Smithfield: Sports

Princeton pulls off huge rally to advance in 1A softball

It was far from the easy way to beat your archrival in the playoffs, but it was certainly one of the more memorable ways.

Princeton came back from a 9-1 deficit and put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh to down Rosewood 10-9 Friday night in the third round of the 1A state softball playoffs. The win moved the Bulldogs (19-2) into a fourth-round home date with Rocky Point Trask and was their third win over Rosewood this season.

Down 9-8 with two outs and nobody on base in the bottom of the seventh, Princeton sophomore Charley Cox singled. Taylor Carroll followed with another single, putting the potential game-winning run on base.

Freshman Kelsey Peedin turned that potential into reality with her hard hit to center field that scored both Cox and Carroll – and sent Princeton to the eastern regional semifinals.

It was the last of 17 hits on the night for the Bulldogs and continued their trend of coming through in big spots in tournament play. Princeton’s offense was balanced with eight different players notching hits and eight players scoring runs.

Peedin was the batter Princeton wanted at the plate with the game on the line. She went 4-for-4 on the night with four RBIs and two runs scored. Tori Paul (3-for-4, RBI) and Cox (3-for-5, 3 runs, RBI) added three hits each. Carroll scored three runs and contributed two hits, while Logan Pace went 2-for-4.

Pace started the Bulldogs’ big rally in the fourth to get them back in the game with an infield single.

The Eagles (14-9) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second, then went up 9-1 with a five-run fourth. That’s when the Bulldogs started to turn the game around. Princeton matched Rosewood’s five spot with one of its own, pulling within 9-6.

Cox brought home the first of five runs scored with two outs in the frame with an infield single, then Peedin walked to force in another run. Paul followed with an RBI single and Hailey Wood came through with a two-run single to center to get the Bulldogs within 9-6.

Wood got the win in relief of Paul, going three-and-two-thirds innings allowing the Eagles just one hit. She retired 9 of the final 10 batters she faced in order.

The Princeton sixth inning saw Peedin double in a run and later score on an Eagles error to get within 9-8.