Every once in a while, that crazy crack in the sidewalk can jump up out of nowhere and make even the best of walkers stumble.
The Garaway Lady Pirates had one such moment in suffering their first Inter-Valley Conference loss recently.
Newcomerstown scored five runs with one out in the bottom of the seventh for a stunning win over Garaway. The Trojans comeback effort actually started in the sixth inning. With no outs, Newcomerstown loaded the bases, chasing Pirates starter Allison Luneborg, who had looked strong until that point. Kassidy Reidenbach entered the game, fanning the first two batters she faced before ending the rally with a ground out.
At that point it looked like Garaway had dodged a bullet and was on the way to win number 23.
However, on senior night in Newcomerstown, the Trojans had one last chance and they made it count.
Reidenbach retired the first batter in the bottom of the seventh with a ground out. Facing a 2-2 count, Rachel Hinton was hit by a pitch, and that started a string of at bats that ended with a win for Newcomerstown. Thornton singled just inside the first base line, sending Hinton to third.
Makenzie Moner followed with a single to left, cutting the Pirate lead to 4-1. Riley Kellish ignited the Trojans crowd when she hammered a shot over the center field fence for a three-run homer, knotting the game a 4-4.
Karlee Peach kept the rally going by drawing a full count walk. After the walk, the Pirates went back to Luneborg in the circle. Jayde Bricker greeted her with a double, putting the winning run at third with still only one out. Morehead came to the plate and hit a routine grounder to third baseman Kassidy Reidenbach. Reidenbach threw to first for the out. Peach broke for home on the play and scored the winning run when the rushed throw bounced past the plate.
The Pirates squandered an early opportunity prior to a big third inning. Garaway loaded the bases with one out in the second, but a pair of pop ups enabled Newcomerstown ace Jayde Bricker to get out of the inning.
Kendall Reidenbach led off the third with a double. Abby Detweiler reached on a dropped third strike, sending Reidenbach over to third. A grounder to second by Hannah Halstead put the Pirates on the board as Reidenbach scored. Detweiler moved to third on the play. Kaitlyn Stress stroked a double into the left field gap, scoring Detweiler. After a walk to Luneborg, Kassidy Reidenbach lined a single down the left field line to bring Stress home. Reidenbach moved to second on the play. Now up 3-0, with two runners in scoring position, the Pirates were unable to extend the lead.
In the fourth inning, Garaway put runners at second and third with two outs. Bricker picked up a huge out when she struck out Stress to end the inning.
Meanwhile, Luneborg was cruising through the first five innings, scattering two hits while striking out nine Trojans.
Pinch hitter Madison Steiner led off the top of the sixth with a double. Steiner moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Zoe Johnson. Kendall Reidenbach followed with a fly ball to left, sacrificing Steiner home. With two outs, Detweiler and Halstead singled, putting runners at first and third. Once again the Pirates could not capitalize and Bricker ended the inning with a routine fly to center.
The game started to slip away from the Pirates in the bottom of the sixth, when Moner and Kellish started the inning with a pair of singles. Peach walked to load the bases, and that’was when Reidenbach entered the game and got her team out of the jam.
The Pirates, as was the case all game, put a runner in scoring position in the top of the seventh but failed to get the clutch hit. Luneborg led off with a walk and moved to second with no outs.
Luneborg was the 10th runner left stranded on base, eight of those in scoring position. The lost opportunities allowed Newcomerstown to stay within striking distance; and they did just that, with their incredible come from behind win in the final at bat.