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Recap for the game: Drury vs Monument Mountain on May 18

Perry Goes 5-for-5 with Homer as Drury Tops Spartans

By Stephen Dravis Sports
09:59PM / Thursday, May 18, 2023

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. – The Drury softball team Thursday fought back from a five-run first-inning deficit to pull within two by the top of the sixth.
Red-hot Olivia Perry did the rest.
Perry pounded a two-run home run over the fence in left-center to tie the game, and Drury went on to a 17-11 win over Monument Mountain to end the regular season on a high note.
Perry went 5-for-5 with two doubles and the round-tripper, driving in five runs on the day as the Blue Devils snapped a two-game skid and improved to 14-4.
After opening the season with 12 straight wins, Drury went 1-4 in its last five heading into Thursday’s game.
“I think we were getting down a little bit,” Perry said. “I think we really needed this, and I think it’s going to be really good to go into the [Western Massachusetts] tournament with this win.”
Perry went the distance in the circle for Drury, striking out seven and allowing eight earned runs.
The whole Drury team had to overcome a dreadful first inning that started with a two-run lead thanks to a couple of unearned runs of Meg Dupont in the top of the frame but ended with the Blue Devils looking up from a 7-2 hole.
Sammy Ullrich and Avery Raifstanger each had two-run singles for the Spartans in that first inning rally, but three Drury errors led to a couple of unearned runs.
The Blue Devils responded with a five-spot in the top of the second to tie the game. Arianna Rivard doubled in a pair of runs, and Norah Wood’s RBI groundout plated Perry to make it 7-7.
But Monument Mountain struck right back in the bottom of the second, this time scoring without the benefit of an error.
Jade Abderhalden and Ullrich hit back-to-back doubles to make it 8-7, and Ullrich eventually came home on Olivia Simms’ groundout to give the home team a 9-7 lead.
“Today our philosophy was to stay upbeat no matter what,” said Drury coach Michelle Darling, who admitted she was concerned about the 1-4 slide the last couple of weeks. “So I tried to lead by staying up the whole game.
“They worked hard. They didn’t get down, and they hit the ball. They were hitting all game – just at people.”
Both teams’ defenses stepped up in the middle innings after combining for seven errors in the first two.
Ember Raifstanger made an unassisted putout at second base in the third inning for Monument Mountain, which also got a big catch from Jada McKie in right to strand a pair of runners in the fifth.
Drury’s Rivard made back-to-back tough catches in left, looking into a bright sun, in the fourth. And Wood made a stabbing catch on a line drive at short in the sixth.
Rivard also started the tying rally in the sixth with a single up the middle.
After Monument Mountain’s Andrea Paul got a strikeout, Perry delivered her second homer of the season to tie the game.
Drury’s defense fired on all cylinders one inning later, as the Blue Devils batted around and used seven hits to score eight runs.
Maddie Saunders hit an RBI triple, Brooke Bishop hit her second double of the game to drive in a run, and Perry capped her day with a two-run double.
The Spartans had a tall order in their final at-bat, looking at an eight-run deficit.
But the bottom of the order put the pressure on Drury. Avery Raifstanger led off with a single int the eight-hole, and McKie reached on an error to bring up the top of the order with two on and nobody out.
With one out, Bella Viola, the lone senior on Senior Day for the Spartans, hit a single up the middle to drive in a pair of runs.
Lexi Carpenter then reached on an error, and a groundout allowed her and Viola to move up a base.
But Perry got the next hitter swinging at a third strike to end the day and dash Monument Mountain’s hopes for a miracle comeback.
“[Perry] was amazing today,” Darling said. “She’s been a little tight, but she came through. She relaxed. Her change-up was amazing today. And she moved the ball around the plate. And her and [catcher Brooke Bishop] work really well together.”
Monument Mountain’s coach Jamie Downer was glad to see her Spartans (11-7) battle to the end.
“What I said was, ‘You’ve got a choice. You can lay down and let it happen to you, or you can go out and do your best with your bats,’ “ Downer said. “And they did. They went out in the seventh and hit the ball.
“It’s been the conversation all year. We can’t have these crazy innings where the opponent scores all these runs, and we try to claw our way back. It doesn’t work usually.”
That said, Downer saw encouraging signs despite Monument losing for a fifth time in six games to end the regular season.
“Offensively, they had a great game,” she said. “Our bats have been in a little bit of a slump. And they totally woke up today. That was great to see.
“Defensively, we still have a some things to clean up. A couple of good innings in there, but we’ve got to clean up a couple of those unearned runs. … I’m glad we had this game going into the post-season though, to get us ready for the level of competition we’re going to see going forward.”
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