that scored both Melissa Kugler and Meghan Williams, who each tallied singles to begin the inning.

It looked as if Zandarksi's following at-bat would have a chance at tying the game at least for the Falcons, but her deep fly was met by a leaping Pirates outfielder, who doubled up Garrigan at second base on a force out to end the game.

"I didn't think it was over, but I thought it was a gapper and I was scoring everybody, at least the tying run," said Covely. "I thought it was at least in the gap. Maybe not over, but in the gap."

Williams - who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored -had a large part in keeping the Falcons close over the first three innings after giving up a number of unearned runs due to Falcon errors. In all, the Pirates scored four runs because of Falcon errors.

"We just can't give unearned runs like that," said Covely. "We're a good team, but we can't give a team any runs. We have to play more solid defense."

After a Palisades run in the first, Williams connected on a two-out double in the bottom half of the inning that scored Kugler. Following two more runs in the third by the Pirates, Williams' grounder into left field scored Jenna Keet in the bottom half of the inning to make it 3-2 Palisades.

The Pirates then scored three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to make it 7-2.

"Give them credit," said Covely. "Give credit where credit is due. They made the plays that they needed to make. We did toward the end. We had some good solid defensive innings, but we just can't give up the earned runs."

Rogers pitched the entire seven innings and gave up 11 hits and three earned runs. It was her success in the batter's box that kept Salisbury within striking distance, as she finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Miller was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The Falcons will next travel to Notre Dame-Green Pond on Friday. Game time is set for 4 p.m.