When John Curtis and Mount Carmel squared off for their nondistrict softball game Friday, many expected it to be one of the top pitching duel of the season.
Mount Carmel’s Amanda Cannella and John Curtis’ Peyton Pigniolo — two of the top pitchers in the metro area — came into Friday’s game with nine wins, but it was late clutch hitting that helped guide the Cubs to a 4-2 win at Curtis on Friday night.
“Everytime we come and play Curtis they have a good ballclub,” Mount Carmel coach Jake Pierron said. “Amanda went toe-to-toe with one of the best pitchers we’re going to see and came out the winner. I’m really proud of the way we played.”
The Cubs (12-2) left two runners in scoring position after the fourth and fifth innings, but they broke through against Pigniolo in the sixth.
After the senior walked two, Mount Carmel outfielder Jordyn Perkins stepped to the plate and — as she did in the team’s win over Riverside Academy on Thursday — smacked a three-run home run over the center field wall to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Perkins went 1-for-3 a home run and three RBIs.
Mount Carmel added another run in the seventh on an Alaina Guarino RBI single to ensure the win over the No. 1 ranked team in the LHSAA’s Class 3A power ratings.
“As a team, I think we really pulled together in that inning,” Perkins said. “We were fouling pitches off, we were on it the whole time and I feel like that inning we got on it when we really needed to.”
Cannella was flawless on the mound for Mount Carmel for just about the whole game, until Curtis (10-3) made a last push in the seventh inning. After Curtis shortstop Toni Hebert doubled in the first, the senior retired the next 16 Lady Patriots (10-3) she faced before Briana Neal singled to start the seventh.
Curtis got its first two runs after a two-run double by Logan Melancon cut the Mount Carmel lead to 4-2. The Patriots got two more runners on base and had Toni Rizzo at the plate representing the game-winning run, but a flyout to right field ended the game.
Cannella scattered four hits and allowed two runs, while pitching a complete seven innings.
“I scared myself (in the seventh inning), honestly,” Cannella said. “I kept trying, and nothing was going right, then I finally started to get my groove back. … This is always the one game we always want, and it was definitely a great feeling to win that.”
Pigniolo — for the second game in a row — struggled with her command, and the Patriots were unable to offset that. After allowing seven walks in Curtis’ loss to St. Charles on Thursday, the senior issued five in Friday’s loss.
While John Curtis Jerry Godfrey wasn’t happy with the results of the past two games, he said Mount Carmel deserved the credit for making Pigniolo struggle on in Friday’s game.
“Yesterday, she wasn’t pitching worth a darn, but today what happened was she went up against a very good hitting team,” Godfrey said. “She did a phenominal job today, besides that one pitch (Perkins’ home run).”
The Southeastern Louisiana signee went seven innings, allowing five hits, four runs and walking five.