In its season-opener, Trinity Classical Academy softball was staring down a five-run deficit heading into the top of the seventh inning.
But in that small window of time, the Knights worked their way through the entire batting order to score nine runs and take down Albert Einstein Academy 16-13 at Trinity on Thursday afternoon.
“I always tell my team hitting is contagious. So once one started hitting, then they realized they could all hit the ball and make contact,” said Trinity coach Craig Massetto. “They just kept going and they built on their own excitement.”
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The burst was capped by an in-the-park home run from freshman Ariana Ford, who was playing in her first ever softball game.
“To get a home run my first game, my first time I’ve ever played, it felt really good,” Ford said. “I was really happy when I went back to the dugout and everybody was hugging me and screaming. It just made me feel really, really good.”
Trinity led early, but the Rockets built a 12-7 lead that was sparked in the fourth inning when Lelani Miramontez hit a two-RBI single, her first hit of the season.
The Knights had pulled ahead 16-12 by the end of the seventh inning, but the Rockets, who were the home team despite playing at Trinity, had one last chance to pull off a win.
Einstein’s endurance had already been put to the test. It had only played five innings in its previous four games before being mercy-ruled, making Thursday’s game their longest of the season.
The only pitcher available for the Rockets, freshman Amanda Bin, was tiring fast but wouldn’t quit. She recorded five strikeouts by the end of the game.
“(She’s) never pitched that many pitches in her life,” said Einstein coach Mike Blischke. “When I walked out there (with two outs in the seventh), I was going to pull her, but she said, ‘I’m finishing coach.’ That’s grit. And that’s character.”
Trinity pitcher Sarah Howell also pitched a full game and recorded seven strikeouts in the process.
“She’s really good at keeping us motivated,” said Ford. “If someone drops the ball or doesn’t drop the ball or doesn’t make a hit, she’s always the first one to be there and encourage you.”
“Coming out in the first game, I realized how good we are as a team and how well we work together.”