They say defense wins championships.
But what happens when both teams have superb pitching and solid defense?
A fluke error wins the game.
King Philip softball fell short in their attempt at a three-peat at the state championship, falling 1-0 in the D1 South Finals to Bridgewater-Raynham.
After picking up two quick outs in the top of the 12th, B-R sophomore Madi Shaw blooped one into right field that just landed foul. Senior Rachel McCall then drew a full-count walk to put runners on first and second. KP ace Meg Rico fired a pitch to Chelsea Correira as both Shaw and McCall took off running.
And then, it happened.
Senior and UMass-bound catcher Olivia Godin (who had already caught a runner at first earlier in the game), fired a throw to try and get Shaw out at third. The throw went into left field, though, and Shaw scampered home to score the only run of the game.
The Warriors had a chance to answer in the bottom half of the 12th with the top of their order up, but B-R ace Audrey Dolloff was able to close to out and secure the D1 South Softball Championship for the Trojans.
“We’re a team that typically doesn’t make mistakes and it was a very uncharacteristic mistake,” KP head coach Jim Leonard said. “You’d like to see a win on something that’s a real good, clean play. But it is what it is. They played hard, they have nothing to hang their head on.”
Rico went the distance for the Warriors and as usual, didn’t disappoint. She had 17 strikeouts while scattering six hits throughout the game.
“We didn’t get enough base runners today,” he said. “You go from scoring 13 runs one game to none this game.”
And normally, pitchers aren’t on the same level as Rico. But Dolloff equaled her, only allowing three hits and racking up seven strikeouts.
“For a lot of third strike changeups, her location was real good,” Leonard added. “They mixed up locations enough to keep us off balance.”
King Philip will lose eight seniors to graduation including Rico (George Washington), Olivia Godin (UMass-Amherst) Meg Carnase (Colgate), Cayleigh McCarthy (Stonehill), Hailey Mullen (Holy Cross), Amy Nolan (Curry), Alyssa Siegman (Harvard), and Annie Shielber (Dominican).
For a player that has been so important to the success of the program the last four years, Leonard was sad to see the bad fortune happen to his catcher.
“Your heart breaks for her,” Leonard said of Godin. “She’s been a stalwart for four years. For the mistake to come from her, it’s tough.”