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Fairport's fifth inning overpowers Hilton

By: Dylan O'Loughlin

HILTON, NY --- The 3-5 Hilton Cadets hosted the 3-4 Fairport Red Raiders in a non-divisional girls softball matchup. It was a game of runs in the beginning and both teams battled, but a dominant fifth inning by the Red Raiders was too much for the Cadets as they fell 22-5.

First pitch for Ava Brugno and the Cadets. Photo Credits: Dylan O'Loughlin 89.1 the Point

"We had a lot of grit and we kept fighting back," Hilton Cadets head coach Amy Centola said. "We have had some injuries and we had people play out of position, but everybody tried to step up and help contribute to the overall team."

Both teams started hot in the first inning. Red Raiders' senior outfielder Nicole Allen started things off with a single. Immediately after, senior shortstop Lauryn Smith hit a single and during her at bat Allen stole second. Senior Julia Catalano recorded the first RBI of the game as she hit a sacrifice grounder to first and sent Allen home. Later on in the inning, junior outfielder Waverly Milliman hit another sacrifice RBI that rewarded Catalano with a run of her own. Fairport scored one more time before the end of their at-bat as senior Makayla Strack sent senior Isidoria Hurlbut home.

In the bottom of the first, Hilton was able to respond. Senior Lucy Murphy led things off with a single as she hit a ball over second base. Senior Sienna Olney followed that up with a bunt that got her on base after an error at first base. She ended up getting out at second as she tried to steal the base during next at bat. Madison Murphy gave Hilton their first run of the game after she hit a single to send (Lucy) Murphy home. The Cadets didn't stop there. (Madison) Murphy went on to steal third base and got the Cadets in scoring position. Freshman catcher Jordan Brozak scored the RBI for the Cadets after a sacrifice grounder to first base. The final run of the first inning came from junior Paige Siciliano after an error from first base. The inning ended with a strikeout by Fairport senior pitcher Kailey Gardener and the score was 3-3.

The second was not as action packed. The first two batters for Fairport got out at first thanks to infield plays from shortstop Siciliano to (Lucy) Murphy at first base. Allen hit a double to get on base during the inning, but it didn't matter as Hilton got an out at first on the next batter, this time the throw came from junior Julia Brone.

In the bottom of the second, Hilton got on base right way with two walks. It went back to the top of the order and (Lucy) Murphy hit the ball down the third base line. She made it to first, but the runner was out at third because of it. Following that, Fairport put the inning away as Smith threw an out to first and senior first base Millie Reed followed that play up with catch to keep the score 3-3.

Third inning action. Photo Credits: Dylan O'Loughlin 89.1 the Point.

In the top of the third, Fairport got back to scoring. It wasn't looking good as Hilton started the inning with two outs including a strikeout from junior pitcher Ava Brugno. The next batter got walked and that's all the Red Raiders needed. Junior Mikayala Fiorito was next up to bat and she delivered. She hit an RBI single and sent Milliman home. Reed followed that up with a bomb over the left fielder's head, not only giving her an RBI, but a triple as well. The hitting got contagious. Next at bat was senior Emma Johnson, and she racked up an RBI sending Reed home after a hit down the first base line for a double. The inning ended after that with a play from Madison Murphy to Lucy Murphy at first base that got the final out.

Hilton did not go away. Siciliano hit a triple to start the inning for the Cadets and stole home at the next at-bat to cut the lead to two. Fairport recovered defensively though and caught two line drives, one from Smith and the other from junior pitcher Lana Wood. Wood then struck out the next batter to end the third and the score was 6-4.

In the fourth, it looked just like the third inning for Fairport. They found themselves with two outs right away and no one on base after a pitcher change for Hilton. Again, the Red Raiders recovered as Catalano sent a shot between center and right field to get on second base. Hurlbut stepped up to the plate next, and hit another double, this time it was a ground ball through second base and that got Catalano home. Milliman hit a single after as the ball went between first and second, allowing Hurlbut to be rewarded for her RBI and score a run of her own. The inning went from top to bottom after another (Madison) Murphy-to-(Lucy) Murphy play at first base to get the runner out.

The Cadets had five players go up to the plate, and all five had singles. They were only able to score once though as the Red Raider's made two plays at second when Hilton tried to steal. (Madison Murphy) was able to get an RBI in the inning before the fifth as she sent sophomore outfielder Juliana Saporito home. The score at the midway point was 8-5.

"I feel that sometimes we don't go up to the plate with confidence and I feel like today we did," Madison Murphy said. "Some of our players were able to go up there and hit the ball really hard so I feel like we did really well on that."

Once it hit the fifth inning, everything changed in Fairport's favor. They shut down Hilton for the rest of the game as the Cadets did not score. Then on the offensive side, they kept getting better. Hilton was up two outs once again, but the top of the order came for the Red Raider's, and they did not look back. Allen went up to bat with a runner in scoring position on third and two outs and the pressure did not faze her. Allen hit a single to send the runner home and that started the Red Raider's run. Allen was just the first to tally one of four RBIs this quarter and six runners scored for Fairport. When Hilton was up to bat, their first three batters all got out at first and found themselves in a much deeper hole, 14-5.

Hilton Cadets with the bases loaded. Photo Credits: Dylan O'Loughlin 89.1 the Point

"I mean, they hit the ball really well," Lucy Murphy said. "We made a few errors, but I thought that we moved on from our errors and moved on to the next play and made plays when we needed to."

It was much of the same through the sixth and seventh. The Red Raider's tallied up eight more runs before the final pitch and Hilton couldn't get anything going offensively. The Cadets made contact with the ball every time at bat, but the defense of Fairport was too much for them as the Red Raider's made no errors in the final half of the game.

For the Cadets, Madison Murphy led the way with a run and two RBIs. Lucy Murphy, Saporito, and Siciliano finished with one run scored and Brugno finished with an RBI to her name. On the Fairport side, Hurlbut led the way with four runs scored and one RBI, Reed had four RBIs and two runs scored, and Catalano had three RBIs and runs scored.

"I thought that we learned a lot mentally and physically," Lucy Murphy said. "I think we just take a reset. Come back on Thursday in our next game away at Spencerport. I think we mentally struggled a little bit after we lost one of our players from injury. But I think Thursday we'll come back ready to win."

Fairport improves to 4-4 on the season and look ahead to a week from now as they take on Rush-Henrietta on April 29th. On the other side, the Hilton Cadets have a quick turnaround as they go on the road to take on the Spencerport Rangers this Thursday, April 25 with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.

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1 Comment

Awesome write up!!

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