The Mt. Hope Softball team rode the momentum of a massive fifth inning to take a solid victory in Portsmouth Thursday afternoon, beating the Patriots, 10-7.
After allowing four runs to Portsmouth in the bottom of the fourth, the Huskies rallied to score six times in the fifth frame, proving to be too much offense for the Patriots in Mt. Hope’s first divisional win of the season on April 4.
“This was only our second [league] game of the season, but our bats finally came alive,” said head coach Steven Zina. “We’re playing well considering we haven’t had much outdoor practice time before we started playing games.”
Junior pitcher Jessica Delawder grabbed the win in her second start of the year, pitching a complete game while striking out six and allowing seven runs. Portsmouth’s Torianna Kirby took the loss for the Patriots, allowing eight runs over 4-plus innings of work.
After a scoreless first inning, Mt. Hope got on the board in the second when senior Alyssa Gonsalves was walked with the bases loaded and senior Hannah Forsberg came in to score. The Huskies would add another in the top of the third when senior Courtney Amaral sprinted home on a wild pitch and slid under the pitcher’s tag. A couple Mt. Hope errors in the bottom of the inning would allow Portsmouth to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Huskies got their two-run lead back in the top of the fourth on a double to the gap in left center field by freshman Jess Cerce, scoring freshman Maddie Reis on the play.
The bottom of the fourth would be the most challenging for Mt. Hope, as the Huskies surrendered four runs to go from having a 3-1 lead to a having a 5-3 deficit. Delawder would settle down though, and kept the Patriots from scoring more runs despite Portsmouth having the bases loaded with only one out.
The Huskies monster fifth inning started with back-to-back walks taken by Amaral and Delawder, followed by a double by Forsberg to score Amaral, single by senior Alyssa Olsen to score Delawder, and an error that brought in Forsberg. The Huskies successfully chased Kirby from the game without recording an out in the fourth. Mt. Hope tacked on three more runs on singles by Gonsalves and Cerce to score Olsen and junior Caitlyn Benevides, as well as a two-out single by Delawder to score Cerce to give the Huskies a commanding 9-5 lead.
“It was a matter of being patient,” said Zina about the Huskies’ offensive fifth. “We were facing a pitcher slower than most we have faced so far, so we just needed to be patient, and the hitters got it done.”
The Patriots would threaten again in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two runs with two outs to cut the Mt. Hope lead down to just two. Amaral would score an insurance run in the top of the seventh to make it 10-7, and Delawder and the Huskies defense would get out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the bottom of the inning to secure the victory.
The Huskies, who improved to 2-1 overall , next play Monday afternoon, when they will travel to face Middletown, while Portsmouth (0-2) travels to Tiverton Monday for their next game.