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While many of her teammates weren’t in the mood to smile for a picture with the runner-up trophy, Hannah Bostic made sure they did.
“We worked too hard this year not to smile,” the Cardinal Newman senior said to her teammates.
It wasn’t the ending Bostic, one of the team’s two seniors, had in mind as Wilson Hall defeated Cardinal Newman, 14-4, in the deciding game of the best-of-three SCISA softball championship series Thursday at Camden High School.
“It was a great season,” Cardinal Newman coach Kevin Hogan said. “We battled and battled. But they hit the ball good, played good defense and it was just their night. … They came out to win, played hard and you see who is jumping up and down.
“But I am going to tell my girls, keep your heads up. You played well and it was a great season.”
The Cardinals were trying to win their second straight championship. Cardinal Newman defeated Wilson Hall in 2019 and last year’s season ended early because of COVID-19.
The Cards hoped to use the same formula as they did in 2019. They dropped the opening game of the series Monday before winning 8-4 on Tuesday to force a deciding game.
But the Barons started strong with a three-run first and ended it with seven in the sixth to win their fourth championship and first since 2018.
“After falling short in 2019, it was great to get back out there and get the job done,” Wilson Hall coach Teresa Alexander said. “The special part of this moment is we just wanted to play our best game. We felt like in the series we hadn’t played our best game.
“We survived on Monday and weren’t ourselves on Tuesday. So we said win or lose let’s go play our best game today. And I think we did that.”
Alexander said the day off in between game two and three helped her team regroup and refocus. The Barons looked relaxed in warmups even doing a mini dance routine in field right before introductions.
Ansleigh Epps was 4 for 5 with two RBI, Ellie Stone was 3 or 4 with three RBI and Amberly Way had two hits and two RBI, and Sullivan Jarecki had two hits and two RBI to lead Wilson Hall.
Way hit a two-run homer in the fourth to put Wilson Hall up 7-1.
Cardinal Newman scored two in the fifth and then appeared to get within 7-5 in the top of the sixth as Jasmine Hogan hit a two-run homer. But Hogan was called out as she passed Lorenilli running the bases, leaving Wilson Hall up 7-4.
The Barons ended in the bottom of the inning with seven runs.
Andi-Grae Wingate picked up the win, allowing four earned runs in seven innings. Allison Dulaney took the loss.
Hogan, Leonilli and Kaytlin Greenwood each had two hits for Cardinal Newman. Lexi Stout was 1 for 4 with two RBI.
WP: Andi-Grae Wingate LP: Allison Dulaney Hitters: CN: Jasmine Hogan 2-4 RBI; Kaytlin Greenwood 2-4; Lexi Stout 1-4 2 RBI; Maria Leonilli 2-4. WH: Ansleigh Epps 4-5 2 RBI; Andi-Grae Wingate 2-4 RBI; Amberly Way 3-4 HR, 3 RBI; Kaylan Boudreau 2-4; Sullivan Jarecki 2-4 2 RBI.