For five innings it appeared the Avon softball team was stuck in neutral.
But finally in the fifth and sixth innings, the Orioles kicked into high gear and exploded for 11 runs to 10-run rule Pike 12-2 in the sectional opener Tuesday night at Southport.
“I don’t know,” Avon coach Jenny Shayotovich said cheerfully. “We put the ball in play we just couldn’t make things happen. Like I told the girls, at least we were taking care of the ball on defense. When you play defense strong, you can afford to wait a little longer I guess. I’m not sure what took us so long to get started and hats off to them. They did a good job and made plays.”
Pike scored twice in the opening inning but it was the only time they would put points on the board. Avon added a run in the third after Cassidy Larkin scored Hannah Reeser but had left six runners on base during the first three innings.
Trailing 2-1 in the top of the fifth, a senior provided a spark. Shortstop Sadie Foster made a catch from her knees and fired the ball to first to retire the inning. Shayotovich said it was Foster’s eighth double play of the year and it could not have come at a better time.
“I felt like that was good momentum for us,” she said. “She just seems to make things happen. I felt like, for us, we got a little excited, we found some energy and things seemed to come together for us after that.”
Lizzy Snodgrass immediately singled and then Larkin got on base with a single a batter later.
That’s when another senior stepped up. Olivia O’Brien came to the plate and hammered a grounder to the outfield that scored Snodgrass and Larkin to give the Orioles the lead.