Softball Rallies Past Knights To Open SSC Series

Softball Rallies Past Knights To Open SSC Series
Hunter Mars drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth to force in the winning run. Photo by Joel Auerbach.

MIAMI SHORES, Fla.—The Barry Buccaneers rallied back to beat the Lynn Fighting Knights 6-5 in the opening game of their Sunshine State Conference softball series at Buccaneer Field on Friday night.

Hunter Mars drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home Alexis Kent with the winning run in the ninth inning and cap a rally that brought Barry (20-13, 5-8 SSC) back from a 4-1 deficit.

Camille Czarnecki (8-3) earned the win for the Bucs in relief, allowing just one unearned run in six innings on six hits and three walks.

The Knights (18-22, 2-14 SSC) jumped out on top in the first. Kaci Vassallo delivered a two-out hit to score Danielle Murray who drew a leadoff walk.

Barry tied it in the bottom of the inning. Kayla Ogle had an infield single, stole second and scored on a Julie Brito single.

In the top of the second, the Knights scored twice, but it could have been much worse. Crystal Cano led off with a double to right center. Leanne Wright followed with a single to left to put runners at the corners. Cydney Schmidt knocked in Cano with a single and McNeil loaded the bases with a hit through the left side. But with the bases loaded and no outs, Devin Kochergen lifted a fly ball to right. Mars raced in to make the catch and Wright tagged and scored from third. But Brito alertly cut the throw home and gunned down Schmidt trying to tag to second, and Ashley Fernandez wheeled around and threw out McNeil at the plate for a triple play.

McNeil had an RBI single in the fourth to extend the lead to 4-1, but Czarnecki shut down the Knights until the seventh inning, giving the Bucs time to rally.

It started in the bottom of the fourth. Barry loaded the bases with no outs and Kent and Copeland delivered RBI singles.

In the top of the seventh, Danielle Murray  singled and stole second. Vassallo followed with a single to left to put runners on the corners. As Cherise McEnery failed to get a bunt down, Kent tried to pick behind Vassallo at first and the throw was wide allowing Murray to score.

Heading to the bottom of the seventh, down 5-3, the Bucs rallied for two runs to tie, all with two outs. Czarnecki singled to shortstop and pinch hitter Cheyanne Head had a single to left. Kelly Martinez singled up the middle to load the bases and Ogle came through with a single to the left side to bring home Czarnecki. Copeland tied the game with a single up the middle, but Martinez was gunned down at the plate by Sara Vazquez to set up extra frames.

In the ninth, Kent and Martinez singled to lead off the frame against Murray who had come on in relief of Missy Montgomery. After a failed bunt attempt by Ogle, Copeland drew a walk to load the bases and Mars followed with another to force in the game-winner.

Murray worked 1.1 innings, allowing four hits and two walks and the run in the ninth. Montgomery worked the first seven innings for the Knights. She gave up 17 hits and a walk, but held the Bucs to five runs (four earned).

Led by Ogle’s 5-for-6 night, the Bucs banged out a school-record 21 hits. Copeland and Mars both had three hits, while Brito, Kent, Martinez and Kristina Pazienza had two. The Bucs stranded 17 runners, second most in school history, and had three more thrown out at the plate.

Vassallo led Lynn with three hits.

The series concludes tomorrow at noon with a doubleheader.

(04/04/14 at Miami Shores, FL)

Barry 6, Lynn 5

Lynn................ 120 100 100  -  5 13  2      (18-22, 2-14 SSC)
Barry............... 100 200 201  -  6 21  1      (20-13, 5-8 SSC)

Pitchers: Lynn - Missy Montgomery; Kasey Murray(8) and Devin Kochergen. Barry - Britney Pugh; Camille Czarnecki(4) and Alexis Kent.
Win-Camille Czarnecki(8-3)  Loss-Kasey Murray(8-12)  T-2:47  A-109
Weather: dazzling
Pugh faced 2 batters in the 4th.