GARRETT — For six innings Monday night, Garrett played like it was in control of its softball game against Bishop Dwenger. It was the one inning they didn’t that cost the Railroaders the game in the first round of sectional play.
The Saints tallied seven of their 14 hits in a seven-run fourth inning as they defeated Garrett, 10-2, to advance to the sectional semifinal tonight. Dwenger will play New Haven for a berth in the sectional title game.
“The bottom of their order just started hitting,” said Garrett coach Jason Richards. “Hitting is contagious and it carried over into the top of the order. It wasn’t really anything we did wrong, they just got going.”
To that point, Garrett had allowed just three hits to the Saints (15-11) as the combination of starting pitcher Hallie McCoy and the Railroaders’ infield defenders dictated the pace of the game early on.
In the fourth, though, Dwenger took the lead on a RBI single by the No. 7 batter Brianna Yager, 2-1, and never looked back scoring six more runs in the ensuing seven at bats. Lexi Linder, Leah Zimmerman, Olivia Dickerson, Avery Greider and Sandra Freistroffer all batted in runs as well for the Saints in the inning, with Linder batting in two.
The inning knocked McCoy out of the game, with Richards opting to put junior Brooklyn Runion on the mound after Dwenger took a 6-1 lead. McCoy finished her day with two strikeouts while yielding eight hits and six runs, all earned. Runion allowed six more hits and four runs, without a strikeout.
For Garrett, this game was all about what could have been.
The Railoaders left a total of 14 runners on base despite often getting them on early in the half inning. Richards waited patiently for that one hit to spark his team into scoring mode, but it never came.
The coach said early in the game was when his team needed it most.
“When we scored that run in the first inning (to take a 1-0 lead),” Richards said, when his team left three runners on base. “(Dwenger’s) not used to being down that big to a team like us. If we were able to get those runners home, this game could have looked totally different.”
That run was part of an early-game surge that put the host school in control early on. Garrett connected on nearly half (5-of-11) of its hits in the first two innings, with McCoy singling to left field, allowing Hannah Collingsworth to score in the fifth at bat of the game.
Dwenger scored in the bottom of the first on a RBI single by Freistroffer to even the score, which stayed in a stalemate until the fourth inning. Kenzie Cassleman, Ryanne Arambula, Camden Bodey and Brianna Kaufman all tallied two hits to pace the Railroaders. Collinsworth, McCoy and Marissalee Johnson each added one.
Garrett finished its season with an 8-15 overall record.