It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
Last month, Millikan softball suffered critical miscues down the stretch in its 12th consecutive Moore League loss to defending champion Lakewood.
Last night, the Rams mashed eight hits and scored six runs in the final two innings of their 8-5 win over the Lancers at Lisa Fernandez Field. It is the first Millikan win over Lakewood in seven years, and creates a tie for second place in league between these rivals.
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“We played loose and not tense like last game,” Millikan junior Gretchen Goldsmith. “We didn’t talk about winning or losing tonight. We just had fun and played with everything we had.”
Goldsmith, Grace Fleming and Vivian Rodriguez all had three hits for Millikan, and Goldsmith pitched 3.1 innings of relief to pick up the win.
“I pitched with my heart tonight,” said an emotional Goldsmith. “We’ve worked so hard to with this.”
Millikan broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the sixth inning when Rodriguez, Goldsmith, Flemming, Anissa Ramos and Lily Romero all had hits. The Rams scored three more runs in the seventh inning to open up an 8-2 lead on RBI hits from Flemming and Romero. Goldsmith finished 3-for-5 with an RBI, and her pinch runner scored twice. The Rams had 13 hits and put 19 runners on base. All but one player reached base.
“We knew we could hit tonight if we could lay off the rise ball,” Millikan coach Akemi Fleming said. “We got the hits we needed, and (Goldsmith) was ready for this game all day.”
Goldsmith relived starter Rachel Rubio in the fourth inning and retired eight of the first 10 batters she faced. Lakewood scored three times in the seventh inning, but Goldsmith ended the game with her third strikeout.
“I’m beyond proud,” Fleming said.