HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Thursday, it was Olivia Marinelli’s bat that made the difference.
Olivia Marinelli drove in Autumn Thorpe with a single in the bottom of the seventh to give Hasbrouck Heights a 2-1, come from behind victory over Midland Park Thursday afternoon at Hitchcock Field in Hasbrouck Heights.
With the victory, the Lady Aviators advance to North 1, Group 1 final for the second straight year, and will face the winner of Friday’s Butler vs. Cedar Grove game. If Butler wins, the Lady Aviators will host the final on Tuesday. If Cedar Grove wins, Hasbrouck Heights will return to Panther Park, where the Lady Aviators dropped last year’s North 1, Group 1 final.
Thursday's game featured a weather delay at the end of the first inning, as the lightning detectors went off followed by a short downpour. Once the game got back underway, Midland Park broke through first, scoring a run as Tess Owen homered leading off the second inning off Olivia Marinelli for 1-0 lead.
Through four innings the Lady Aviators could not break through against Midland Park, but broke through in the fifth. After Paige McGuire, Thorpe and Kimmy Halpin reached to open the inning, it looked as if Hasbrouck Heights was going to break the game open. Olivia Marinelli bounced into a fielder’s choice to tie the score, but Alexa Marinelli also grounded out and Julia Campen popped out, and the Panthers escaped, tied at 1-1.
Owen looked like she might strike again in the top of seventh, with a long drive to right field, that Ladyd Aviators right fielder Amanda Gasparino chased down.
"Amanda made a great catch in right. ' said Hasbrouck Heights head coach Jackie Feranti "We have been working on proper mechanics of pumping your arms while tracking down fly balls all year. As a coach, it was really great to see her put that into a game situation and track down that shot."
Thorpe led off the bottom of the seventh with her fourth walk of the game, moving to second on Halpin’s sacrifice bunt, and then to third on error on the play. Olivia Marinelli then jumped on the first pitch, bouncing the ball through the infield into left field for the game winner.
"Autumn was fantastic at the plate today," said Ferranti. "We talked about being disciplined at the plate and being able to lay off of positions right out of the zone. She was able to draw four walks and put us in positions to score. She may have not scored our first run but her walk put the run in scoring position."
Olivia Marinelli was once again outstanding on the mound, striking out 11, and allowing only three hits, while walking one as the Lady Aviators improved to 25-3 on the season.
|WP: O. Marinelli (Hasbrouck Heights)|
|LP: C. McCourt (Midland Park)|
|HR: Olsen (Midland Park)|
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