Plymouth seniors (l to r) Emelia Karntakosol, Katie Vachon, Carissa Gauthier, Mackenzie Palmer and Alisha McGlone pose for a photo with coaches Brian Blanchard (left) and Chuck Lenahan (right) before the final home game of the season May 23. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 26, 2014PLYMOUTH — Both the Kennett and Plymouth softball teams had moments when things weren't going their way.
The Eagles fell behind 5-0 and then when they got the lead, allowed Plymouth to cut the gap to one.
The Bobcats gave up the aforementioned five-run lead and surrendered two big innings to the Eagles to fall behind 13-6.
But both teams showed resiliency in bouncing back, rebounding from any issues and making a game of it, seemingly making it look like the team that got the last crack at things would get the win.
And being as the Bobcats and Eagles were battling under the lights of Chase Field in Plymouth, the Bobcats had the last chance.
And they made the most of it.
Plymouth scored eight runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat a stunned Kennett squad by a 14-13 score in the final home game of the season for the Bobcats.
"That was a pretty bad one," Kennett coach Peter Ames said. "That should just never happen."
"We didn't quit, they stuck with it the whole time," Plymouth coach Brian Blanchard stated. "I'm proud of them for that."
For the first two and a half innings, it didn't look like a game that would end up with 27 runs crossing the plate, as the two teams were scoreless midway through the third.
Carissa Gauthier got the ball for the Bobcats and gave up an infield hit to Erin Milford in the top of the first, but catcher Sam Gaumer gunned Milford down stealing second to help get out of the inning.
Vonde Saunders got the start in the circle for the Eagles and surrendered a leadoff hit to Emelia Karntakosol, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Kelsey Malm, but then got a strikeout and grounder to end the inning.
Gwynn McGinley had a bloop double in the top of the second and Morgan Colvard followed with a deep drive to right, but Ashley Hoyt tracked it down to close out the threat.
Gaumer had a two-out infield hit in the bottom of the second, but Saunders got a strikeout to get out of the inning. Sydney Smith beat out an infield hit in the top of the third and Kaylin Samia followed with a base hit for the Eagles. Milford then beat out a bunt hit to load the bases with one out, but Gauthier got two pop ups to end the inning.
Plymouth finally broke through in the bottom of the third. Aubrey Joslin led off with a walk and Allison Carey took over on the bases. Karntakosol followed with a base hit and Malm reached on an error to load the bases. Alisha McGlone then worked a walk to plate a run. Saunders got a strikeout and a nice grab in right from Kylee Morel, but Gauthier delivered a two-out base hit that was compounded by an error and all three runners on base scored to make it 4-0 for the Bobcats.
Rachel Samia had an infield hit for the Eagles in the top of the fourth but couldn't score. Plymouth added a run in the bottom of the inning, as Ashley Hoyt led of with a base hit and scored on a Karntakosol base hit for a 5-0 lead before Saunders got two grounders to end the inning.
Kennett then bounced back with a big top of the fifth inning. With one out, Kaylin Samia doubled down the left field line and Milford followed with a base hit. Saunders then drove in both runners with a base hit and Tori Eaton kept the rally going with a base hit. Victoria Burns took over on the bases and a McGinley base hit drove in another run. Rachel Samia was hit by a pitch and one out later, Carolyn Jaeger beat out an infield hit to cut the lead to one. Smith reached on an error to tie the game and a Kaylin Samia hit, her second of the inning, drove in two runs for a 7-5 lead. Milford followed with a base hit, but the Bobcats cut down another run at the plate to end the inning.
Mackenzie Palmer led off the bottom of the inning with a double for the Bobcats and two wild pitches later, crossed the plate to cut the lead to one, but Saunders got out of the inning with no further trouble.
Kennett then added to the lead in the top of the sixth. Saunders was hit by a pitch and stole second. After a walk to Eaton, McGinley followed with a base hit for an 8-6 lead. Rachel Samia kept the rally going with a base hit and a Colvard grounder to first forced the runner at the plate. Kate McPherson ran for Colvard and a Jaeger infield hit made it 9-6. A Smith base hit plated two more runs and a Milford base hit drove in two more runs for a 13-6 lead for the Eagles.
A strong defensive play from McGinley helped the Eagles get through the bottom of the sixth and Kennett threatened in the top of the seventh. After a nice play by McGlone at third base for the inning's second out, Colvard and Jaeger had base hits, but they were stranded, sending the game to the bottom of the seventh with Kennett up 13-6.
McGlone started the inning with an infield hit and Palmer was hit by a pitch. A groundout by Katie Vachon moved both runners up and a Gauthier base hit plated one run. Abi Blanchard took over for Gauthier on the bases and Gaumer and Hoyt worked walks to plate another run. Joslin followed with a base hit to drive in another run, with Carey taking over on the bases. Karntakosol then drove a shot to left center and turned it into a bases-clearing triple, cutting the lead to 13-12. A nice play by Jaeger kept the next run from scoring on a Malm grounder, but after McGlone reached on an error, Palmer drove a base hit that plated Karntakosol and Malm with the tying and winning runs, igniting a celebration in the Plymouth dugout.
"Kennett's a good hitting team and we saw that," Blanchard said. "There were some things, with a couple girls getting frustrated, but we didn't quit and came back.
"Kennett's one of the better teams we've seen all year," Blanchard continued. "If we clean up our mental errors and keep defensively strong, I think we'll be fine."
"You can't walk people," Ames said. "We gave them a couple of outs and we just didn't do a good job at the end,
"You've got to get three outs before you give up eight runs," the veteran mentor stated.
For Blanchard's squad, it was the second win in a week against a top team, as the Bobcats beat Coe-Brown the previous Friday. That took a clean game, as the Bobcats made no errors and got timely hitting. Plymouth trailed 4-0 and went on to win 10-6.
"To beat a team like Coe-Brown and a team like Kennett does a lot for their confidence," Blanchard said.
Kennett finishes its season today, May 29, at 3:30 p.m. at Kingswood, while Plymouth finishes up today as well, at Pembroke at 4:30 p.m.
The Division II tournament begins on Wednesday, June 4, at the home of the higher seed at 4 p.m.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org