EVESHAM--- Going down by four runs didn’t faze Cherokee much.
The pitcher-catcher combination of Karly Messina and Marissa Ditore made the proper adjustments and the Chiefs went to work at the plate to come back and earn a 5-4 Olympic Conference American Division win over Eastern on Wednesday.
“I think that proves a point that we can come back from anything,” Messina said. “That definitely builds us as players and it shows we trust each other and we can come back from it and in the circle I can trust everyone behind me.”
Cherokee started to bounce back from conceding four runs in the first inning in the second, as Messina and Ditore made adjustments to keep the Vikings off balance.
“Me and Marissa work really well together calling different pitches for different players,” Messina said. “The girls in the dugout keep a pitch chart to see where they are hitting the balls. We can definitely use that and fix it.”
“I’ve been working with her for five years so we can read each other’s minds at this point and we just blend nicely,” Ditone said.
Cherokee’s bats came alive in the fourth, as Ditone finished off a string of three straight hits with a RBI single.
“You love to see hitting 1 through 9,” Cherokee head coach Mary Madgey said. “To just put the ball in play and make things happen and that’s what we talked about. Just make contact and try to get on and move runners. We have some speed and use that to our advantage.”
After a three-run fourth, Ditone’s sacrifice fly to deep center leveled the game at four runs apiece in the fifth.
“Everyone has a big role in the lineup,” Ditone said. “Our biggest problem right now is confidence. We get into the box and kind of doubt ourselves. But if we get in the box and we know we are going to hit the ball, then we’re going to do it.”
Then Messina delivered the final blow at the play in the sixth, as she rocked a double to right center to plate the game-winning run.
In addition to earning their first win of the season, the Chiefs also took an early advantage in the Olympic American, where every game matters.
“It’s really big,” Messina said. “It gives us confidence going into the other games, we have another one tomorrow against Lenape, so I think we can bring this momentum and transfer it into the next game.”
Eastern: 400 000 0-4
Cherokee: 000 311 x-5
WP: Karly Messina LP: Leah Rinne. 2B: C: Karly Messina. Jordyn Deveney, Rayla Marsh, E: D'Aaliyah Patterson. 3B: E: D'Aaliyah Patterson, Sam Sawka