Dutchtown gets walkoff single to squeeze by St. Joseph's

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Dutchtown's Bailey Gilleon. Photo by Dewey Keller

A week earlier, sloppy defensive play lost a game for Dutchtown as St. Amant exploited their mistakes to blow the Lady Griffins out 13-4.

But this time around, shoddy defensive play earned them a victory.

Down to their final out and trailing by one run, a routine grounder to short made a Lady Griffins loss just a simple throw away. Unfortunately for St. Joseph's Academy, that throw went over Abbie Beary's head.

The error allowed Blayne Pence to get on base but most importantly, it gave Dutchtown new life.

Just a few batters later, Bailey Gilleon collected her fourth hit of the game. This one was a walkoff infield single that allowed Pense to come home and give the Lady Griffins the thrilling 9-8 victory.

"We capitalized on their mistakes," Dutchtown head coach Nancy Ensminger said. "There at the end, that was the last out. We made them have to make the play, and it didn't happen, so it worked out to our advantage."

Things started off shaky for the Lady Griffins as they quickly fell down 2-0 in the first.

Kayla Orgeron got the start from the circle and walked her first two batters. Beary then brought both of them home with a two-RBI single.

Dutchtown responded in the second with a huge five-run inning.

Orgeron led off with a single down the rightfield line, and Hannah Schexnailder brought her home with a single of her own.

Gilleon then reached base with a double--giving way to a Hope Vezinat three-run blast over the centerfield wall to give the Lady Griffins a 4-2 lead.

But the fifth-inning fireworks weren't done just yet. Ali McCoy was the very next batter, and she hammered a solo blast over the leftfield wall to give Dutchtown a comfortable 5-2 advantage.

"That's always good, but I'm the kind of coach that doesn't want to be up just a few runs," Ensminger said. "I want to put in runs every inning; I want insurance. That inning definitely pumped us up. I just wish we would have scored more."

St. Joseph's trimmed it down to 5-3 to start the third with an RBI double by Beary. It didn't faze the Lady Griffins.

In the fifth, Jessica Crum was intentionally walked, and Royelle Cobb produced an RBI single. After a Red Sticker fielding error, Dutchtown took a comfortable 7-3 lead into the sixth inning.

The comfort didn't last long.

Beary walked to start the sixth, and Abby Gilbert and Angelle Suire produced back-to-back singles to load the bases.

That's when Bailey Thornhill came to the plate and crushed a grand slam to stun the Lady Griffins and tie the game at 7.

Dutchtown looked rattled in the seventh as Pence dropped a routine fly ball in centerfield that allowed Emily Labatot to get a double.

Labatot eventually came home on a sacrifice grounder by Callie Boatner. It was the sixth straight run for St. Joseph's as they regained the lead at 8-7.

With the Lady Griffins running out of chances, Cobb led off the bottom of the seventh with a single.

Pence then reached base on a two-outs throwing error to first. Not only did she get on, the costly mistake allowed Cobb to come home for the tying run.

The mistakes kept coming for the Red Stickers as a passed ball to the catcher allowed Pence to get all the way to third.

That's when Gilleon laid down a grounder and blazed to first base to beat out the throw by an eye lash. The amazing hustle play by Gilleon allowed Pence to come home and give the Lady Griffins the walkoff win.

Not only did Gilleon send the winning run home, she went 4-5 overall with the huge RBI.

Cobb chipped in by going 2-4 with an RBI, and Orgeron also went 2-4.

Beary kept St. Joseph's a threat by going 2-3 with three RBIs.

It was a good week for Dutchtown following the disappointing 13-4 loss to St. Amant in a pivotal district matchup from a week earlier. The Lady Griffins responded by going 3-1.

"I think we've learned from it, and we have to move on. We've lost a few games this year other than St. Amant; that's not our only loss," Ensminger said. "I don't think the score indicated how well we did, but I don't think we carried it into any other games. We got focused and learned from what we did wrong and moved on."

Dutchtown is still in very good position at 19-5 overall and 6-1 within the district.