Devils Drop Second Straight One-Run Game

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DALTON, Mass. — It's been pretty much all sunshine and daisies for the Drury softball team this year. The Blue Devils ran into their first real tough patch of the season this week, however, losing their second straight one-run game with a 7-6  extra-inning defeat at Wahconah on Wednesday. 

Kelcie Yarmey's base hit to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning scored teammate Shannon Lussier, giving the Warriors (9-4) their seventh straight win and helping them avenge a 14-9 loss to the Blue Devils last month. 

Drury (9-3) played a very solid game throughout, with just one bad inning to speak of. Mary Ann Maroni's squad took control of the contest in the fourth inning, scoring four runs against Wahconah starter Becca Grunow (four strikeouts, three walks). After an error, a hit and a walk loaded the bases, senior Danielle Cardinal scored one run by hitting a sacrifice fly to center field. Sophomore Amber Iacuessa followed with another run-scoring sacrifice before eighth-grader Arianna Hilchey busted the frame open with a two-run single. 

Devils' pitcher Cat Record cruised through the first five innings before running into some serious trouble in the top of the sixth. Grunow started the frame off with a single before Gabby Lavinio hit a slow roller to second base. The throw for the force at second sailed high, however, allowing both runners to score. Bizzy King later tied the game with a two-run home run before the hosts scored two more times on a Rachel Brennan RBI single and another error by the Drury infield. 

"Let's just erase the sixth inning from the books," Maroni said. "We came up on the short end of a very exciting ball game. On paper, it looks as if we should be the winner. We outhit them 9-7 and had two fewer errors than they did, but our errors were very costly ones. Up until that cursed sixth inning, we played an awesome defensive game, recording several plays that would make the feature films. The two mistakes were costly, but we will learn from them and in turn will build focus and character."

Despite a rough sixth inning, the Blue Devils showed some serious mettle by coming back to tie the game. Record first struck out two batters in a row to get her team off of the field in the sixth before her offense came back strong to tie the game with two runs in the top of the seventh. Base hits by junior Allison Gageant and Hilchey set the table for junior Laryssa LaPointe, who scored one run with a sacrifice fly to left field. Classmate Katie Hancock then came up and tied the game by reaching base with a hard hit up the middle.

The visitors put a runner on second base with one out in the top of the ninth, but Grunow buckled down and got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning. Lussier then started the bottom half of the frame off with a walk before Bree Hertorth moved her along with a single. Yarmey then came through with the game winner, helping Wahconah moves past Drury for second place in the North Division. 

Grunow went the distance to pick up the win for the hosts. Record also pitched nine strong innings, allowing seven hits and six walks. She struck out five batters as her record fell to 9-3 on the season. Senior Lyndsey DeGrenier was solid with the bat for the Blue Devils, going 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk and one run scored. 

Drury next host St. Joe's at 4 p.m. on Monday. 

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