The Vineyard varsity softball team came oh so close to notching its second win of the season in a spirited 16-14 loss to John O’Bryant of Boston, Tuesday afternoon in Oak Bluffs.
Trailing 16-12 in the home half of the seventh inning, Vineyard shortstop Emily Mello hit a towering triple to deep center, knocking in Riley Yuhas, then scored from third on a dead ball to slice the O’Bryant lead to two runs. Twice the Vineyarders had the tying run at the plate, but Tigers pitcher Stephanie Kalambokis stopped the threat, first with catlike reflexes to snare a sharp comebacker, then with a game-ending strikeout.
Tiana Rambonga put the hosts up 1-0 in the first inning with an RBI grounder, and belted a two-run double in the third to answer a four-run Tigers second.
With O’Bryant up 7-3 in the fourth inning, Taylor Hughes, Baylee Francis, Kya Maloney, and Emily Mello all singled as the Vineyarders cut the Tigers lead to 7-6.
O’Bryant scored eight unanswered runs to build a commanding lead, but the gritty Vineyarders responded with a six-run sixth. Alexis Hughes and Myllena DeOliveira earned RBI walks, and Baylee Francis roped a double to clear the bases.
Emily Mello finished with a triple, double, single, a walk, and two RBIs, Baylee Francis and Tiana Rambonga batted in three runs apiece, and Leolani Kaeka had two singles and a walk.
Vineyard pitcher Kya Maloney went the distance, striking out the leadoff batter in the fifth inning.
The Vineyarders are in the midst of an eight-game homestand to close out the season. Excel High School of South Boston visits for a doubleheader on Tuesday at 1:30 and 3:30 pm, and Cape Tech comes ashore for Senior Day on May 30 at 3:15.