Fox Chapel softball gives up big lead before winning in 7th inning
Friday, April 30, 2021 | 8:43 PM
After three innings of Friday’s Section 3-5A matchup with Mars, the Fox Chapel softball team held a six-run lead and hoped to add on.
However, the visiting Planets mounted a comeback and tied the score in the top of the seventh.
But the Foxes prevailed as pitcher Mackenzie Borkovich delivered a single up the middle to score Brynn Palmer with no outs in the bottom of the seventh to seal a 7-6 walk-off victory.
“This was a really big section win for us,” said Borkovich, who also struck out 17. “We have some big games coming up next week, and this gives us a lot of momentum.”
Fox Chapel bounced back from consecutive losses to Hampton, 11-4, and North Hills, 6-0, to complete the season sweep of Mars and improve to 8-4 overall and 4-3 in section play.
The victory also clinched a spot in the WPIAL playoffs.
The Foxes now look ahead to three section games in as many days to close their schedule, starting with Monday’s rematch with Hampton.
“This was a great win for the girls coming off two tough losses where we weren’t hitting the ball really well,” Fox Chapel coach Chris Olbrich said.
Palmer led off the seventh with an infield single on a high chopper between first and second base. A throwing attempt to get Palmer at first skipped past the bag and hit off the fence in front of the first-base dugout allowing her to advance to second.
Borkovich fouled off a number of pitches before getting one she was able to shoot into center field.
Fox Chapel collected 10 hits, with Neena Pietropaolo leading the way with three. She got a four-run first inning started with a one-out single.
Amelia Herzer followed with a triple to score Pietropaolo for a 1-0 lead. Hunter Taylor and Borkovich walked and scored runs, and Riley Culleiton smacked an RBI single for the fourth run of the frame.
Taylor singled to lead off the third and scored on a Palmer double, and Culleiton grounded out to short to plate Palmer for a 6-0 Fox Chapel lead.
Borkovich was able to work out of a couple of jams with strikeouts in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Mars left a total of seven runners on base in those innings.
Borkovich’s 17-strikeout effort is not her best this season. She fanned 19 in a 10-inning, 1-0 victory over Burrell on March 29 and followed that with 19 against Peters Township on April 6. She has 152 strikeouts over 80 innings in 12 games.
“We didn’t field behind her as well as we wanted to a couple of times,” Olbrich said. “She was able dig down deep and get a couple of key strikeouts. She’s a bulldog and really battles out there.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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