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Friday, May 6, 2011

Eastchester Outduels Pelham

 By Sean Faye | Friday, May 6, 2011
 Eagles standout pitcher Janine Lalli (Hurricanes Gold) pitches a gem in a 2-1 victory over Pelham in a softball matchup on Thursday.

 EASTCHESTER, N.Y. - With both pitchers on top of their game, Eastchester’s Janine Lalli was just one step better than Pelham’s Kelly Keith as Eastchester squeaked by Pelham, 2-1 on Thursday.

It was a game that came down to the final out, ending with the tying run in scoring position for Pelham.

The game was tense from the start. After a scoreless first inning, Pelham’s Jill Ayson reached third base with no one out, but Lalli went on to strikeout the next three hitters in order to end the threat.

“I definitely had to make my pitches, they’re a good team,” Lalli said, “I was hitting my spots that inning and I knew it was the bottom of their order and something always clicks in my head that after the fourth batter I have to get outs.”

In the top of the third inning, Pelham again got a runner to third base, this time with two outs, but Lalli again made her pitches and recorded the strikeout to end the threat.

The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when Lalli helped out her own cause by leading off with a home run. Later in the inning, Casey Dell’aera hit a sacrifice-fly to center field, scoring Taylor Delgatto.

“I was actually looking to bunt that at bat because the third baseman was playing so far back,” Lalli claimed, “Thankfully I didn’t, and Pelham always knows how to pitch to me so I was waiting for a pitch to hit and eventually I got it.”

Lalli and Keith then traded zeros in the fifth and sixth innings before Pelham finally broke through in the top of the seventh.

With Ayson on second base with one out, Meghan McDonough hit an infield singe that was thrown away by Eastchester, allowing Ayson to score and Mcdonough to reach second base. Lalli, though, settled down and, in fitting fashion, struck out the next two Pelham batters to end the game.

“Lalli has been bailing us out all year,” Eastchester coach Chris Walpole claimed, “We’ve won every game that she’s pitched and she has to be one of the top three pitchers in the section.”

Game Notes:
Pelham coach Keith Maley gave full credit to Lalli on the home run she hit, claiming it was a good pitch down by the ankles. But Lalli, a Division I player, did what she had to do to put it over the fence… Maley also claimed that what hurt the team the most in the inning was a past ball that allowed Delgatto to reach third and eventually score on the sac fly.

Keys to the Game

1. Defense: With just one error apiece, both teams did not allow “extra outs,” which contributed to the game being so close and coming down to the final at-bat.

2. Pitching: Both pitchers dominated the game.

3. Making it count: Both teams were given opportunities with runners on third and less than two outs. Only Eastchester was able to cash in the run, and that run ended up being the difference in the game.

Eastchester 2, Pelham 1
Pelham (7-5)          0000001       1  2  1
Eastchester (6-1)   000200X      2  4  1

Top Performers:
Janine Lalli (CG, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 ER, 2BB, 15 Ks, hit solo home run)
Pelham: Kelly Keith (CG, 4 hits, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks)

Email Sean Faye at Follow on Twitter @MSG_Varsity

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