One big inning
In a battle of heavy hitters, East Rutherford only needed one big, 10-run inning to outlast county and conference rival Chase, 13-9 at Chase High Tuesday night.
The Lady Trojans (7-3, 4-2) outplayed the Cavaliers (9-3, 6-0) for 6.5 innings, but the top of the fourth was too much to overcome for Chase.
“We’ve told them all along that they have to bring their bats,” East head coach Julie Powell said after the game.
“If we’ll play for 6.5 innings like we played today, we won’t lose another ball game,” Chase head coach Daniel Bailey said. “We were better for 6.5 innings in this ball game but East did what they had to do. They hit the ball well, stacked up some runs that inning and we put our heads down.”
Chase started the scoring in the second inning when Miranda Loving drove in Kayla Crowe with an RBI double before eventually scoring on a wild pitch to put the Lady Trojans on top 2-0.
Chase’s Dakota Reid retired East Rutherford in order in the first three innings, but the Lady Cavs erupted in the fourth.
“I told them going into that inning that we needed to hit the ball or it was going to be a long road home,” Powell said.
Raven Gray ignited the Cavs with a leadoff bunt to reach first and then went on to swipe both second and third base.
A one-out RBI by Jenna Carter scored Gray and the Cavaliers just kept touching the plate.
Now with a 5-2 lead, Gray came back to the dish for a second time in the inning and scored Leanna Briscoe, who roped a two-RBI double earlier, when the Chase second baseman mishandled a sharp grounder.
Savannah Davis continued the run with a two-run single.
The next batter, Emily Dotson, grounded to the shortstop who went to apply the tag to a passing Gray, but missed as Gray dove into the bag.
Bailey disputed the call and the umpires reversed the original ruling saying the Gray ran out of the baseline for the second out.
The debacle didn’t simmer down the Cavs who plated two more on a Carter double as the inning eventually ended with the Lady Cavs on top 10-2.
Chase chipped away at the lead in the bottom half of the frame with RBI base hits from Avery Wilson and Reid, but East tacked on two more runs in the fifth courtesy of a Reid wild pitch and an RBI fielder’s choice by Kennedi Hamrick.
The Trojans loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth with no outs and Loving took full advantage with a bases-clearing triple to put Chase within five runs at 12-7. Loving then took advantage of a wild pitch by Klinnin Carson to make it 12-8.
Reid settled down in the circle in the sixth inning retiring the side in order.
Kaitlyn Smart roped and RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to make it just a three-run game, but another run by East in the seventh and stellar defense by East’s Michaela Smith in the final frame sealed the 13-9 win for East.
“The thing I’m most proud of is that they fought,” Powell said. “We scored all those run but then we gave some back. I was afraid we would shut down but we came back and scored some more.”
“Our girls fought tooth and nail today and that’s something you can work with said Bailey. “
Loving led Chase going 3-3 with a single, double and triple accounting for four RBIs and two runs scored.
“If we had to pick a player of the game, it’d have to be Miranda Loving,” Bailey said.
East got two hits apiece from Gray, Carter, Carson and Briscoe.
“This is a great for us,” Powell said. “This group is really coming together and playing as a team.”
The Lady Cavs play at R-S Central Thursday afternoon while the Trojans look ahead to a road match-up with Patton on Friday. Both games are set for 4:30 p.m.