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High School Softball:
Crusaders Squeeze Their Way into Postseason

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

By Susan Hall
SJSports Special Correspondent

Paul VI, Bishop Eustace and Camden Catholic have made the race for the Olympic Conference National Division title very interesting. Each of these teams has separated themselves from the rest of the pack as two of the teams are chasing the Irish from Camden Catholic in the standings. Well, it was a chance for Paul VI and Bishop Eustace to battle it out on the softball field and this low scoring game would be decided by a single run and in extra innings. Bishop Eustace would score the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning off the bat of Stefany Graham’s sacrifice bunt with Kelly Blake charging home with the 2-1 victory and a trip to the playoffs.

This game started off with each team looking to take advantage of any opportunity the other team provided. Through three full innings, neither team was able to score a run but both had opportunities handed to them. It wasn’t until the top half of the fourth inning Paul VI broke the scoreless tie by scoring a run. Bishop Eustace would tie the game during the bottom of the fifth and that’s the way the score remained through regulation. Starting pitcher Noelle St. Clair would finally be rewarded for her efforts when Kelly Blake singled and eventually move to third base with Graham at the plate. The squeeze play was on and the Lady Crusaders would celebrate the winning run when Blake crossed the plate.

Photos by Frank Crescenti

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