WEIRTON - In a game that saw its two contestants combine for eight errors and the starting pitchers get tagged with five unearned runs, it was a web gem that ultimately lifted Bishop Donahue past Madonna 4-3 in West Virginia Class A Region One, Section One softball play at Starvaggi Park on Tuesday.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, a runner on third, and one score already across to make it 4-3, Madonna's Sara Lyons crushed a two-strike Andrea Guzek pitch to center. Bishops center fielder Ali Bauer came up with the play of the game as she hustled and made a fantastic running catch and secured Bishop Donahue a victory.
"We made a lot of mistakes," Bishop Donahue coach Curt Mele said. "It wasn't a perfect game, but I'm very happy with the win. Early in the game we had some errors. I thought we gave them a couple runs.
"Give my center fielder credit. She made a couple great plays out there that probably saved us a couple runs. That last one saved us two runs because if that one gets behind her Sara has some speed and it's probably going to be an inside the park home run.
"That was a great play."
With the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Donahue's Abby Randolph came up with a two-out, two-run single. Both runs were products of errors as Katie Scott reached on a miscue to lead off the inning and Tess Fallova got on base on a mistake with two outs to keep the inning alive and set up what ended up being the eventual game-winning hit for Randolph.
"We just didn't make a couple of the plays we needed to," Madonna coach Chris Conti said. "We didn't make a couple of the routine plays we needed to make and they made them. You have to make those plays when it's playoff time.
"You have to hustle, you have to give that little bit more, and they did. A couple of plays here and there we did not."
The Blue Dons scored the game's first run in the top half of the opening frame. Emily Hvizdak led off with a single, Courtney Moss pushed her over with a sacrifice bunt, and she scored a batter later when Lyons reached on an error.
The Bishops scored a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth, Megan Rush and Scott started things with back-to-back singles. Bauer sacrificed the runners to second and third with a bunt and Morgan Carroll pushed Rush home for a 1-1 tie with a groundout to second.
The fifth saw Guzek reach on a two-out error and Selena Ghaphery take advantage by knocking her home with a double.
Madonna tied it at 2-2 in the top of the sixth. Lyons laced a leadoff double to left to open the frame and was pushed to third on a Stephanie Magnone single. Amanda Paul sacrificed Lyons across to tie the game.
In the top of the seventh, Emily Pietranton drew a walk for the Blue Dons and was pinch ran for by Montana Mascio. Annie Magnone then reached on an error that put her on second and allowed Pietranton to reach third. Moss grounded out to Guzek to send Mascio home.
That led to Bauer's stealing of a game-changing hit from Lyons and ending the game.
"A couple times thoughout the game I thought we were pretty close to falling apart," Mele said. "We don't have a senior on this team. Our juniors took control and got things calmed down. I'm just happy with the way we played.
"Not a 100-percent happy, but when times got tough we did what we had to do."
Guzek gave up three hits to earn a victory for the Bishops. She struck out five, walked two, and was charged with just one earned run.
Though she was saddled with the loss, Madonna pitcher Amanda Pulice had a strong outing with three strikeouts and no walks while giving up eight hits. She was charged with one earned run as well.
Madonna plays with its season on the line today against Wheeling Central in continuing Class A Region One, Section One action.