Kondel Delivers Game-Winning Single for McCann Tech

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Two out, runner on third, tie game in the bottom of the seventh against her team’s biggest rival.
It was “nerve-wracking,” McCann Tech sophomore Nora Kondel.
But Kondel rose to the challenge, lining a shot to the right side that ticked off an infielder’s glove and scored Emily Rashdorf to give the Hornets a 7-6, come-from-behind win over Drury on Francis Millard Field.
“Just confidence, keeping your eye on the ball – just, overall, having confidence when you go up there,” Kondel said of her approach heading to the plate with the game hanging in the balance.
Her first hit of the game gave the Hornets their second win in two days to start the season and a second straight win over the Blue Devils, who won, 4-3, in their first meeting a year ago before dropping a 5-3 decision at McCann Tech in the rematch.
In Tuesday’s first meeting of the Suburban East rivals, Drury was the designated visitor on what is usually its home field.
The Blue Devils made themselves at home by scoring the game’s first run.
Maddie Saunders led off the game with a single to right field and eventually scored on Olivia Perry’s RBI single down the third base line to make it 1-0.
The Hornets answered in the bottom of the first with a three-run rally sparked by Khloe Vanuni’s two-run triple to right to plate Shaylee Lawson and Paige Meyette. Vanuni came home one batter later when Svea Lawson singled up the middle to make it 3-1.
Drury tied it in the top of the third when Marley Brothers hit a two-run triple to left, and it took the lead one inning later when Michelle Wood reached on an infield single and moved around on three balls that got to the backstop to make it 4-3.
Drury extended its lead in the top of the fifth. Brooke Bishop drew a leadoff walk and moved up on Perry’s infield single before Brothers (3-for-4, four RBIs) singled up the middle to drive in a pair of runs and make it 6-6.
In the sixth, the Hornets’ bats woke up, getting four hits to tie the game.
Vanuni got things started with a one-out single, and Svea Lawson reached on an infield single. Both moved into scoring position on Kondel’s productive flyball out to right.
Emma Lemire worked a walk to load the bases, and pinch-hitter Ryleigh Rathbun singled to right to drive in a pair of runs and make it 6-5.
Another two-out hit, this one from Shaylee Lawson, moved Lemire to third, and she scored on an infield error to tie the game.
“Ryleigh actually is a sophomore who did not participate last year,” McCann Tech coach Robin Finnegan said. “Why, I’m not quite sure. But I talked to her all year long, and she said, ‘Yep, I’m coming, I’m coming, I’m coming.’
“She could be a starter on this team actually. But her being a first year player, we’ve got to see what she has. But everybody stepped up today and everybody did something.”
Lemire got the start in the circle. She struck out five and left three runners in scoring position before Alexis Lemanski took over to start the seventh.
Lemanski gave up a one-out double to Perry (3-for-4) but then got the next two hitters on fly ball outs to get the Hornets to the bottom of the frame with the game tied.
Raschdorf, who had been 0-for-3 against Perry, ripped a single up the middle to start the winning rally.
She moved up on a pitch that got to the backstop and went to third on Svea Lawson’s groundout, setting the stage for Kondel’s heroics.
“It was a hard fought game, back and forth I think,” Drury coach Michelle Darling said. “They had hard-hit balls, and it just went their way.
“My team did not give up at all, which was great. They didn’t hang their heads. They fought the whole time, trying to take care of the little things. I think they did a great job, and they stayed positive throughout this.”
The Blue Devils will be looking for revenge when the teams lock horns again at Alcombright on May 9.
“We have great games,” Finnegan said of Drury and McCann Tech. “It’s a great rival. [Darling] and I are friends. All the girls are friends.
“So it is a little bit more competitive for our teams. I’m sure the next time around, it’s going to be something similar to this. Last year, I was on the losing end of one of them. But, at the end of the day, it’s a good day, the sun’s out and all the girls are happy.”
McCann Tech (2-0) plays its third game in three days on Wednesday when it travels to face Pittsfield. Drury (2-2) has another rivalry game on Thursday when it goes to Hoosac Valley.
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