Softball comes back to beat Nazareth, 5-2
It wasn't their most well-rounded offensive showing of the season, but every time Nazareth went ahead, the Parkland softball team had an answer at the plate.
After falling behind 2-1 in the fifth when Nazareth chalked up a run in the top half of the inning, the Trojan bats came alive in the bottom of the frame and broke a stretch of four hitless innings. The first six Trojans reached base in the fifth, and Parkland (14-5 overall; 9-4 in LVC) tallied four runs to take a 5-2 lead, a margin they would go on to win by, in last Thursday's game at Parkland High School.
"I think that we didn't adjust to the speed of the pitcher well," said Emma Varrato of the team's early hitting struggles. "Once they brought in the faster pitcher we clicked.
"We never give up. We're a good team like that, and whenever we want to beat somebody we go out and beat them."
Kelly Gruber got the first hit of the evening that started a defining Trojan barrage. Sam Pickar walked before Morgan Rentzheimer and Jordy Augustus tallied back-to-back singles to load the bases for Varrato.
Varrato came up in the biggest of ways, lining a two-run double down the left field line that scored Pickar and Rentzeimer to put Parkland ahead 3-2. Courtney Miller's single then scored Augustus, and Varrato crossed home plate on Madison Marshall's fielder's choice.
"I was just trying to score a run, whether it was a sacrifice fly or a hit," said Varrato. "I'm just thankful that it got past the third baseman and people scored."
The Blue Eagles went ahead 1-0 in the third inning, but the Trojans responded in the bottom half. Pickar and Rentzheimer both walked, and Pickar later scored on a Nazareth throwing error.
The Blue Eagles had two base runners with one out in the seventh, but the Trojans managed to end the game without giving up another run.
"We just had the mentality that we had to go out and get outs," said Varrato. "We just had to finish the game and remain calm through it."
The win kept Parkland's hopes of clinching a LVC playoff berth alive, but a loss to Northampton on Tuesday and Freedom's win over Becahi has closed that door. Both teams have a conference game remaining, but Freedom holds a game advantage in the win column and took both matchups against the Trojans this season.
Rentzheimer earned the win on the mound, allowing two runs on eight hits in seven innings. She struck out four Blue Eagle batters and walked one.
The regular season will come to an end on Thursday as the Trojans travel to Liberty for a 4 p.m. start.
Parkland has qualified for district playoffs. Through Tuesday's games, the Lady Trojans were in second place in the District 11 Class AAAA rankings.