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High School Softball:
Tenth Inning Explosion Keeps Eagles In First Place

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

The extra innings shouldn't have surprised anyone when you have two pitchers with good control on the mound. Freshman Randi Cifelli has been excellent this season pitching for Highland. Also having a successful start was the veteran Alexis Switenko from Winslow Township (6-2, 4-0). This low scoring game lasted until the tenth inning when Winslow Township scored 6 runs to defeat their Patriot Division opponent 8-2. Switenko recorded the win pitching every inning, striking out 14 and not allowing an earned run.

Coming into this game, the Lady Tartans from Highland were getting noticed winning their first six games. The pitching staff of Cifelli and sophomore Megan Bianchini has given Highland (6-1, 2-1) an incredible boost to their depleted staff after some of the players transferred to the addition of neighboring Timber Creek high school. Before this game, Winslow Township held a one game lead in the divisional standings.

Leadoff batter Misty McErlaine got things start lining a 2-0 pitch to left-center for a double. Two batters later, Alexis Switenko also doubled scoring the first run in the game. Cifelli would settle down and struck out the sides holding Winslow Township to one run. Switenko, now on the mound, also struck out the first 3 batters in the first inning. Highland did score a run in the fourth inning with two outs when Melissa Kerr struck out but the ball got past the catcher. Kerr would score on an error to tie the game.

Switenko was very aggressive defensively on the mound. Any bunt attempts or ground balls near her were gobbled up for the out. Switenko would record four outs and three assists in the field. Also having a good a good game defensively were Highland's Heather Yurick at third base and Amanda Gallagher with a couple of athletic over the shoulder catches at shortstop.

In the top of the eighth inning, McErlaine singled off of reliever Megan Bianchini gave Winslow a one run lead. But Brandi Kavaliauskas singled, stole second and scored on two pass balls to yet again extend this game.

After Katie Chance doubled to the left-center field, Megan Murphy was thrown out in a run-down trying to score. Chance would score the winning run with two outs on an error. Five more runs would score taking advantage of bases on balls. McErlaine (3 hits, 2 runs, RBI), Kasey Steever (3 hits, run), Jona Gerigitan (3 hits, run, RBI) and Jessica Walker (2 hits, run, 2 RBI) highlighted the win for Winslow Township.

Photos by Art Redd

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