SEWELL--Every day in the Tri-County Royal Division presents a challenging task.
For GCIT on Tuesday, it was all about limiting the damage of the Clearview lineup and taking advantage of the final opportunity at the plate.
The Cheetahs used three runs in the bottom of the seventh to earn a walk-off win over Clearview 4-3.
“We were just saying it’s the same thing as last year where you have to play them tough and come from behind to win,” GCIT head coach John Holland said.
The victory moved GCIT to 3-1 in the Royal and 5-2 overall. The Cheetahs sit behind Kingsway and Williamstown, both still undefeated in division play, after Tuesday.
“We’re 3-1 now in division and that gives you a chance to sit back and breathe a little bit,” Holland said. “We have WIlliamstown on Friday and Hammonton on the following Monday.”
The Cheetahs were already in a celebratory mood before their walk-off win, as Kylie Lacerte picked up her 100th career hit in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI double to left field.
“I was a little nervous,” Lacerte said. “I was happy because I really needed a hit. The first two at-bats didn’t go too well.”
“Coach Holland had to tell me to stop thinking because I was thinking too much. I just thought see the ball and hit the ball and it happened.”
“Very happy for her, She was nervous the whole game,” Holland said. “I told her just to relax, forget that everybody’s here. If it comes, it comes. When it comes, the relief comes as well.”
The visiting Pioneers received a two-run double from Rachel Albertson and a RBI double from Elaina Hansen, but other than that, they were kept under wraps by GCIT pitcher Chase Swank.
“Chase did an excellent job from keeping them from hurting us really bad,” Holland said. “It’s happened in the past that Hansen has just clocked balls off us. We did well with their power hitters.”
“Elaina’s hit a few home runs off of us,” GCIT first baseman Keiya Moncilovich said. “It’s been detrimental to past games so keeping her under control was great.”
After loading the bases down by two runs in the final frame of the game, Moncilovich hit a hard line drive off the glove of Clearview pitcher Nina Rizzo. The ball skirted over to the left side of the infield and allowed Lacerte and Briana Wilky to cross home plate.
“We just had to get our attitude straight and focus on hitting the ball. We really needed to find the holes and we did.”
There’s no question what impact the win over Clearview will have for the rest of the season on the GCIT team, starting with a boost in the confidence department.
“It was definitely relieving, We got crazy power points from that game,” Moncilovich said.
“It’s very important because it’s going to carry on over for the rest of the season,” Lacerte said.