Mount Carmel pitcher Shelby Wickersham allowed her first runs in 23 innings, but the Cubs’ winning ways continued Monday against John Curtis.
Mount Carmel scored three runs in the first inning, got another solid pitching performance from their junior right-hander in the circle, and defeated Curtis 6-4 in a District 9-5A game at the Jefferson Parish Recreation District complex in Metairie.
Both teams entered the game with 2-0 records in district play, having already defeated the other two squads in district by a combined score of 39-3 over four games. So it stood to reason that Monday’s winner would have a firm upper hand on the league race heading into the second round of District 9-5A action.
Wickersham helped the Cubs (9-2, 3-0) seize that momentum. She allowed only three hits in seven innings, and had nine strikeouts. Five Mount Carmel errors helped keep Curtis (11-5, 2-1) in the game until the end, and the Patriots scored two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Wickersham, a junior, helped her own cause, going 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs.
“Coach Katie (Bailey) has been helping me with my hitting,” Wickersham said. “That way I can be effective one both offense and defense.”
That she was.
Caleigh Foto led off the bottom of the first with a double and she advanced on Macy Hornoski’s fielder’s choice. Jordyn Perkins scored her on a single, and Madi Savarese doubled to plate Perkins all the way from first base. Wickersham followed with an RBI single to pace Mount Carmel to a 3-0 lead.
Wickersham delivered another big blow in the third when she doubled to the left-center field fence to score Hornoski and Perkins, which made the score 5-0.
That was enough offense for Wickersham, who overcame the defensive miscues behind her and focused on getting outs. That is what impressed Bailey most.
“Even when errors are made, you have to move past them,” Bailey said. “So this is a huge win for us. We’re 3-0 in district. This was a confidence boost.”
Mount Carmel tacked on another run in the fourth when Abby Alonzo singled and later scored on a Curtis infield error.
Curtis got its first two runners on in the fifth after two infield errors by the Cubs. Foto made a nice running stab of a line drive to center to get the first out, and Madi Ciacio made a nice throw home to catcher Alli Zoglio following a squeeze bunt to record the second out. Wickersham forced a soft infield grounder to get the third out and escape the jam.
The Patriots finally did score in the sixth when Sierra Sacco reached on an error and scored on Cam Goodman’s double to right center. Goodman scored on a strikeout when the pitch scooted behind home plate to make the score 6-2. The Patriots scored twice more in the final inning courtesy of two more Mount Carmel errors, a walk, and a single by Goodman.
“I wasn’t really shocked (that we came back),” Curtis coach Jerry Godfrey said. “We’ve been hitting the ball hard all season. ... Once we settled in, we were able to put pressure on them.”
Foto, Perkins, and Savarese joined Wickersham with two hits apiece. Goodwin went 2-for-4 and two RBIs to lead Curtis.
The two teams will play again on March 30 to complete their district schedules.