Prep Softball — Huskies, Crusaders serve up a thriller at Fortuna

The Fortuna bats came alive just in time to pull out a dramatic come-from-behind win at home to St. Bernard’s in softball on Thursday afternoon.

The Huskies trailed 9-6 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, but rallied to score four runs to win 10-9.

With one out, Jackie Duncan and Morgan Murray each hit a single to begin the rally, before triples by Renee Metz and Paige Johnson tied the game and left the go-ahead run at third.

Olivia Sanchez then laid down a bunt on a suicide squeeze to bring home Paige for the winning run.

With the win, the Huskies improved to 3-2, but it wasn’t all pretty.

The Fortuna bats struggled until the sixth inning, and the team had 11 errors.

Afterwards, head coach Eric Helms praised his players for not giving up and continuing to play hard, even when they were behind.

He added, however, there was room for improvement.

“We have to clean up our defense,” he said. “Our defense has to learn how to shut off big innings.”

When the bats came alive, they made plenty of noise.

Trailing 8-4 in the sixth, the Huskies plated a pair of runs on doubles by Metz and Johnson, and a single by Sanchez.

Johnson finished 3-for-4 with two triples and three RBIs, as well as scoring three times, including the winning run.

Murray also had three hits and scored three runs, while Metz had a double and a triple, drove home two runs, and scored twice.

In addition to her late RBI bunt, Sanchez also had two hits, including a double, and finished with three RBIs.

Consistent pitching

Duncan pitched all seven innings for the win, giving up eight hits and a walk, while striking out two.

“Jackie Duncan has been very consistent in the circle,” Helms said.

For St. Bernard’s, which dropped to 1-5, Ally Del Grande and Emma Wilson each had a pair of hits.

Del Grande, a senior, pitched 6.1 innings, allowing 12 hits, but displayed plenty of control with seven strikeouts and no walks.

She also led the way at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Wilson, a freshman, has been an impressive addition for the Crusaders through the early season and continued to be so against the Huskies, finishing 2-for-5.

Lindsey Davila-Escareno also had a hit and two RBIs.

Fortuna travels for a pair of games in Santa Rosa on Saturday, against Cardinal Newman and Montgomery.

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