Dutchtown gets upset by Chapelle in the first round

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
First baseman Bria White and the rest of the Dutchtown offense could only generate six hits against Chapelle. Photo by Dewey Keller.

Like they had done many times this season, the Dutchtown bats came alive late as they mounted a desperate rally in their first-round playoff game against Archbishop Chapelle.

But a four-run hole proved to be too deep. The Lady Griffins simply ran out of innings and fell 4-3--bringing their season to an abrupt end.

"I'm disappointed we didn't push through, but I thought they fought back pretty hard toward the end, but they (Chapelle) have a good team," Dutchtown head coach Nancy Ensminger said. "They're a good hitting team; they put the bat on the ball. They made our defense have to work, and we made some mistakes here and there."

The hot bats of Chapelle caused most of their damage in the first four innings.

Pitcher Samantha Mracich led off the game with a double into centerfield.

Ali McCoy then walked Katie Stanich, and Mracich was brought home with a blooper into right by Natalie Romano.

The Lady Chipmunks carried the 1-0 lead into the third inning, and Romano came through again. She belted out a double against the wall at left-center.

Rachel Ledet then brought her home with an RBI double into leftfield.

Kelsey Conley then got on with a base hit, and Kaylin Grace brought her home with an infield RBI single to stretch the Chapelle lead to 3-0.

In the fourth, the Lady Chipmunks scored their final run of the game.

Randi DeArmitt led the inning off with a double. Stanich then got on base with a fielder's choice, and Romano loaded the bases when she got on board as a result of a Dutchtown fielding error.

Emily Belanger then collected an RBI with a blooper into rightfield that gave Chapelle a commanding 4-0 advantage heading to the fifth inning.

It was looking like a lost cause for the Lady Griffins. Down four runs, they still had only two hits against Mracich--both of which never left the infield.

Finally, in the bottom of the fifth, Taylor Heck gave Dutchtown a spark as she sent a two-outs single into leftfield. She then reached second after a wild pitch by Mracich.

Bailey Gilleon fed off of the momentum and produced an RBI single. The speedy Gilleon eventually reached third on a passed ball to the catcher and then scored after another Mracich wild pitch.

Trailing 4-2, the Lady Griffins chipped away at the lead again in the sixth.

Bria White got on base with an infield single. Kayla Prestenbach came on as a curtsey runner.

She reached second after a wild pitch and while the Lady Chipmunks were distracted with trying to get Hope Vezinat out on an infield single, Prestenbach came all the way around to score and cut the deficit to 4-3.

It all came down to the Dutchtown bats. They were down to their last three outs--only needing one run to tie and two to win it in scintillating fashion.

But Mracich came through like she had most of the game. After retiring the first two Lady Griffins, she ended the game in style--striking out Blayne Pence and chalking up the big upset win for the Lady Chipmunks.

Along with going 2-5 from the plate, Mracich struck out four batters from the circle and only gave up six hits--only two making it out of the infield.

"I thought she did a good job of keeping it low and making us put the ball in play, and they made the plays they're supposed to make behind her," Ensminger said. "She got behind on some batters later in the game, and we capitalized on some of that. That made a difference in putting up some runs later in the game, but we didn't hit well enough."

No Lady Griffin was able to collect multiple hits. Gilleon had the best day--finishing 1-3 with Dutchtown's lone RBI.

Conversely, Chapelle consistently put the bat on the ball--collecting a total of 15 hits.

DeArmitt went 3-5, Grace went 2-4 with an RBI and Romano went 2-5 with an RBI.

Even though the season ended much sooner than expected, Dutchtown still had a great year--finishing 21-10 overall and earning the No. 11 seed in the playoffs.

"I think our girls did some good things this year. I think they did the best they could," Ensminger said. "We made it to the playoffs. I wish we could have gone further, but all things must come to an end."

Even though this loss stings, Coach Ensminger can't help but be excited about the bright future her program has ahead of it.

"Next year, we're going to have a good senior class. We had a lot of juniors this year--a lot of juniors and sophomores," Ensminger said. "That's really the meat of our team, so we're going to have a pretty mature team next year. I'm hearing that we're going to have a really talented freshman class come in, so I look forward to the future."