RANDOLPH, NJ- Behind the steady pitching of Emily Spingarn and two RBI’s from Katie Oh, the Randolph softball team found themselves knotted up at 2-2 in the bottom of the 7th inning of their NJSIAA first round state playoff game against Fairlawn. That set up the chance for Courtney Downtain to play the role of hero, and the senior took advantage of her opportunity when she sliced an RBI single to right field for a walk-off win by the score of 3-2.
“I was just thinking to myself I need to get a base hit, nothing more, to win it for my team,” said Downtain. “When I hit the ball and saw it go into the outfield I just started jumping up and down on first base in excitement that my senior season isn’t over yet.”
Fairlawn got on the board early in the top of the first, when an error and a hit batter helped put Randolph in a 1-0 hole. With the bases loaded with only one out, it was a nerve wracking start for the Lady Rams. Spingarn squashed the threat from there however, and pitched her way out of the inning with no further damage.
“On the mound I tried to keep a pretty blank mindset throughout the game,” said Spingarn. “I was just focused on throwing my pitches to each batter as they came up, and on throwing my pitch and working ahead in the count.”
The Rams answered back in the bottom of the second, when Oh stepped to the plate and delivered a clutch hit, slapping a two out, two run single to give the lead to Randolph at 2-1.
After a few scoreless innings, the Rams got sloppy in the 5th when another error allowed Fairlawn to tie the game up at 2-2. Spingarn kept control from there, and pitched two more strong innings to set up the late game heroics from Downtain.
“Emily pitched another solid game for us today,” said Kanya. “She did a great job of controlling her pitches and was instrumental in our win.”
Oh kicked off that late rally when she hustled and beat the throw for an infield single. Mailyn Soto ( 3-for-4 in the game ) followed with a double to left putting runners on second and third with one out.
Downtain worked a full count before hammering a ground ball between the first and second basemen that knocked in Oh with the winning run.
“It felt great to pull out the win today, it was a team effort all around and I'm glad I could rely on my teammates to make the plays behind me,” said Spingarn. “It was the last home game for the seniors and we all really wanted to win for them and move on in states.”
Spingarn tossed 7 complete innings, scattering 7 hits and striking out 4, while Andrea Gabler went 2-for-3 at the plate.
I told the girls I was proud of them for not giving up,” said Kanya. “Mailynn Soto and Katie Oh did a great job getting things going for us offensively, and both were very busy defensively too. I was so proud of Courtney for connecting with the ball in the 7th inning, it was an exciting win.”
The No. 7 Seed Lady Rams travel to Ridgewood to play the No. 2 Seed Maroons.