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High School Softball:
Nicholson Strikes Out 23 as Paul VI Outlasts Camden Catholic

Monday, May 6, 2002

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

It was a game that lasted 14 innings that both starting pitchers went the distance looking for that elusive run. Camden Catholic's Anna Dahl and Paul VI's Lauren Nicholson battled each other for just under 3 hours. After Camden Catholic tied this game in the bottom to the seventh inning, the Irish watched Paul VI score one run in the top of the fourteenth inning to finally win this game. Michelle Bochanski circled the bases in the inning to advance Paul VI to a 3-2 win over Camden Catholic.

This was the second time these Olympic Conference National Division opponents have met this season. Paul VI sits on top of this division, with the Irish and Timber Creek closely behind. The Eagles won the previous close battle against the Camden Catholic earlier in the season by a 1-0 score in Haddon Township. As for the Irish, they have been in five previous one run games that they have lost.

The Lady Eagles' starting pitcher went right to work striking out 10 of the first 11 batters she faced through the first 3 innings. Nicholson had control of her pitches mixing the fastball with a good change up to keep the Irish batters unbalanced at the plate. Paul VI would come through for their starting pitcher in the fifth inning when Renee Reid and Kate Warner both scored with two outs.

The Irish finally were able to put a rally together in the bottom of the seventh inning when Dahl lead the inning off with a base on balls. Megan Harper singled to right-center and Christina Tofani reached on base on an error to load the bases with no outs. Jessica Holmes grounded into a fielder's choice force at home to record the first out of the inning. Still with the bases loaded, Tiara Harris sent this game into extra innings with a 2 run RBI single. Harris lined a 2-1 pitch to centerfield that scored Harper and Tofani. Nicholson settled down to record her 14th strikeout through seven innings.

Paul VI had a couple of scoring chances in the eleventh and thirteenth innings with a runner on third base but could not get that key hit. Camden Catholic had the bases loaded in the tenth inning with one out. Nicholson ended that threat when she snagged a line drive off of Harper's bat and doubled off the runner at third to end the inning. The winning run was recorded when leadoff batter Bochanski lined a hit to right-center that got past the outfielders. By the time the throw was made to the infield, Bochanski was rounding third and on her way to the Eagle's road victory.

Photos by Frank Crescenti

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