But Braintree’s Meghan Duffy got just enough of the pitch, the two-out bloop single falling just fair in no man’s land in right field, bringing two runs across.
That was all the damage the Wamps did on the scoreboard, and despite a seventh-inning rally from the host Rocketeers, it was enough for a 2-1 victory for #9 Braintree.
“It was an inside pitch and she just fisted it out there,” said North Attleboro head coach Bill Wallace.
“What are you going to do? We had the right defense on for an inside pitch, but those things happen. I told the girls afterward, that’s why we play the games. You have to tip your hat to Braintree’s pitcher [Erin Barry]. I don’t think she walked a batter.”
Barry, in fact, didn’t issue a base on balls and struck out 11 Rocketeers. North had just two hits through six innings before nearly coming back to tie the game in the final frame.
Sophomore Abby Gallagher led off the inning with a double to left to start the rally and classmate Ashley Cangiano followed with a hard hit single through the right side for a single, putting runners on the corners with no outs.
Sophomore Annabelle Hebard grounded out to shortstop but Gallagher came racing home, cutting the deficit to 2-1, while Cangiano took second.
Barry put an end to the rally through, striking out the next two North Attleboro batters to secure the win.
Erti was equally as good to Barry, allowing just four hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Braintree orchestrated its two-runs with a leadoff single from Barry before Erti got the first out with a strikeout. Lily Adams reached on an infield error and courtesy runner Delia McGuire advanced to second.
On a ground ball from Kara Paquin, McGuire was called out after a collision with North Attleboro freshman Emily Nardelli, keeping runners at first and second with two outs. But Samantha Hayes drew a two-out walk and Duffy followed with the bloop double.
Olivia Capobianco led off the fourth inning with a bunt single and ended up on second after a throwing error. Gallagher’s groundout to Capobianco at third with just one out but Barry once again got a big strikeout and then a soft liner to short to end the threat.
“I had a great group of seniors, there were 10 of them, they are going to be sorely missed,” Wallace said. “And then we also have a very good group coming back. We have seven starters coming back, including the pitcher and the catcher. It’s a tough way to go but they had a great season. If you had told them at the beginning of the year they’d be 16-5, I think they’d be pretty happy with that. But as you go, your expectations increase so it makes it harder.”
North Attleboro softball finishes the season at 16-5.