TAUNTON, Mass. – The moniker “Cardiac Kids” was taken long ago, but it certainly applies to what Bridgewater-Raynham softball has become in its postseason journey.
The Trojans have played nearly seven games worth of innings in securing their last three wins in the Division 1 South tournament. Running through a gamut of Hockomock League teams and extra-inning affairs, the Old Colony League champions ran through Mansfield (11 innings) and North Attleborough (12) before playing in another instant classic against top-seeded King Philip on Sunday.
Mired in a pitchers duel between B-R’s Audrey Dolloff and the Warriors’ Meghan Rico, the Trojans again found a way to outlast their opponent, scoring the only run in the 12th inning of the Division 1 South sectional final.
After a day of rest, B-R will face the North district champion in the Eastern Mass title game in Lowell.
Who knows what else the Trojans might have up their sleeves?
“At this point, I feel we can go the whole way, I feel we can win the whole thing,” said B-R shortstop Madi Shaw, who score the game-winning run. “We are a tough team, we battle every single inning, we never give up.”
Sunday marked B-R’s first sectional title under head coach Mike Carrozza in three finals appearances.
Dolloff has carried the Trojans (21-3) through their run, throwing every inning in each of the extra-inning games. The senior right-hander was particularly sharp against the defending state champions, using a devastating changeup to strike out seven.
Carrozza said that Dolloff thrives in such situations and seem to only get better as the innings wear on.
“She just kept getting stronger, she kept hitting her spots, she kept setting down the lineup. The defense was working very well behind her.”
Shaw became the only player to cross home plate after dropping a two-out base hit into right field in the 12th. Rachel McCall’s walk pushed Shaw to second. With catcher Chelsea Correia at the plate, a passed ball on Rico’s 2-2 offering advanced Shaw to third. An errant throw down to third found its way into left field and Shaw came around to score.
One pitch later, Rico got Correia swinging on her 17th strikeout of the day.
“Unfortunately, in these types of games, when you have two good powerhouses going, it always the mistake that costs you the game,” Carrozza said.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Carrozza has preached many times this postseason about how his pitcher is able to get sharper as games progress.
Dolloff had a simple explanation as to how she prepares herself to take the ball each time out.
“I’m a senior and I just don’t want to stop playing.”
With extra-inning games becoming a daily proposition, Dolloff dismissed whether fatigue could play a factor as the Trojans look to advance to Saturday’s state championship.
“I don’t feel it right now, but I probably will tomorrow.”
The Warriors’ inability to score in bunches during the season caught up with them on Sunday.
Although KP had a lot of healthy looking hacks in the box, the Warriors were largely unable to string together hits.
“We just didn’t get enough base-runners today,” KP head coach Jim Leonard said. “You go from scoring 13 runs yesterday [versus Silver Lake] to this.”
HOME CROWD ADVANTAGE
A stone’s throw from home, the Trojans brought a full fan section to the game. Camped out around the center field picnic tables at Jack Tripp Field, B-R Nation remained equally as vocal during the first inning as they were the last.
Kudos. Just don’t forget the pizza for the next extra-inning game.