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Late-inning rallies break open close game as Oakcrest softball tops Holy Spirit 10-3

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By DAVE O’SULLIVAN Publisher ABSECON — Scoring a run on consecutive pitches with a single and a bunt — impossible, right? A wacky play on Logan Day’s single up the middle in the sixth inning helped break open a tie game and propel the Oakcrest softball team to a 10-3 win over host Holy Spirit on Monday afternoon. Day led off the top of the sixth by lacing a single up the middle, and an error in the outfield allowed her to reach second. She then displayed some heads-up base running by taking third when the return throw to the infield got away. On the very next pitch, Christina Crenny bunted Day home with a safety squeeze, and Crenny reached first on a low throw. That started a three-run rally that gave the Falcons a 5-2 lead, and Oakcrest tacked on five more insurance runs in the seventh to cruise to a win in a game that was tightly contested for the first five innings. Oakcrest first baseman Emily Ohlson tries to dig out a low throw on a ground ball hit by Holy Spirit's Brianna Barretta. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) Oakcrest first baseman Emily Ohlson tries to dig out a low throw on a ground ball hit by Holy Spirit’s Brianna Barretta. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) “Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always been taught to take the extra base, so every time I can see it, I try to take it,” Day said. “A lot of this season depends on the concept of believing in yourself. It’s weird, when they get down they start playing a little better rather than being focused and fired up from the beginning. They might seem like they are down in the dumps, but somebody produces a spark and they all follow suit,” said Oakcrest coach Jason Hearn. “It’s nice to see that it becomes a team effort when they realize they are in the game.” Day finished with a hit, a walk, two runs scored and an outfield assist, when she cut down a Holy Spirit runner at third base in the bottom of the sixth inning. “Our trouble this year has been with two outs and letting the other team get extra opportunities. That’s something we’ve been trying to focus on, and today Logan came up with that shoot from center,” Hearn said. Day said she didn’t hesitate in making the long throw to third base despite her team holding an 8-run lead at the time. Holy Spirit's Marisa Napolitano delivers to the plate during the Spartans' game against Oakcrest on Monday. Holy Spirit’s Marisa Napolitano delivers to the plate during the Spartans’ game against Oakcrest on Monday. “I always throw it, every chance I get. I always practice at home with my dad, ever since I was little,” Day, a senior, said. “That’s always been my biggest thing, my arm (from center field).” Oakcrest (3-9) got the early lead in the top of the first, but Holy Spirit rallied to tie the game 1-1 on an RBI double by Brooke Hallett that plated Julia Rifici. The Spartans went ahead 2-1 in the second when Christine Conaghy raced around to score from second on an infield single by Brianna Barretta. The Falcons tied the game in the third on an RBI single by Emily Brown. Holy Spirit pitcher Marisa Napolitano held the Falcons in check until the sixth, when three errors helped Oakcrest rally to take the lead for good. Oakcrest’s 5-run seventh inning was highlighted by a two-run single up the middle by Jess Liepe and RBI singles by Brown and Brielle Potenski. Logan MacIntosh picked up the win inside the circle for the Falcons. “We started off the season a little rough, so it’s nice to get a win. Especially since we are all best friends, we feel like we have each other’s backs. It feels really good,” Day said. Hearn said the biggest challenge he has faced this season is getting his team to believe that it has the talent to compete in a very good Cape-Atlantic League American Conference. “I think sometimes they have to understand that they are in every game, it’s just a matter of what they want to put into it,” Hearn said. “It took us until the fifth inning to say, ‘hey, it’s still 2-2, we are still in this. We’re struggling, but we can still put this together.’ It just took a couple of little things here and there, and they were able to put it together.” Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays [adsense]

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