Mama’s Girls win women’s softball championship

Mama’s Girls win women’s softball championship

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Nicole Cancellare hits a rocket up the middle for the Snaps. — Photo by Michael Cummo

In two games of intense softball, the Mama’s Girls came out victorious, defeating the reigning champion Snaps 8-5 to claim the 2014 women’s softball title.

Snaps pitcher Susan Stephenson pitched in relief in both games.
Snaps pitcher Susan Stephenson pitched in relief in both games.

The Mama’s, previously undefeated in the playoffs, hosted the Snaps who had one loss. Because the tournament structure is double elimination, the Snaps had to win two games in a row to claim the title.

With a four  presidential helicopter flyovers kicking off game one, the Snaps started out hot and stayed that way. Snaps infielder Lauren Merry knocked in Crystal Roy with an RBI single for the first run of the game, and the Snaps poured it on from there. The Snaps led 3-1 going into the fifth inning but exploded for six runs, making the score 9-1. Back to back RBIs for Ryan Gold and Crystal Roy kickstarted the rally, and pitcher Chrissy McCarthy contributed to her own cause with a 2 RBI double.

With a patient approach at the plate, the Snaps continued to dominate, going into the bottom of the seventh inning with a 14-1 advantage. The Mama’s fought back, though, and strung together a four-run rally culminating in pitcher Jillian Sedlier’s two-run home run. But it was not enough as the Mama’s fell in game one, 14-5.

Mamas infielder Jamie Forend attempts to tag a Snaps baserunner but is moments too late.
Mamas infielder Jamie Forend attempts to tag a Snaps baserunner but is moments too late.

The second and decisive game was played under the lights, mere minutes after the first ended. The pitchers remained the same, Chrissy McCarthy for the Snaps and Jillian Sedlier for the Mama’s, but this time the Mama’s came out swinging. Down 1-0 after a first inning RBI single for Ryan Gold, the Mama’s took their first lead of the night after a Jillian Sedlier RBI sac fly and a bases loaded RBI for Caroline Davey, making it 2-1 Mama’s. They would not look back after that.

An RBI single from Lauren Williston extended the lead in the second inning to 3-1. The top half of the third showed tremendous defense by the Mama’s, particularly shortstop Danielle Pappas, who made an inning-ending diving catch to keep the lead intact. Snaps pitcher Chrissy McCarthy ran into trouble in the bottom of the third, when she initially struck out the first two batters, but then walked the next five, which scored two runs and put the lead at 5-1, Mama’s. Susan Stephenson came on in relief for the second game in a row and immediately ended the inning with a strikeout.

Danielle Pappas kept another run off the board in the top of the fourth, diving and snagging a hard ground ball to keep it in the infield. In the bottom of the inning, Caroline Davey extended the Mama’s lead with a booming bases-loaded double, clearing the bases and extending the lead to 8-1.

The Mama's celebrate winning the league championship.
The Mamas celebrate winning the league championship.

The Snaps had opportunities to fight back but could not bring baserunners home. In the fifth they left two baserunners on and in the sixth they stranded three, missing the most of good opportunities to fight back. The Snaps did show some punch, but it was too little too late. In the bottom of the seventh, pitcher Chrissy McCarthy hit a monster double, scoring two. Moments later, a Mama’s throwing error led to another run. Two more were tacked on with a double, but ultimately Mama’s pitcher Jillian Sedlier was able to pitch through it and end the game, 8-5, breaking the Snaps championship streak and giving the title to the Mama’s Girls.