Last updated: May 28. 2014 6:33PM - 2750 Views
By - psokoloski@timesleader.com

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KINGSTON - After coming so close to a district title last season, Erika Mackie and the Holy Cross Crusaders weren’t about to miss out on the state tournament again.

Mainly because Mackie rarely missed with her pitches.

Mackie held Holy Redeemer to just four hits over seven suberb innings Wednesday and Abby Anderson’s long RBI double fueled a three-run third inning that broke open Holy Cross’ first-ever district title, a 5-1 victory over the Royals in the District 2 Class 2A championship game at Wilkes University.

“I definitely wanted to come back and show them what we’re made of,” said Mackie, part of a Holy Cross team that lost last year’s district title game to Redeemer on a squeeze bunt.

This time, Mackie put the squeeze on Redeemer’s bats.

The hard-throwing left-hander finished with seven strikeouts - at least one in every inning except the fifth - and surrendered just two walks. Redeemer’s lone run was unearned, coming on a passed ball when Victoria Steinetz reached base on what would have been an inning-ending strikeout.

“Look, you’ve got to give it to her,” Redeemer’s acting co-coach John Bryan said of Mackie. “She dominated. She’s a great pitcher.”

Mackie was in such control, she allowed just two hits - both to Kaya Swanek - through the first six innings.

“I started off slow, then my drop ball really came alive,” Mackie said. “That was pretty steady for me all the way through.”

And when Redeemer made one final threat by putting two runners on base with infield singles in the final innings, Mackie ended any remaining suspense by retiring dangerous Jen Ringsdorf on a soft fly to center field.

“She kept our hitters off-balance,” Bryan said. “She hit the corners very well.”

Meanwhile, Holy Cross kept getting hits at the right times.

After leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, the Crusaders responded with enough runs to put the game away over the next three innings.

Grace Perchinsky lined a hard double to center field, then courtesy runner Hanna Gilhooley raced home with the game’s first run when Olivia Kosin dumped a two-out, two-strike single into right field.

After Redeemer evened the game when Swanek singled and eventually scored on a strikeout/passed ball, the Crusaders cashed in with a three-run third.

Olivia Golay and Gabby Giordano started the rally with singles, and Anderson followed with her booming RBI double to the left-center field gap. Giordano came home on a ground out, and Perchinsky - who reached base in all four of her plate appearances - delivered Anderson with a single past diving shortstop Kristen Coffey for a 4-1 Holy Cross lead.

The Crusaders added their final run when Giordano singled home Lauren Leppo in the fourth inning.

That big advantage didn’t make Mackie ease up much, though.

“I pitch the same way whether we’re 10-running a team or it’s tied,” Mackie said. “I know all their hitters can hit. Like I said, you don’t pitch to the score, you’ve got to pitch to the batters.”

The Royals made a couple more pitches to get back in the game - putting at least one runner on base in each of the final six innings - but ran into some hard luck along the way.

They stranded two runners in the fourth inning, watched a popup to the catcher fall before being turned into a double play in the fifth, and had two runners in scoring position in the final inning before the game ended.

“We went down fighting,” Bryan said. “Give it to them (the Crusaders), give it to her (Mackie), they were the better team today. We have a young team. We’ll be back here again next year.”

Holy Cross`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR

Lauren Leppo 2b`4`1`1`0`0`0`0

Olivia Golay 3b`3`1`2`0`0`0`0

Gabby Giordano 1b`3`1`2`1`0`0`0

Abby Anderson cf`2`1`1`1`1`0`0

Julie Demarco ss`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Erika Mackie p`3`0`0`1`0`0`0

Hannah Henshaw ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0

Grace Perchinsky c`3`1`2`1`1`0`0

Erin Kranick lf`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Olivia Kosin rf`4`0`1`1`0`0`0


Holy Redeemer`AB`R`H`RBI`2B`3B`HR

Chelsea Skrepenak c`4`0`1`0`0`0`0

Jen Ringsdorf 2b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Julie Kosik`lf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kaya Swanek p,3b`3`1`2`0`0`0`0

Katie Gushka 1b`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Olivia Menning dh`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kaitlyn Kaluzeny 2b,ss`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Victoria Steinetz 3b,2b`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Lydia Lawson rf`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kristen Coffey ss,p`3`0`0`0`0`0`0


Holy Cross`013`100`0` - 5

Holy Redeemer`010`000`0` - 1

Holy Cross`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Mackie, W`7`4`1`0`2`7

Holy Redeemer`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Swanek, L`6`8`4`4`1`3


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