WOODBRIDGE >> Through six innings, Foran played maybe as well as it has all season. A near collapse in the seventh almost saw the effort go for naught.
Host Amity scored four times in the bottom of the seventh inning, and then had the bases loaded with one out.
But Lions pitcher Ashley Mendillo struck out Katie Koshes and then induced a ground out from Dani Nordyk — who led off the inning — to end the game as Foran held on for a 6-4 SCC interdivison victory Wednesday over the No. 10 Spartans.
Natalia Hart hit a two-run home run and Alex Ives drove in a run on an infield single to put Foran up 6-0 in the top of the seventh inning. The Spartans defeated Foran 1-0 on April 17.
“It was a much-needed win,” Hart said. “We just did what we needed to do to come out stronger than last time, and put the runs up.”
Nordyk led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a double for Amity. After a walk, Morgan Perry put Amity on the board with a two-run single.
After Teresa Marchitto singled, Haley Kober reached on an error, and then Amanda Rieser and Ally Gusmano each drew bases-loaded walks to cut the Foran lead to 6-4.
The Lions (11-8) have already qualified for the Class M state tournament, and are still in the hunt for an SCC tournament berth.
“We just made some mistakes,” Foran coach Jeff Bevino said about the seventh inning. “We’re making throws to home plate allowing runners to take second base. That’s what I was just telling them: if we’re going to advance in the states, we can’t allow that stuff.”
The Lions worked out of bases-loaded jams in both the third and the fourth innings. In the third, and with the Foran infield shifted to left side against Marchitto, sophomore second baseman Amanda Mendillo made an over-the-shoulder catch of a fly ball in short left field to end the inning, robbing Marchitto of a hit and at least one RBI.
Ashley Mendillo struck out Nordyk with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning.
“What a play,” Bevino said. “And Ashley was tough. She was tough the whole game. She made some great pitches.”
Mendillo allowed eight hits, walked five, hit one batter and struck out three.
“The greatest pitch she made all day was the strikeout of Koshes in the last inning,” Bevino said. “She was away, away, away and came inside with a curveball. That girl (Koshes) right there has been lighting the league on fire. That was a big out right there.”
Amanda Mendillo went 3-for-3, while Hannah DeSousa, Dani Kemp, Alex Ives and Amanda Portoff each had two hits for the Lions. Ives hit a solo home run in the second inning. DeSousa had a run-scoring double and Kemp had an RBI single in the fifth.
Amity (14-5) left 13 runners on base.
“Horrible, we just had a horrible outing today,” Amity coach Loren Purcell said. “It was definitely not our best game. We’re leaving a lot of runners on base, and our pitch selection has been very poor. We’re just hoping that the kids can come around on it.”
The inability to get timely hits has plagued the Spartans of late. Amity has lost four of its last six,
“I would say the last two and a half weeks, the back end of our season, the focus really isn’t there, as far as I’m concerned, with pitch selection,” Purcell said. “They’re being aggressive, I can’t complain about the aggressiveness of the bats, but they’re really not executing what we need them to execute at this time.”
FORAN 6, AMITY 4
Foran 010 020 3 — 6 12 2
Amity 000 000 4 — 4 8 0
Ashely Mendillo and Kayla Gosselin; Morgan Perry and Amanda Rieser.
WP: Ashley Mendillo. LP: Morgan Perry. 2B: (FO) Hannah DeSousa; (AM) Katie Koshes, Dani Nordyk. Hr: Natalia Hart, Alex Ives (FO)RBI: Hart (2), Ives (2), Desousa, Kemp (FO); Morgan Perry (2), Amanda Rieser, Alessandra Gusmano (AM);
Team records: Foran 11-8; Amity 14-5.