East County Sports

Geiger’s blast sends Patriots to semis

Patrick Henry celebrates following the victory on Tuesday. / PH Patriots Athletics

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP SOFTBALL

CIF OPEN DIVISION THIRD ROUND

PATRICK HENRY 9, CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC 8

 

By Adam Paul

DEL CERRO – Trailing by a score of 8-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Patrick Henry Patriots needed something, and with one swing of the bat freshman McKenna Geiger (1-3, 2 R, SB, 3 RBI, HR) did what every ballplayer dreams of as she belted a walk-off three-run homer over the left-field fence to win 9-8 over their league rival, Cathedral Catholic, in dramatic fashion.

Early on though, the #7 seeded Cathedral Catholic Dons would lead 2-0 in the top of the second inning as they took advantage of a pair of Patriot errors.

But the momentum and lead wouldn’t last as Patrick Henry in the bottom of the second inning erased the deficit by pushing across five runs to take a 5-2 lead.

The first runs for #6 seed Patrick Henry came courtesy of a ball hit by Geiger that was misplayed allowing both Dezianna Patmon (1-3, 2 R, RBI) and Savannah Sutton (2-4, 2 R, SB) to score tying the game at 2-2, the next batter Malia Savage (1-2, R, RBI 2B) would rope a double to center field allowing Gieger who was at second base on the error to race around and score to make it 3-2.

Patrick Henry wasn’t done in the inning and later with two outs Jessica DeWitt (1-4, R, 2 RBI) would come up and on a 1-2 count hit a ball to right field that would allow both Gieger and Savage to come in and score to make it 5-2.

The Dons would scratch a run across in the top of the third inning when Anna Herrmann would ground out to bring home Mallory Axline to bring them within 5-3.

Another run by the Patriots would come in the bottom of the fourth inning when Patmon hit a sacrifice fly that allowed DeWitt to tag up and race home to give them a 6-3 lead.

Despite an error by the Dons in the bottom of the sixth inning allowing DeWitt to reach followed by a base hit by Kaiah Altmeyer (2-4), the Pats would come away empty as Olivia Gigante (1-4) would line out an in the process Altmeyer would be thrown out at third for the double play to end the inning.

Down to their final at-bats, the Dons knew they were in trouble but after a walk and a pair of consecutive hit by pitches would load the bases. A couple of batters later with one out up stepped Sereniti Trice who laced a ball to right field for a bases-clearing double which gave the Dons brand new life as the game was now tied 6-6.

Later in the inning both Trice and Axline would come into score when a bunt attempt was misplayed which allowed the Dons to completely erase a three-run deficit and take the lead 8-6.

Now Patrick Henry would be facing their last at-bat needing to get something going and they did as Patmon led off with a base hit which was followed by Sutton doubling to right field to set up the dramatic ending and give the Patriots the victory.

Don’s pitcher Herrmann took the loss allowing nine runs of which all were earned on nine hits over six innings while walking three on the day.

For the Patriots, Gigante received the starting nod allowing eight runs of which four were earned on five hits over seven innings while walking three and striking out seven to pick up the win.

The loss for the Dons officially eliminates them from the Open Division playoffs and they conclude their season 16-9 and 6-2 in league play in which they were Tri-Champions with both Patrick Henry and University City.

Patrick Henry with the victory stays alive and improves to 18-7 and will advance to the semi-finals where they will have a rematch with #2 seeded Rancho Buena Vista who defeated the Patriots previously 10-0. The Patriots will need to beat the Longhorns twice to advance to the championship.

The first semi-final contest will be Wednesday, June 15th at 3:30 PM up in Vista and they will play the second game if necessary on Friday, June 18th.

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