BEACON, N.Y.— Somers’ Class A outbracket playoff win over host Beacon was as unbelievable as a high school softball game gets, and an incredible six-run seventh inning sent the No. 18-seeded Tuskers to a 25-23 victory.
“It was big-hit after big-hit,” Somers Coach Dave Scagnelli said. “We also had between five and seven bunt base-hits. I’ve always told the girls that we need to be a two-way team, and we complimented our hitting today.”
After blowing a nine-run lead, they found themselves just three outs away from elimination before tightening their belts while down 23-19 to start the magical seventh.
Sophomore Jazmyn Colon dropped a bunt down to the pitcher and beat it out for the third time in the game to start the rally. Following senior Brittney Morel’s two-strike bloop-single to left, senior captain Gabby Mazzotta yoked a two-run double to pull Somers within two runs.
Later in the inning with two outs, sophomore Sabrina Balfe worked a long at-bat and dunked a two-run double into right center to miraculously tie the game at 23 runs apiece.
With second and third base occupied, sophomore third-baseman Nikki Fiorino stepped up to the dish and scorched a ball just foul near the third-base line.
Frustrated and ready, Fiorino looped a double to right-field that scored both Balfe and senior captain Julia Sciacca to boost the Tuskers to a 25-23 edge once and for all.
“I saw it was foul and looked over at my teammates being very loud and their energy helped me,” Fiorino said. “I did this little move where I hit my chest and got a little under it (the next pitch) and took it to right-field. It was the greatest feeling ever to get an important hit at an important time.”
Although the favored Bulldogs went down anything but quietly, loading the bases with no outs to force Scagnelli to send Colon back to the hill to finish up.
She did that just splendidly, getting a groundout to first which junior Jill Carlisto quickly fired home for the out. The next batter lined out to shortstop Karly Moscarello, who doubled up the hurried runner at third to savor the hard-fought triumph.
“It just feels really good to know that everyone in the school district based off last year believed that we couldn’t make it to the sectionals,” Moscarello said. “It feels awesome to achieve our goal and win this game.”
It was the definition of a back-and-forth offensive battle, while Somers built a seven-run fourth inning to go up 17-8 before the Bulldogs tallied nine in the bottom half of the frame to knot it at 17-17.
Beacon broke a 19-19 tie during the bottom of the sixth after scoring four runs and seemingly burying the Tuskers before they rose to the occasion in the money inning.
The catcher Mazzotta led the onslaught with five RBIs and two doubles. Junior centerfielder Kelsey Lavin produced too, knocking home four runs while doubling.
“Getting into the next round really boosted us up as a team,” Mazzotta said. “It really brought us closer and we are getting better each day.”
Carlisto struck a three-run laser of a double in the fourth while Moscarello drove in two runs off a double and a single.
The second-baseman Sciacca cracked a game-tying two-run single up the middle to tie the game in the sixth inning and Colon smacked an RBI single.
“I haven’t been hitting that well lately,” Sciacca said. “To be able to show up today for my team meant a lot to me, especially because these are my last few games (of her high school career). We faced so much adversity, but at the end of the day we just have Karly to thank.”
Moscarello, who never pitched before at the varsity level, tossed three innings to let up five runs while notching three-straight outs upon being called on in a rough fourth inning. Colon started the game and pitched a total of four innings.
“The biggest story for me is Karly,” Scagnelli said. “Not only is she a fantastic kid, but a good enough athlete to come in and throw strikes. Karly has a great demeanor and just said, ‘Coach, I’ll take the ball and do the best I can.’ I said, ‘Karly, that’s all we need you to do.’”
Unfortunately, the Tuskers ran out of magic at second-seeded Brewster on Saturday, as they were outmatched 15-0 in the first round of the playoffs. They were without star pitcher Tori Pagliaro, who sat out with a severely sprained ankle.
“We have a lot of selfless players that want to do the best for the team,” Scagnelli said. “They don’t put themselves first, and that’s what I’m trying to preach to these girls. From where they were last year to getting a sectional win on the road speaks volumes to these girls.”