Black Knights Walk-Off in Playoff Opener on Wild Finish

Stoughton softball
Julia Driscoll races home on a wild pitch to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Stoughton to a victory in its playoff opener. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


STOUGHTON, Mass. – With all-star third baseman Karly Estremera, one of the Stoughton’s leading hitters, sidelined with an injury, sophomore Julia Driscoll took over the starting role for Saturday morning’s playoff opener against Somerset-Berkley. She would walk off the field a hero.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In a tie game in the bottom of the seventh inning, Driscoll, batting in the eighth spot, drilled a lead-off double to left. It was only the fifth hit that the Black Knights had managed off of Raiders starter Laney Martin. After a pair of strikeouts, Jordan Lyons hit one off the end of the bat down the first base line. The backspin took it away from the first baseman and Lyons hustled to the bag to keep the inning alive.

The very next pitch skipped by the Somerset-Berkley catcher and made its way to the backstop as Driscoll scampered home with the winning run and was mobbed by her teammates. With the 2-1, walk-off victory Stoughton will travel to face Walpole in the D1 South first round.

“It’s what we talked about yesterday is that the beauty of this roster is that we have depth and somebody is going to step up every day and today was Julia’s day,” said Stoughton coach Deb Parker. Parker was also celebrating her birthday on Saturday and appreciated the gift of a win from her team. She joked, “It was the only thing I wanted today.”

Parker also praised the play that Lyons made to keep running on the awkward play for the first baseman and allow the inning to continue with Driscoll at third. She said, “That’s one of the things we stress with these girls is that every ball is in play until someone says you’re out and Jordan’s all hustle all the time.”

It was a pitcher’s duel from the start. Sophomore Nicole Baker and Martin combined to allow three base runners and one hit through the opening three innings of the game. Both pitchers struck out four over the first two innings, while Martin struck out the side in the third. Stoughton ended the third with a double play, as Sydney Menz grabbed a line drive in right and doubled up the runner on first.

The second time through the order was a little more difficult. In the fourth, the visitors nearly broke the deadlock, but with runners at first and second and two outs, Lyons chased down a bloop by the line in shallow left. The shortstop stretched to get to the ball and stayed with it when it popped off her glove, eventually corralling it on the slide.

During the fourth inning Baker took a liner off her ankle that had the Black Knights worried, but she recovered and ended up throwing a complete game. Parker explained, “We just needed her to work on her breathing and we wouldn’t give her mask or her glove back until she could breathe and then she wants the ball every pitch and we’re going to give it to her.”

After making a great play in the field, Lyons led off the bottom half of the inning and reached on an error. A sacrifice bunt by catcher Bri Ferrandiz moved Lyons into scoring position for Lexi Baptista, who drilled a double to right center (Stoughton’s first hit of the game) and brought in Lyons for the game’s first run.

Nikki Coppola singled as well, but Martin was able escape the jam by snaring a comebacker from Baker and then recording her eighth strikeout of the game.

The Raiders came right back and got their first run in the top of the fifth, with some help from the Stoughton defense that was otherwise outstanding. A lead-off walk and a sac bunt moved a runner into scoring position, but Baptista took a one-hop single to center and gunned down the lead runner at third, with Driscoll applying the tag.

“I think defense is one of the things we do best,” Parker said. “Nicole is a great pitcher but she also knows that she has eight people on the field with her that will get it done behind her.”

The next batter hit a hard shot up the middle that Baker knocked down, but her throw to first got away and skipped up the right field fence. The runner came all the way around from first and, after a delay at third, raced home to score the tying run. Somerset-Berkley were fortunate that the throw back into the infield dropped because that delay at third could have cost them the run.

Stoughton got two on in the bottom of the inning but Martin got out of the jam with an infield pop-up. Baker threw a perfect sixth and nearly helped her own cause with a two-out double in the bottom half, but again Martin was able to pitch out of the jam. In the top of the seventh, Baker was perfect again, with help from Baptista chasing down a liner in left center, and finished with her fifth strikeout.

Stoughton (15-6) will try to carry the momentum from its dramatic win into Sunday’s game at No. 5 seed Walpole.

“I think it’s great,” said Parker, “especially to battle the way that these guys did. They know there’s nothing they can’t do now.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/03/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Oliver Ames, 9 @ King Philip, 8 – FinalOliver Ames scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning, punctuated by a two-run double and run scored by Chris Pearsons, who also tossed four scoreless innings in relief, as the Tigers finished a comeback attempt at KP. Pearsons drove in Jared Spillane (HBP) and Kyle O’Connor (single), and then came around to scored on a single from Nick Marks. Pearsons didn’t allow a walk in his relief appearance, allowing the Tigers to claw back into the game. Spillane also had two hits and an RBI while Sean O’Brien had two RBI and a strong game defensively in center.

Taunton @ Mansfield – Postponed to Saturday, 5/4 at 12:00 at Taunton.

Sharon, 7 @ Stoughton, 13 – Final

Softball
Canton, 11 @ Milford, 7 – FinalCanton junior Caroline Hughes had a strong day in the circle and gave the Bulldogs a boost offensively in a road win at Milford. She struck out five and had three hits at the plate, driving in three runs. Jackie Morrissey (3-for-4) hit her first home run and Steph Trendell chipped in with three hits for Canton. Milford junior Megan Hart went 3-for-4 with a double two runs and two RBI while junior Amanda Wenckus (RBI, two runs), freshman Olivia Morelli (run, RBI) and senior Molly Moschilli (three RBI) each had two hits.

King Philip @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.

Mansfield, 1 @ Taunton, 6 – FinalMansfield took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third but Taunton sophomore Hanna Aldrich connected for a grand slam in the bottom half, highlighting a six-run inning as the Tigers earned a win over the visiting Hornets. Mansfield’s Mary Muldoon singled, advanced to second on a sac bunt and scored on a double from Mady Bendanillo to take the lead. But Aldrich smacked her league-leading seventh home run in the bottom half to help the hosts pull ahead. Aldrich also had three stolen bases and had a stellar day defensively at short, as did McKenzie McAloon at second and Kelsey White in the circle. White allowed five hits total while striking out six. Alexa White added two hits and a run, Rylie Murphy had a hit and an RBI, and McAloon went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Sarah Cahill allowed five hits in the circle for Mansfield, who also got hits from Caty DeMassi, Ella Verheggen, and Emma Roche.

Stoughton, 11 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalStoughton sophomore Nicole Baker allowed just two hits and walked one, striking out 11 in a strong performance on the road. The Black Knights had 19 hits as a team with Lexi Baptista and Brianna Ferrandiz leading the way with three apiece. Karly Estremera (two RBI), Jordan Lyons (RBI), Nikki Coppola, Julia Driscoll, and Baker (three RBI) each had two hits while Melody Casna and Sydney Menz each contributed one hit for Stoughton.

Boys Lacrosse
Stoughton, 2 @ Attleboro, 9 – FinalAttleboro sophomore Mike Strachan scored a hat trick and senior Trevor Koppy made 12 saves behind a stellar defensive performance to lead the Bombardiers to a non-league win over Stoughton. Junior Thomas Shipman added two coals for Attleboro while junior Cam McKenna, sophomore Aidan Diggin, and freshman Keigan Conley each scored once.

Foxboro, 6 @ Newton North, 10 – FinalFoxboro’s Brendan Tully and Bobby Yerardi (assist) each scored twice but the Warriors fell on the road at Newton North. Pete Conley and Shayne Kerrigan each scored once while Ronnie MacLellan had a strong game defensively.

Sharon, 5 @ Shrewsbury, 13 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Canton, 20 @ Quincy, 15 – Final

Foxboro, 9 vs. Notre Dame Academy, 18 – Final

Mansfield vs. Ashland, 4:30

Sharon, 11 vs. Ursuline Academy, 12 – Final (2OT)Sharon rallied from a four-goal deficit at halftime (9-5) to tie the game at the end of regulation but fell in double overtime to visiting Ursuline Academy. Jenna Goldstein had a team-high six goals, Emma Eberhardt totaled seven points with three goals and four assists, Bridget McManus scored twice, and Mia Lappen had an assist for the Eagles.

Taunton @ New Bedford, 4:00

Boys Tennis
Canton @ Milford – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
King Philip @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Stoughton @ Sharon – Postponed to Thursday, 5/9 at 3:45.
Mansfield @ Taunton, 3:45

Girls Tennis
Milford @ Canton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Oliver Ames @ King Philip – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Sharon @ Stoughton – Postponed to Thursday, 5/9 at 3:45.
Taunton @ Mansfield, 3:45

Boys Volleyball
King Philip, 3 @ Keefe Tech, 1 – FinalKing Philip jumped out to a two game lead and then earned a win in the fourth game to prevent a comeback from Keefe Tech to win 3-1 (25-9, 25-21, 21-25, 25-16). Cam Corey had a strong game for the Warriors, dishing out 39 assists, adding 17 service points and finishing with seven digs. Eric Altobello (13 kills), Jimmy Peterson (10 kills), and Billy Hughes (six kills, block) paced the Warriors’ offense while Kyle Desrochers (10 digs) and Alex Bernhard (four digs) shined defensively.

Milford, 3 vs. Medfield, 0 – Final

Taunton vs. Durfee, 5:00