AURORA | Grandview softball Dave Thies says he hates 1-inning restarted games, but his team sure has a knack for winning them — especially when they come against Centennial League rival Eaglecrest.
For the second year in a row, the Wolves prevailed in a resumed game over the Raptors in dramatic fashion, as sophomore shortstop JJ Visintin capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Grandview a 9-8 walk-off victory Wednesday.
Almost exactly one calendar year ago, it was pitcher Courtney Browne who clubbed a three-run homer to erase a two-run deficit and lift the Wolves to a 9-8 victory and this time it was Visintin, who hit a hard ground ball that got through and brought home both Alex Velazquez and Loghan Thomas with the tying and winning runs.
“One inning games? I hate ’em,” Thies said. “I’m not comfortable in that situation because anything can happen. It’s hard to get fired up for one inning and who has the momentum?…The girls showed up, they played with a lot of heart and they executed when they had to execute.”
The game was restarted a day after Grandview and Eaglecrest played into the bottom of the sixth inning in a 6-6 tie, with nine of those runs scored in the fifth inning before umpires decided to suspend the game for darkness with Wolves on first and second and nobody out in the bottom of the sixth.
When the game restarted, Visitin bunted both runners into scoring position, but Raptors pitcher Sarah Bushman got a strikeout and groundout to end the threat.
Eaglecrest plated two runs in the top of the seventh off Browne, a rally that started when the Wolves chose to walk powerful sophomore Kailey Wilson for the fourth time in the game. The Raptors loaded the bases and scored twice when run when pinch hitter Hannah Jensen hit a dribbler up the third base line to bring in one and senior Chelsea Gorman followed with an RBI single.
Grandview’s winning rally began with two outs and a runner at first when the dangerous Velazquez drew a walk, Thomas hit a hot shot that brought home a run — and shrewdly moved up to second on a throw home — and Eaglecrest chose to pitch around powerful catcher Sydni Odegard to bring Visintin to the plate.
On a 1-1 count, she reached out and hit a hard ground ball that brought in Velazquez easily and got Thomas to the plate just ahead of the throw home.
“When I went to the plate, I just had to believe in myself and I knew my whole team was supporting me,” Visintin said. “I didn’t want to swing at balls because my coach wanted us to be really picky about pitches, so I found my pitch. I like outside pitches and I found one and hit it.”
The win kept the Wolves (11-6 overall, 4-1 in league) in contention in the Centennial League title chase with another resumed game — which was caused by bad weather — coming against league-leading Cherokee Trail (14-3, 5-0) on Friday. Grandview holds a 2-1 lead in the second inning of that game.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel