MILFORD – After watching her team score nine runs in the first inning, Law catcher Amanda Leone could not have imagined she would be called on in the bottom of the seventh inning to save her team from blowing the large lead.
That proved to be the situation as Foran rallied twice and tied the game with three runs in the top of the seventh, before Leone singled home Cassidy Boath with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to propel Law over Foran, 11-10, in a Southern Connecticut Conference Hammonasset Division game at Law Saturday afternoon.
“We knew at the beginning of the game, it was going to be an intense game,” Leone said after delivering the winning run. “We never let up. Even after they were coming back, we just told everyone to stay confident. It is a great feeling.”
The win helped Law improve to 2-1 on the season, while Foran fell to 1-1.
“Getting a big lead early is scary,” Law coach Melanie Paolini said. “You have the lead, but you have to keep telling the kids not to sit back the rest of the game. We knew we were going to still do what we do the rest of the game, but we had to make sure we did not stop playing the game.
“Amanda Leone is so clutch. She has been in those situations in the past. She is so stone-faced in those situations. Erin Saley and Amanda Leone are the two you want up in that spot. They have ice in their veins.”
Leone’s hit wiped out what could have been a brutal loss for Law as a pair of home runs by Erin Saley and Skyler Bender in the first inning led to a 9-0 advantage.
Law did not tack on runs over the next three innings and Foran came right back with six runs in the fifth inning to get within 9-7.
After a sacrifice fly by Hannah DeSousa scored Amanda Mendillo in the third inning, Foran rallied in the fifth.
Amanda Portoff and DeSousa singled before Dani Kemp launched a long three-run homer to left to get within 9-4.
Alex Ives and Ashley Mendillo followed with singles and both scored when Kayla Gosselin’s double was promptly thrown around for a pair of errors on the play, allowing Gosselin to also score the sixth run of the inning.
Law got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning as Gege Romero picked up one of her three hits on the day and came around to score on a two-out single by Maddie Murphy for a 10-7 advantage.
With all the offense in the game, it was a defensive play which saved the game for Law. With one out and Natalia Hart on first after a single, DeSousa ripped a shot up the middle which Boath made a diving play and tagged second for the second out of the inning.
The play was a huge one as Kemp now did not represent the tying run at the plate. Kemp walked and Ives reached on an error, but Law pitcher Aubrey Bepko caught Ashley Mendillo looking to end the frame.
Ashley Mendillo kept the Lions in the game as she retired Law in order in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a three-run rally in the seventh to even the contest at 10.
Gosselin started the rally with a long homer to left and Jenna Zacarelli and Amanda Mendillo followed with singles. After Law got a force play on an attempted sacrifice, Hart singled to load the bases and DeSousa singled to score pinch-runner Kalie Mendola.
Kemp followed with a fly ball to center to even the game, before Ives popped out to short to end the threat, setting up Leone’s dramatics in the bottom of the inning.
“I knew we could come back,” Bevino said. “I really felt we were going to come back. We hit the ball. We are going to hit the ball. There is no doubt about that. Their girl (Bepko) did a nice job with her off speed. We made the adjustments. I just wish we made the adjustments a little sooner. We hit the ball hard at the end of the game.”
Law set the tone of the game early, sending 14 batters to the plate in the first inning and collecting nine runs on seven hits.
Romero started the outburst with a one-out single and scored on Saley’s laser to center for a 2-0 advantage. Leone followed with a walk, moved to third on a pair of wild pitches and scored when Murphy singled.
Justine Bannon doubled to put a pair of runners in scoring position, Jess Migliozzi singled in Murphy and Bender delivered three more with another homer.
Law was not done. Megan Smith and Boath followed with walks, Romero reached on Kemp’s error at short to load the bases and Leone laced a two-out double to center to score a pair for a 9-0 lead.
Romero led the 14-hit attack for Law with three hits, while Saley, Leone, Murphy and Bannon each had two hits apiece. Leone and Bender each drove in three runs, while Saley and Murphy each drove in a pair.
Hart led Foran with three hits, while DeSousa, Ashley Mendillo, Kayla Gosselin and Amanda Mendillo each had two hits apiece for the Lions. Kemp drove in four runs, and DeSousa and Gosselin each drove in a pair.
“We feel we are a good hitting team,” Kemp said. “We can’t get down by that many runs. We started slow. We put the ball in play and came back, but we have to be ready to play from the start.”
LAW 11, FORAN 10
Foran 001 060 3 — 10 16 2
Law 900 010 1 — 11 14 2
Ashley Mendillo and Kayla Gosselin; Aubrey Bepko and Amanda Leone.
WP: Aubrey Bepko (2-1). LP: Ashley Mendillo (1-1). hr: Kayla Gosselin (FO); Erin Saley, Skyler Bender (LAW); RBI: Gosselin (4) (FO); Saley (2), Bender (3), Amanda Leone (3) (LAW);
Team records: Foran 1-1; Law 2-1.