Gillian Sinnott and Allyson Windell chat with us post-game.
When Gillian Sinnott is on her game, it builds the team's spirit as a whole, Century softball coach Stephanie Haines said.
Sinnott, the Knights' senior catcher, registered three hits — including a home run in the fifth inning — to help the team defeat Winters Mill 7-5 in eight innings Saturday.
Her first, an RBI double in the first inning, helped the Knights pick up an early lead.
"I think when our offense comes alive, we're unstoppable," Sinnott said. "I think that was the main thing we all had to think about was getting our bats ready to hit the ball."
The Falcons rebounded to score five runs in the second inning, sparked by a bases-loaded double from senior Taylor Glover. They carried a 5-3 lead into the third until Brianna Kessler hit an RBI single for the Knights (9-5, 7-4 in the county).
The Falcons had already forced an out before Sinnott stepped to the plate in the fifth. She smacked a homer through left field and her teammates anxiously waited to congratulate her as she rounded the bases for home.
"We have been down before and we know that we get down," Haines said. "We've got fantastic captains and a fantastic team and one of the rules we've kind of put into place the past couple days is when we're down, we need to get up. Just when we are down, we really rely on people to just pick each other up. Gil's home run definitely helped."
The teams were tied 5-5 entering the sixth inning and Winters Mill registered three straight hits before Century turned a double play to eliminate two baserunners. Lauren Wiley sent a fly ball straight to the glove of Caitlin Pfarr for the third out.
Winters Mill didn't allow a hit through the next two innings. Megan Harman tripled in the seventh but the Knights collected three straight outs to send the game into extra innings.
"I thought we were going to win," Windell said. "I didn't have any doubt that our team wasn't capable of pulling it out."
The international tie breaker rule went into effect at the start of the eighth inning. A baserunner is placed on second base to start an extra inning with the intent of gaining a higher scoring opportunity with hopes to bring the game to a faster conclusion.
Gina Martin and Caroline Mastria each hit singles to bring in two runs in the eighth for the win. Windell struck out the side in Winters Mill's half, and the Knights took over sole possession of first place in the Carroll County Athletic League standings.
The communication between Sinnott and Windell is like that of a sisterhood, Haines said.
"We literally read each other's minds and we have communication where we don't even have to say anything, we just know what we should do," Windell said.
The Knights have one more county matchup, against Liberty on Tuesday. Winters Mill (7-4, 6-4) has two more county games, against Liberty and Manchester Valley, before the regular season comes to an end.
"One of our things all season has been playing with energy so it's kind of awesome when we get to those stages," Falcons coach Felicia Knill said. "They have lots of energy, just making sure they stay checked in, saying the same things I've been saying all year — that they have to do a job and that's what they're meant to do and that's why they're in the position they're in."