By Cameron Merritt, HockomockSports.com Contributor
PLAINVILLE, Mass. – Last year, the King Philip Warriors saw their season end in the MIAA D1 South Quarterfinals.
This year, the #4 Warriors were able to book their trip to the D1 South Semifinals in Taunton for the third time in four years as they beat the #11 Somerset-Berkley Raiders, 4-1, on Monday afternoon at the Plainville Athletic League fields.
“We’re feeling very confident and we’ve got a big, senior-heavy lineup,” said King Philip pitcher Elise Pereira. “We all want [the state title] really badly. We’re all ready to work for it.”
The senior tossed a complete game for the win, giving up seven hits and just one run while striking out six.
On the Raiders side, pitcher Abigail Cadorette also went the full game, giving up 10 hits, four runs and two walks with a pair of strikeouts in the loss.
The King Philip offense saw contributions from several players, including catcher Brianna Lacy, who went 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI. First baseman Brooke Taute and second baseman Hailey McCasland both went 2-for-3 with a run, while shortstop Meghan Gorman went 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
For Somerset-Berkley, catcher Lindsay Chubbuck scored the team’s sole run, going 1-for-3 in the process. Shortstop Megan Antaya hit 2-for-4 with a single and a double from the Raiders’ leadoff spot.
The game started off, and for the most part remained, a pitchers duel between Pereira and Cadorette, with each side’s getting a hit or two before being shut down by the opposing pitcher.
The Warriors broke through and put themselves on the board first in the bottom of the third as they put three of their first four batters of the inning on base, and a bases-loaded walk to third baseman Jess Bonner sent Gorman home for the early lead and easy RBI.
Both pitchers would again shut down their opponents in the fourth, with Cadorette retiring the side in order. After giving up a leadoff hit to designated player Courtney Faris to start the inning, Pereira sent down the next three batters, two through strikeouts.
That would change in the fifth, however, as Cadorette walked McCasland to start the inning, then gave up a single to Gorman to put her in scoring position. Outfielder Faith Turinese lined out through a diving catch by second baseman Julyanne Pacheco, but her ensuing throw back to first went out of bounds, allowing both KP runners to advance.
After initially sending McCasland and Gorman to second and third respectively, both umpires convened and ruled that the runners had tagged up and awarded them each an extra base, giving the hosts a 2-0 lead as McCasland crossed the plate.
Somerset-Berkley made their offensive presence felt in the top of the sixth as Chubbuck led off the inning with a single down the right field line, and found herself in scoring position shortly after through a sacrifice bunt by Faris. Cadorette hit a grounder, but an infield error allowed her to reach and advance to second and for Chubbuck to score, pulling the Raiders within one run.
The Warriors, however, had different plans.
Back-to-back-to-back singles from the bottom of the order loaded up the bases quick for King Philip in the bottom of the sixth, and Taute and Lacy were able to score off tag ups on fly outs from outfielder Sydney Phillips and Gorman respectively, making it 4-1 for the home team.
Somerset-Berkley attempted to come back in the seventh, as a two-out single by Antaya gave them hope, however a ground out to Pereira by Pacheco on the next at-bat ended the game, as the Warriors sealed the deal.
King Philip (20-3) will return to action Wednesday against #9 Braintree at 5:00 Taunton High School for a shot at going to the D1 South championship.