WEST NEWBURY — Down to their final out and trailing by two runs, Pentucket’s Jennie Nelson approached the batter’s box with runners on second and third base.
A bloop single later, the game was tied 8-8 and the Sachems had crawled their way back, scoring five runs in the seventh inning to force extra softball. With the momentum in hand, the Sachems capped off the comeback in the ninth when designated hitter Maddie Binding drove in the winning run to give Pentucket the dramatic 9-8 victory.
While Nelson’s bat produced the tying runs, it was likely her pitching arm that was most valuable for Pentucket (2-0) in its win over Triton (0-2) in nine innings. Coming in to pitch in the fourth inning, Nelson struck out seven straight batters to help her team regain momentum after allowing six runs in the third inning.
“Nelson did a great job,” said Pentucket head coach John Walsh. “She came in in the fourth for relief and threw a great game. She had a big hit at the end to tie the game and we have the luxury of having a great No. 1 and No. 2 pitcher this year, so we are feeling very comfortable this year with what we have.”
Nelson finished with 10 strikeouts through five innings, allowing just one run. At the plate, she reached base in three of four appearances, including a ninth-inning single to load the bases. Minutes later, Binding sent home the winning run to give the Sachems the improbable come-from-behind victory.
“They worked really hard in the off-season,” Walsh said. “We talked about this. We are going to have innings where we give up some runs, but we just have to keep battling. They always battle back and they stay mentally in the game and they keep going forward.”