COCHRANTON — The Cambridge Springs softball team held off a frenzied comeback attempt by Cochranton for a 7-6 Region 2 win on Thursday.
Entering the bottom of the seventh inning down 7-4, the Cardinals did not give up.
“Coming off the field into the huddle entering the bottom of the seventh we challenged the girls to put themselves in a position to win, and they did,” Cochranton head coach Mitch Shreve said.
Lexie Moore got the Cards started with a single. A Cambridge error then put Chelsey Freyermuth on base. After two outs, Megan Heim doubled to right field on a line drive to bring Moore and Freyermuth home. Heim’s two RBIs narrowed the deficit to one run.
But with the game-tying run on second and a full count on the batter, the Blue Devils’ Hailee Rodgers buckled down and got the strikeout to secure the win.
“It shows that we are a real team. It was a total team effort,” Cambridge Springs coach Angie Mumford said. “Everyday we ask them, ‘Will you do whatever it takes to make this team better?’ And they will. Sometimes you have a good day and sometimes you have a bad day, but as a team we can pull through.”
Shreve was happy with his team’s effort as well, despite the loss.
“Not giving up was huge and that’s a huge mentality we’ve been working on all year. To see them come at it, and they came at it hard, that’s what I love to see. When a team does that for you, it’s what you need as a coach,” Shreve said. “Sometimes at the end of the day the ball can go this way or that way and it’s a totally different ballgame. The big takeaway from this is they put themselves in a position to win against a good team and a good pitcher.”
To get ahead, Cambridge put together a strong couple innings at bat. In the third, three singles and a Cardinal error allowed Rodgers, Myranda Findlay and Chloe Schultz to score.
The Blue Devils scored twice in the fourth and sixth innings to advance their lead.
Cambridge held on to their lead, in part, because of a full performance from Rodgers. The first-year starter hurled seven strikeouts over all seven innings. She allowed nine hits and two earned runs.
“Hailee pitched amazing today,” Mumford said. “We had uncharacteristic errors in the field and we’ll fix that by tomorrow.”
Errors were an issue all game. With 11 total errors, both teams gained extra bases and runs because of it.
Offensively, Taylor Smith and Kenzie Lewis each had two hits and two RBIs for the Blue Devils.
Spa moves to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the region. Currently sitting at third in the region standings behind Union City (11-0) and Saegertown (9-1), Mumford hopes to keep the team healthy entering the postseason.
“I think right now, it’s the team that’s going to stay healthy and the team that can stay mentally tough that will go well into the playoffs,” Mumford said.
For Cochranton, Heim led the team at the plate. She went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Heim, Freyermuth, Jaylin McGill and Chloa Lippert all had a double in the game.
Taytum Jackson got the start on the mound, allowing four hits and one earned run over three innings. Katelyn Ewing pitched the final four innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs.
The Cardinals dropped to 8-8 overall and 5-7 in the region.
“Getting some momentum into playoffs is big time for us,” Shreve said. “That’s why we need to have a good practice tomorrow, set our sights on next week, and keep moving forward.”