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Princeton pitcher Madison Menzel (right) throws to home plate to force out Bureau Valley’s Caitlyn Scott (left) during the fifth inning of Friday’s non-conference game in Manlius. Scott was out on the play but Princeton’s throw to first to attempt the double play got away from the first baseman and allowed BV to score the go-ahead run. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
Bureau Valley second baseman Dana Kepner (left) readies to throw to first baseman Shelby Weborg for a force out in Friday’s game Three Rivers Conference crossover against Bureau County rival Princeton. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
MANLIUS — After the Princeton softball team allowed five runs in the seventh inning and fell to Orion Thursday for its eighth straight loss, Tigresses coach Bob James addressed his team.
“We had lost eight in a row, and I challenged them (Thursday) night after our tough loss to have character and not quit,” James said.
A day after their heartbreaking 5-3 defeat, Princeton answered the challenge Friday at Bureau Valley.
After two unearned runs put Tigresses down by two in the Three Rivers Conference crossover in Manlius, PHS rallied in the top of the seventh as it scored four runs to pull out a 6-4 victory over its Bureau County rival.
“I am satisfied with the girls that they never quit,” James said. “They came back and battled at the end. Normally, those are the situations that go against us.” Instead, the Tigresses were able to pull out the win in their final at-bat.
“We just didn’t quite get it closed out there at the end, but overall we’re pretty happy with the way we played,” BV coach Brian Humphrey said.
After the Storm scored an unearned run in the fifth to take the lead and added an unearned run in the sixth to push the advantage to 4-2, the Tigresses wasted little time attacking in the top of the seventh.
PHS shortstop Alisa Holmbeck walked to start the inning and catcher Abby Jaques was hit by a pitch from BV pitcher Irini Petros before a perfectly-placed bloop single to right-centerfield by right fielder Julia Bauer loaded the bases with no outs.
First baseman Courtney Oeder tied the game with a two-run single, but back-to-back groundouts to the third baseman put PHS runners at first and second with two outs.
However, the Tigresses continued to push as a walk loaded the bases and an infield single by left fielder Devin Truedson scored second baseman Mollie Bates to give PHS a 5-4 lead.
The Tigresses added insurance a batter later when center fielder Danielle Hughes drew a bases-loaded walk to push the PHS lead to 6-4.
“We played in Amboy (Thursday) night, and (Petros) threw a lot of pitches,” Humphrey said. “She battled tonight, but in that last inning a couple batters got on and it kind of snowballed.”
After the Tigresses took the lead in the top of the seventh, Princeton pitcher Madison Menzel threw her first 1-2-3 inning of the game to seal the win.
“I’m really proud of them,” James said. “They persevered and didn’t quit. They didn’t get down on each other, and they came through.”
Princeton pulled out the win in a game that was back-and-forth early.
In the first, BV lead-off hitter Darcy Kepner scored from second on a sacrifice fly by Dana Kepner to give the Storm a 1-0 lead, but a sac fly by Princeton’s Madi Cain in the second tied the game at 1.
Hughes scored in the third on a fielder’s choice to give PHS a 2-1 lead, but an RBI single in the bottom of the third by BV first baseman Shelby Weborg tied the game at 2.
A PHS error in the fifth allowed the Storm to take the lead and a Tigresses error in the sixth led to another BV run that made it 4-2.
However, the Tigresses were able to come back in the seventh.
Bauer finished 2-for-4 with two singles, a run scored and an RBI for PHS (7-13), while Cain was 2-for-3 with a single, double and a run scored.
Menzel picked up the win in the circle as she allowed four runs — two earned — on seven hits.
Petros took the loss for BV (2-12) as she allowed six runs — five earned — on six hits.
Darcy Kepner led the Storm as she went 2-for-2 with two singles, two walks and a run scored.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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