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Gina Campo scores winning run in 8th inning as Westlake Demons edge Amherst Comets
The Demons rallied from five runs down to force extra innings. In the eighth inning with two outs, Katlyn Nagel hit a sharp grounder which glanced off a Comets’ infielder. It allowed Gina Campo to score from second and give them an 8-7 Southwestern Conference win over Amherst Wednesday.
“This team doesn’t give up,” Westlake Coach Tom Shiban said. “They have a lot of confidence in themselves. They kept battling. We got some big hits at key times.”
After falling behind 6-1 and 7-2, Westlake (9-8, 6-2) scored five times in the bottom of the fifth inning. The key hit was Rachel May’s two-run single which tied the game at seven.
After Westlake pitcher Katie Lew got out of a jam in the seventh inning. She ran into another one in the eighth, Ashlee Dahman lined a double, Lauren Farley tried to score, but an outstanding relay throw by Westlake shortstop Kylie Tinline got Farley out at the plate.
The defensive play gave Westlake a boost with Campo reaching on a walk. She stole second, but Amherst (8-7, 3-5) pitcher Mallory Harrell moved closer to thwarting the threat with a strikeout.
Nagel, who had a double earlier in the game, laced a hard shot. The ball glanced off a glove and rolled away. A late throw to first allowed Campo to race around third and score the winning run.
“I went up there and had confidence,” Nagle said. “I hit her before so I knew I could do it. I had to do it for the team.
“That’s why I love this team. They always fight and have confidence in each other. That’s huge (winning) because we lost (to Brecksville) so I think this really lit a fire in us.”
Nagel’s hit couldn’t have happen if not for the solid pitching of Lew, who came in relief of Erin Brown.
Brown gave up six runs in the second inning with Ashley Ferguson starting things off with an RBI single. Brooklynn Gonzalez capped the big inning with a two-run single to right.
Lew came in the third inning and slowed Amherst down. The freshman right-hander gave up only one run in the five innings she pitched. She struck out eight including three straight in the seventh inning after the Comets had gotten the first two batters on.
“I thought Katie really battled and kept the score close to when she came in,” Shiban said. “She kept it a winnable game for us. Outside of that (one run), she really did a nice job of shutting them down for the last five-six innings.”
The pitching of Lew kept them in the game, but the Demons’ offense woke up in the fifth inning.
Aided by a Comets’ miscue, Westlake had four hits in the inning – including three in a row. Jamie Screen and Julia Porcella each had RBI singles in the inning before May capped it off.
“It’s the same old thing,” Amherst Coach Bill Matthews. “Defensively, we give up too many mistakes. It cost us a few runs and you end up losing the game.
“We’re a young team and we have to stop making those mistakes if we are going to win the close games. We’ll be alright.”
To help settle a young infield, Matthews moved senior Katie Hoerig from her usual catcher’s position to shortstop. Though she hadn’t fielded a grounder all season, Hoerig played well.
Westlake, who is just behind Avon Lake and Brecksville, travels to Avon Lake Thursday. Amherst will travel to Berea.
Westlake 8, Amherst 7 (8 innings)
Amherst (8-7, 3-5) 060 010 00 — 7 10 2
Westlake (9-8, 6-2) 100 150 01 — 8 9 0
TWO HITS OR MORE — Amherst: Lauren Farley, Mallory Harrell; Westlake: Jamie Screen (3); 2B — A: Ashlee Dahman, Harrell; W: Nagel; WP — Katie Lew; LP — Harrell.
Last Updated: 5/1/2013 10:24:00 PM EST