Neshaminy loses final in extra innings

Lauren Creamer wipes her eyes after Neshaminy's loss.
Lauren Creamer wipes her eyes after Neshaminy's loss.
Posted: June 16, 2013

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Just a couple of feet higher, and things could have ended differently for the Neshaminy softball team in the PIAA Class AAAA state final.

With the Redskins down to their last two outs and trailing by a couple of runs in the 12th inning, junior Jen Walker sent a ball soaring to left field.

Instead of clearing the stadium, it fell a bit short, bouncing off the blue fence at Penn State's Beard Field, and what could have been a tying two-run homer turned into an RBI double.

The Redskins couldn't push Walker across the plate, and their 12-inning battle with Canon-McMillan ended in a 4-3 loss Friday afternoon.

It was the Redskins' first appearance in a state final since 2003, when, coincidentally, the championship also was decided in extra innings.

Neshaminy righthander Lauren Quense and Canon-McMillan's Alayna Astuto were virtually perfect through nine scoreless innings, as Quense gave up only two hits, and Astuto pitched no-hit ball, hit three batters, and walked another.

"You tip your hat to their pitcher," coach Dave Chichilitti said. "She pitched a great game, she moved the ball around, and we didn't start to get on her until the end."

"But my pitcher was just as tough."

Quense struck out 10 and walked only one, intentionally. Astuto fanned 18.

"Personally, I just think we were too eager," Redskins senior catcher Julia McGovern said. "We wanted to win so badly that I think that kind of hurt us. We didn't get in a relaxed state."

The international tiebreaker rule came into play in the 10th inning, with each side beginning an at-bat with a runner at second base.

Previously, Neshaminy (23-3) had stranded four runners on second, and the Big Macs (25-1) had left one on third.

Each team got a run in the 10th and another in the 11th, knotting the game, 2-2.

"We had chances to get that second run in to go ahead and win the game," Chichilitti said. "We didn't get the job done."

A two-run homer by Linda Rush in the top of the 12th inning gave the Big Macs a 4-2 lead.

Walker's RBI double brought the Redskins within a run and gave them a runner in scoring position. But Neshaminy couldn't knock Walker home.

"How we came back and fought, that was great," Quense said. "Sometimes, you don't come out on top."

Eight of the Redskins graduated on Wednesday, ending careers that include a Suburban One National title from this season.

"I got to play my high school years with the greatest group of girls I could ever ask for," McGovern said. "We will be a family forever."

Canon-McMill. 000 000 000 112 - 4 5 0

Neshaminy 000 000 000 111 - 3 4 0

WP: Alayna Astuto. LP: Lauren Quense. 2B: N-Jen Walker HR: CM-Linda Rush.


ONLINE EXTRA

Neshaminy junior Jen Walker looks back at the state final.

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Contact Kate Harman at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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