PHILADELPHIA – Last Thursday, Hallahan struggled to get runs against St. Hubert’s– but that certainly was not the case yesterday afternoon when the Mickey Mouse hosted Little Flower in a crucial PCL first round playoff game.
The game started and ended in Hallahan’s favor. Sophomore pitcher Maddy McBride took command of the mound, retiring the first three Little Flower batters in the top of the first inning.
Hallahan’s Skrocki led her team with a bunt to start the bottom of the first and proceeded to steal second base while teammate Kuneck was at bat. Kuneck made in to first, due to a walk, and proceeded to steal second base while Skrocki stole third. McBride hit a single to send Skrocki home for Hallahan’s first scored run of the afternoon. Stermel continued the hitting spree to allow Kuneck to return home, making the score 2-0 at the bottom of the first.
Throughout the next five innings, both teams continued to get on base but Hallahan’s McBride and Little Flower’s sophomore pitcher, Alex Dolan, did an impeccable job getting their teams out of a few jams.
At the bottom of the fourth, Hallahan’s McCormick and Shields found their way to first and second, but Dolan was able to end the inning unscathed.
At the top of the fifth, it was Little Flower’s turn to put pressure on McBride. Passalacqua hit a double with two outs on the board. Lomengelli then hit a single, advancing Passalacqua to third. Lomengelli was then replaced by a base-runner, who managed to steal second. However, McBride kept her composure and was also able to safely end the inning for her team.
Hallahan continued their group hitting effort at the bottom of the sixth with Viola and McCormick each recording a single to get on first and second. Both girls stole third and second and each made it home to enhance Hallahan’s lead 4-0.
But Little Flower was not about to give up. In the top of the seventh, Trahey hit a double and was replaced by a base-runner who stole third. With two outs on the board, Lomengelli hit a single to send the base-runner home to give Little Flower their first scored run of the afternoon. However, McBride was able to record the final out to end the game, sending her team to the PCL Quarterfinal.
“Today both teams made outstanding defensive plays, their (LF) third baseman made and outstanding play and their short-stop, our center fielder even our left fielder ran all the way in and fell underneath the ball to make a play. Both teams are just very competitive when we play each other and it’s always great to play Little Flower win or lose,” said Hallahan’s head coach Keith McFarlane.
Tori Sherwood (left) and Maddy McBride (right) pose for a picture after the game - PSD Photo.
After the game, Little Flower’s senior first baseman Tori Sherwood exemplified great sportsmanship by wishing Hallahan pitcher Maddy McBride the best of luck in the playoffs. Sherwood, recorded her 100th hit while playing against Germantown Friends at the beginning of April. Little Flower’s head coach Dan Milio stated that Sherwood’s on-field leadership will surely be missed and noted a few underclassmen he’s relaying on to fulfill her presence next season.
“The leadership role is going to fall on my third baseman Trahey and my left-fielder Passapacqua. We have a good crop of freshmen that are coming in next year, but it does not make this year any easier,” said Milio. “It’s tough to see my seniors go. Their first year here was my first year here, so I’ve been through the blood sweat and tears with them and it’s tough to see them go.”
For Hallahan, the team has come a long way since last season and the Mickey Mouse will face a true test against No. 2 seed Archbishop Wood on Thursday in the PCL Quarterfinal. Head coach Keith McFarlane has shifted his focus to make sure his team will be well prepared for their upcoming battle against the Vikings.
“The next few days we are going to work on hitting, and hitting and hitting,” said McFarlane. “If we can give run support to our pitcher we can play with anybody. There’s not much more we can tweak. We will have a few pitching sessions, a little fielding, but 90 percent of our practice will be hitting and working on the mechanics and we see it working. Some of the girls who weren’t hitting at all at the beginning of the season have been driving the ball. We are still a very young team so every improvement is great.”