The Fighting Clan faced two potentially deflating situations against a key Cape-Atlantic League American Conference rival. When things didn’t go their way, the team responded by dusting itself off and emerged with a thrilling 4-2 win in eight innings at Hammonton.
After the Blue Devils (3-2) tied the game at 1-1 with a two-out knock in the seventh, Vineland stormed back with four straight hits, including run-scoring singles by Brigitte Garvey, Kylie Finley and Liz Carpani in the eighth.
“That’s the energy of this team,” said Garvey, a senior who had three hits in the game. “Our team was really pumped for this game.”
“Oh, there’s a lot of character on this team and we showed what we’re all about,” senior Demi Murray said.
On the first warm day of the spring, Vineland (3-0) didn’t seem to mind that it had to work overtime. Coach Alex Gomez certainly wasn’t upset, even with the late Hammonton rally that forced extra frames.
“I’m glad it happened,” he said. “We’ve got to learn how to play in these types of games. That’s what softball is all about.”
Jalene Garcia led off the Vineland eighth by reaching on an error. One out later, Garvey looped a single to left, scoring Garcia with the go-ahead run. Finley followed with an RBI single to left and Carpani capped the Fighting Clan scoring with an RBI single to center.
Hammonton’s seventh inning ruined what was an absolute gem by Murray.
The senior southpaw had a one-hitter, retiring 18 straight, when she needed just one more out to polish off the victory. A single and walk put runners at first and second and Skylar Wylie grounded a single through the middle to tie the game.
Murray was visibly upset at the missed opportunity, but she settled back in and got the third out as the game advanced to the eighth. She would finish with a five-hitter.
“Demi put a little too much pressure on herself there, overthrowing to that last batter (in the seventh),” Gomez said. “She’ll learn from it though.”
Murray had plenty of defensive support behind her. Garvey, a third baseman, made a sensational over-the-shoulder catch down the line in foul territory for an out in the third. Center fielder Alyssa Ellis robbed a hit with a sliding grab in the second and Murray used a little self defense when she snared a comeback liner in the fourth.
Vineland faced potential disaster in the second inning when the team batted out of order. With two runners in scoring position, Lindsey Gaines came up and blooped an RBI single to left field for the go-ahead run. There was one problem, it wasn’t Gaines’ turn at bat.
Instead of the hit, the batter was ruled out and the run was taken off the scoreboard. Gaines returned to the batter’s box because it was her turn to hit and she promptly beat out an infield RBI single that would stand.
Gomez said he and his coaching staff were to blame for the blunder.
“That’s on us, we can’t let that happen,” he said.
It didn’t matter, Vineland showed it has the fight to come back from any situation.
Vineland 12, Holy Spirit 0
Brigitte Garvey drove in four runs and Kylie Finley knocked in two as the Fighting Clan earned their second consecutive home win, knocking off the Spartans. Both hitters...