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Softball: Bishops, Blue Dons Split Doubleheader

April 6, 2013
By TRACY WATSON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - With two out and no one on in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday, Bishop Donahue softball coach Curt Mele had to be standing at third base wondering what he had to do to get his Bishops to start hitting the ball and get back to their winning ways.

All of a sudden his team answered that question in resounding fashion by collecting six hits and three runs the rest of the way for a come-from-behind victory against stunned sectional rival Madonna.

Senior pitcher Andrea Guzek shook off a tough day at the plate with a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the seventh as Bishop Donahue rallied to overcome the Blue Dons by a 5-4 count in the first game of a doubleheader on Ben's Field at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Sports Complex.

''We had really been struggling, losing five of our last six games coming into (Saturday),'' Mele said. ''The girls needed one for a little bit of a confidence boost and they rallied to get it.''

Trailing 4-2 with two out in the home-half of the sixth, Selena Ghaphery ripped a triple to right field to get things going. Freshman Abbey Mele followed with a run-scoring triple to deep center, her third hit, chasing home Ghaphery to cut the deficit to 4-3.

Coach Mele then got creative, having Megan Rush lay down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to bring Abbey Mele home with the tying run.

After Guzek set Madonna (2-5) down in order in the top of the seventh, Morgan Carroll started the game-ending rally with a leadoff double to right field. Tess Fallova reached on an infield single with the two ending up at second and third.

Following an intentional walk to Sommer South and a fielder's choice, with Carroll being forced at the plate, Guzek ended the game with a shot through the left side of the infield that brought Fallova home.

''The two triples by Selena and Abbey in the sixth were big, but what a great bunt by Megan Rush to tie the game,'' Curt Mele said with a smile. ''Hopefully this will be a pickup for us. Madonna is a young team, but they got to us early.

''We made some nice plays in the field, and the girls really responded and battled when they had to.''

While both teams missed some chances in the early innings, it was still 1-1 until the Bishops (7-5) went ahead on a two-base error and Abbey Mele's first RBI in the fourth. But The Blue Dons pushed across three in the fifth on RBI singles from freshmen Taylor Thompson and Courtney Kazmarek along with a wild pitch to make it 4-2.

Unfortunately for veteran coach Chris Conti, while his team was pounding out 11 hits, it also stranded 10 runners - all in scoring position.

''It's a tough loss, but they got the ball to fall late and there isn't much you can do about that,'' Conti commented. ''We just plain left too many on base and did not take advantage of our opportunities. I am pleased that we hit the ball so well, but we have to be able to get that key hit.

''Donahue had girls that knew when it was time to step up and they got the big hits late to win the game.''

Senior Madison Burchill singled twice and doubled for the Dons while Thompson had two singles and a pair of RBI in a losing effort.

Madonna 8

Bishop Donahue 7

In the nightcap, Taylor Thompson had four hits as Madonna evened things. Emalee Hvizdak added a triple for the Blue Dons, while Amanda Paul hit a double.

Sommer South had three hits for the Bishops, while Katie Scott had a double among two hits and Abbey Mele also added a double.

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