HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Autumn Thorpe singled past the drawn-in left side of the North Warren infield, scoring pinch-running Alyssa Demone with the game’s only run as Hasbrouck Heights advanced to the North 1, Group 1 final next Tuesday with a dramatic 10-inning, 1 -0 victory over North Warren Regional High School Friday afternoon at Hitchcock Field in Hasbrouck Heights.
Thorpe’s hit broke up a pitching clinic between North Warren’s Jackie Bono and Hasbrouck Heights' Olivia Marinelli, who each threw nine scoreless innings to send the game into the tenth inning.
In the tenth, the NJSIAA uses in the National Federation Modified Tie-Breaker rules, explained below.
At the top of the 10th inning, during each half inning used to enforce the tie breaker, the offensive team shall begin its turn at bat with the player who is scheduled to bat ninth in that respective half inning being placed at second base. (e.g.: If the number five batter is to lead off, the number four batter in the batting order will be placed on second base. A substitute may be inserted for the runner.)
In the top of the tenth, the Patriots started with Lilli LePage on second base and no outs. Lindsay Rice singled to left fielder Liz Connelly who fired the ball home, keeping LePage at third base and allowing Rice to advance to second. Marinelli buckled down, picking up her fifth strikeout of the game to pick up the first out of the inning.
Sidney Trible then hit into a fielders choice,with LePage getting caught in a rundown between third and home before shortstop Kimmy Halpin who chased down LePage and tagged her out for the second out. Shannon Feeney grounded back to Marinelli, who threw her out at first base to escape the inning.
“I am not completely sure how we got out of the top of the tenth inning, to tell you the truth,” said Hasbrouck Heights Head Coach Jackie Ferranti.
The Lady Aviators began their half of the inning with Alyssa Demone, running for Julia Campen, on second base. Kate Bothe bunted the ball down the third base line, where the ball was mishandled putting runners on first and third with none out. Erin Owens hit a ball in front of home plate, which third baseman LePage held, loading the bases with no one out.
Bono fought back, striking out Connelly with a full count on a nine-pitch at bat, before Thorpe singled to end the game.
“Autumn has been our everything offensively lately,” Ferranti stated. “I know she hasn't really received the praise until today. Monday she had the triple and scored the first run against Paterson Charter and got us going there. Wednesday she led off the inning to ignite the come back and scored the tying run for us. She has been amazing the last couple of weeks against very good pitching.”
Thorpe also made a nice catch on a deep blast to centerfield in the ninth inning.
“She does a tremendous job in the outfield,” stated Ferranti. “Honestly would've been surprised if she didn't make that catch. “
While some fans might not be fan of the Tie-Breaker rule, Ferranti, is.
“I like the tiebreaker rule, “ Ferranti stated. “In a game like that, we could've went 20 innings the way those pitchers were going. The tie breaker puts more pressure on a defense and we were able to get that one hit to get the run in.”
Bono allowed six hits and one run in 10 innings, while striking out 15 Aviator hitters.
“(Bono) was tremendous today,” Ferranti stated. “In our scouting reports and looking at her stats, she has been a little bit wild in the past. Her ability to stay in the zone today was amazing.”
Marinelli struck out seven while limiting the Patriots to just three hits in picking up the victory.
The Lady Aviators will travel to play Cedar Grove in the North 1, Group 1 championship game on Tuesday at 4 pm.