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Pates get past BC

Freedom’s softball team jumped out to a 6-0 lead on Bethlehem Catholic and ran away with a 10-6 victory over the Golden Hawks on April 8 at Becahi.

“This was our first true test, big game,” said Freedom coach Michele Laubach. “We have an offensive, powerful team, and we work a lot of our hitting, and our girls are very strong. We need it, too, because we know we’re going to give up five or six runs.”

That’s exactly what happened in the bottom of the fifth inning when Becahi pitcher Hailey Pyle doubled to left center, and Sarah Banko homered to make the score 6-5.

“I knew we’d come around to score. I just didn’t know when it was going to happen,” said Becahi coach Kayla Paszek. “We were hitting the ball. We just weren’t hitting it to the open spaces on the field. Once it came, I felt a little bit better.”

But three Patriot runs in the top of the sixth put Freedom back in the comfort zone, unlucky for the Hawks as two runs were the result of the ball rolling through an open gate where the Patriot batters enter and exit the field.

“That’s frustrating because in a normal situation, that gate’s closed, it stops the ball, and there’s no such thing as a dead ball or an out-of-play ball,” said Coach Paszek. “It’s very unfortunate that it just happened to be open at the time of the play, and the ball goes through.”

Freedom also had its share of bad luck after a controversial foul tip call that would have been Beca’s third out as the Hawks were staging a comeback. Instead, it resulted in two walks.

In addition, Patriot pitcher Alexis Acevedo was called out at home plate on a controversial umpire interference.

Brooke Rummel, who went 3-for-4 for Freedom, had an RBI single to right field for the Patriots’ first run of the game. Then, Kate Miller, who also went 3-for-4, blasted a solo home run to center.

“I knew it was a home run right off the bat. I haven’t been hitting as well as I’d like to recently, and that boosted my confidence,” Miller said. “We had to come into this game with a lot of intensity and had to put everything out on the field. They’re one of our top rivals, so it really feels good to beat them early in the season.”

After Rummel’s leadoff double to center in the fourth inning, Hannah Heidemann knocked in Rummel on a single that got past the Becahi shortstop. Namelia Duro hit a blooper to right, and Siara Gonzalez had an RBI double.

“I got up to bat, and I thought I need to get these runs in, and we need to get on the board right now,” Gonzalez said.

Payton Besecker’s walk loaded the bases, and Maia D’Amico’s single in short left put Freedom ahead, 6-0.

Becahi scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth on consecutive base hits from Pyle, Banko, and Addison Greger. Mia VanFleet had the first RBI for the Hawks, and Charlotte Sampson’s 2 RBI single made the score 6-3.

As the Hawks drew closer in the bottom of the fifth, Gonzalez made an impressive out at first base for the Patriots.

“In that moment, I was expecting the ball to go to my right or left, but I was so focused on it that I was very ready, and it was a moment that we needed an out, so I crawled back to first base because I didn’t know if I’d have time to get up,” she said.

Freedom scored its final run on Besecker’s RBI that plated Miller, and Banko’s second home run of the game was Becahi’s last run in the bottom of the seventh.

Another city rivalry showdown is scheduled for April 11 when Freedom will take on Liberty at 5 p.m. at DeSales University.

Press photo by Katie McDonald Freedom first baseman Siara Gonzalez and second baseman Kate Miller were part of a Patriot effort to remain undefeated at Bethlehem Catholic on April 8, 2024.