Patterson Mill junior Madison Knight raced home with the winning run Wednesday as the Huskies softball team walked off with an 8-7 win over upset-minded North Harford in Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference play.
North Harford (6-3) scored five runs in the third inning to take a 5-2 lead. The Hawks increased the lead to 7-3 in the sixth inning before the Huskies (9-0) scored four runs in the sixth to tie the game and set up the seventh-inning dramatics.
Fallston (5-4) was also a winner Wednesday in UCBAC play.
At Patterson Mill, Knight, who was celebrating her 17th birthday, doubled to lead off the seventh. Dakota Pitts was intentionally walked to set up a force and Caroline Michaels followed with a ground ball up the middle.
Hawks shortstop Tonya Marks picked up the grounder and stepped on second ahead of the sliding Pitts, while Knight moved to third.
Marks then fell to the ground and Knight alertly raced for home. Marks threw home, but Knight slid in safely ahead of the tag.
“I was rounding third, didn’t really think I was gonna go home, then I saw the shortstop on the ground and I was like, maybe I can beat this out,” Knight said. “So, I took off, hoping I’d be safe and it worked out in our favor.”
The Huskies rallied for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to create a 7-7 tie.
Pitts and Michaels (bunt) singled to begin the inning and Lily Hofmeister walked to load the bases. Hawks pitcher Maggie Mullin got the next batter to pop out, but Tara Caprinolo singled in a pair of runs.
Kaylin Pulket and Allie Cichocki each drove in a run as both reached on fielder’s choices. Mullin got the final out on a fly ball to center, but the game was tied, 7-7.
Knight pitched in relief in the top of the seventh before scoring the winning run in the bottom of the inning.
In the Hawks’ big inning, Emme Brossoit singled in a run and Mackenzie Dunaway, who led the Hawks with two hits, singled in two.
Alexis Trzeciak singled in a run in the fifth and Marks drove in the final Hawks run in the sixth.
“I can’t be more proud of them,” Hawks coach Christine Mullin said. ”The team I wanted to come out tonight, came out. Unfortunately, our errors are what hurt us. We had this game. We cut our errors in half, we win this game.”
Patterson Mill used two North Harford errors and an RBI single from Caprinolo to score two runs in the second.
Knight hit a solo home run for the Huskies in the third.
“I knew we were down and honestly was just trying to get a base hit and it made good contact with it,” Knight said. “I knew I hit it in the air, didn’t know how deep it was, and it happened to go over.”
Hawks center fielder Morgan Buckland made the defensive play of the game or Knight’s solo shot could have been a three-run shot.
Maddie Buher sent the drive to deep center, where Buckland raced and reached out to make the catch. More impressive was Buckland’s ability to turn and fire a strike to shortstop Marks, who sent the relay throw to first baseman Dani Becker to double off Cichocki.
Pitts made the start for Patterson Mill and pitched six innings, allowing seven hits, a walk and a hit batter. She struck out five.
Mullins also pitched six innings for the Hawks, allowing seven hits and four walks while striking out one. Becker pitched the seventh.
“At the end of the day, when you’re cruising and you’re winning these games and you’re winning by these margins, you become very complacent,” Huskies coach Jeff Horton said. “They needed a game like this to be able to see what they are really made of, to see if they had the championship heart. And I believe that we showed it today.”
Cougars beat Warriors
In a closely played game at Fallston, the Cougars came out on top of Havre de Grace, 5-3.
Jillian Crawford got things started in the Cougars’ half of the first inning with a triple. Allie Book promptly followed with a home run to right field to take a 2-0 lead.
Fallston was able to score three more runs in the fourth inning. Julia Strohman singled, Anna Scheir doubled and Allison Strohman singled them both in. Strohman later scored on a single by Crawford.
Madison Burns pitched a complete game for Fallston, taking a 5-1 lead into the seventh inning. After the first two outs, Havre de Grace (4-3) strung together a walk and three straight doubles to cut the lead to 5-3.
With runners on second and third, Burns was able to force a ground out to second baseman Anna Scheir to end the game.
Hitting doubles were Carlie Hopps, Emily Curry and Natiah Turner. All three Warriors had two hits to lead Havre de Grace.
Kelsey Barks was on the rubber for Havre de Grace Warriors Varsity. Barks surrendered five runs on ten hits over six innings, striking out seven and walking zero.
Edgewood (3-5) lost to visiting Rising Sun (10-0), 11-1; C. Milton Wright (0-8) fell to Bo Manor (4-4), 11-1; and Bel Air (6-3) was beaten by visiting Elkton (2-6), 7-2.
In Bel Air’s loss, Kyrsten Coppage took the loss, pitching one inning and allowing five runs on no hits and striking out one.
Caroline Hilyard started the game for Bel Air, surrendering two runs on three hits over six innings and striking out five.