Dedham Softball Falls to Norwood in Late Innings
Pitcher Brooke Sheehan finished with four strikeouts, and allowed just three runners through the first five innings.
For the first four innings of the Dedham-Norwood softball contest Wednesday, pitchers Brooke Sheehan and Lauren Duggan dominated from the circle.
But in the late innings, Norwood's offense came through an earned the 6-0 Mustangs a 5-2 victory.
Dedham's Sheehan had four strikeouts and put just two runners on base - both were left stranded. Norwood senior Duggan fanned seven and battled out of back-to-back jams in the third and fourth innings.
"It didn't go our way, but we wanted to win. That's where our mentality is at with this group," Dedham coach Erika Eisenhunt said. "I think we are stronger at-bat than we have been in the past."
Dedham broke through in the fifth with as right fielder Brianna Dozier slid under Duggan's tag at home plate after a passed ball.
"It was nice to get the first run for sure," Eisenhunt said.
The Dedham bench exploded in jubilation as the Marauders went on top of their rival, but Eisenhunt said she knew not to count on a 1-0 lead to hold.
"The first thing I said was, 'just pretend nothing happened, just be calm, be collected and make the plays.' It's good to be up early, but clearly you're playing Norwood. I'm not going to get super excited," she said.
And, unfortunately for the Marauders, it was in the top of the sixth that Norwood erased the deficit.
The Mustangs tied the game when Ali Maloof came around to score on a throwing error to first base by catcher Nicole Perosino as she tried to throw out Sarah Eckhardt.
Norwood then loaded the bases, and took the lead when a walked forced in pitcher Lauren Duggan.
What proved to be the game-winning run came on a bang-bang play at home plate. Kayla Garcyznski laid down a bunt fielded by Perosino, but when the Dedham catcher turned around, a sprinting Jill Sheppard slid under her tag.
"They have to understand how important small ball is. Small ball put us back into the game," Savino said.
Dedham went quietly in the bottom of the inning and Duggan notched another of her 13 strikeouts.
"Lauren has a tendency to have people hit her the second or third time through because she doesn't vary [her pitches]. She, toward the end of the game, started using her changeup more. I give her credit for that, because that helped her," Savino said.
Norwood added insurance in the seventh when two passed balls allowed Maloof to score, and a hard triple by freshman Emily Kelly drove in Duggan.
"[Kelly] just went right after that pitch. Brooke [Sheehan] threw her out [in front] a little bit and she," Savino said.
Norwood improved to 6-0 on the season and Dedham dropped to 5-2, with both losses coming this week.
"The one thing I said after Monday's loss was the only way we can come back and turn people's heads is if we beat Norwood. It didn't happen that way, but I think the girls get confidence from it," Eisenhunt said.