The bats came through in the clutch for the Wakefield softball team as it defeated Cap-8 Conference foe Leesville Road 5-2 on Thursday afternoon.
The only time the ball got out of the infield in a three-run first inning for the Wolverines was a fly out by leadoff batter Peris Pavlinac. Sara Harmon reached on an error at third, and after a strikeout by Pride pitcher Sarah Barnes, Bella Buccellato and Tanner Allen walked to load the bases.
Sophomore Tyson Burgess then hit a slow roller between the mound and first base, reaching safely as both Harmon and Buccellato scored. A wild pitch would plate Allen to make it 3-0.
That would prove to be enough for Harmon on the mound, as the senior evened her record at 5-5 with the complete-game, five-hitter. She walked two and struck out four.
“Great win, we needed it,” Wakefield head coach Amanda Unkleshay said after her team improved to 5-7 overall, 4-3 in the Cap-8. “We were on a losing streak there. We came together today. We hit the ball well, pitching was there and the defense was on point today.”
“If we could take back that first inning, it’s a whole different game,” Leesville Road head coach Bryan James said.
Indeed. The Pride (2-6, 2-4) cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the third as an RBI double by Rebecca Jones plated Vickie Finger, who had walked.
Leesville Road then made it 3-2 in the fourth. Sydney Bayes singled and Carson Sellers walked. Following an out, Cece Marks singled home Bayes. An error at short on Anna Marshall’s grounder loaded the bases, but back-to-back fly outs ended the threat. Those would be among nine runners left stranded by the Pride.
In the fifth, Wakefield’s Buccellato lofted a no-doubt-about-it home run over the left-center field fence to make it 4-2.
“It was definitely exciting,” Buccellato said of the home run. “It was my first one (of the season) and it came in a really big situation. Not just a meaningless one in a game where we are way ahead. Instead, it came when we really needed it.”
The Wolverines plated another insurance run in the sixth with two outs on Reilly Miller’s bloop single that plated Shalyn Thompson.
Leesville Road put two runners on in the seventh, but could not score.