It seemed as if Chapelle was well on its way to spoiling John Curtis’ unveiling of its new turf softball field, but that was until the Patriots’ bats came to life.
Curtis (9-3, 2-0) scored nine runs in the final two innings to run away with an 11-4 win over the Chipmunks in a District 9-5A game Wednesday afternoon.
“I can’t say enough about the field and how it makes all of our lives much easier,” Curtis coach Jeff Godfrey said. “I’m very grateful to the administration and the financial investment they’ve made in the team, and it feels great to get a win our first time out here.”
Curtis, which has won state titles the past four seasons, took control with a six-run fifth inning that was powered by the middle of its lineup. Lydia Landen started the scoring in the fifth with a bases-loaded two-run double. Brianna Nealfollowed with a two-run triple that shifted the momentum to the Patriots.
Peyton Picou added an RBI single that gave Curtis an 8-4 lead. The Patriots tacked on three more runs in the following inning and scored double-digit runs for the third time in the past four games.
“I just knew we had to get some scores on the board, and I wanted to get one in play,” said Neal, who finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs. “We got a few hits back-to-back, and that’s when we started playing with a little more confidence.”
The Chipmunks (8-3, 0-2) scored first after an RBI double by Madison Cruz in the fourth inning. Kristina Bickham followed with an RBI single, giving Chapelle a 2-0 lead.
The Patriots responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourt, but Chapelle reclaimed the lead in the fifth with an RBI double by Sam Mracich and an RBI single from Cruz that gave the Chipmunks a 4-2 lead.
It was the second consecutive day Chapelle lost a game after losing a lead late in the game, and Chapelle coach Stephen Dickey said his team is still learning how to consistently compete at a high level against the tough competition in District 9-5A.
“This was the second night in a row we played a really tough team, after going up against Mount Carmel last night,” Chapelle coach Stephen Dickey said. “It’s just the nature of our district. We’ve talked lately about holding on to those leads late, but we will be around by the end of the season. Sometimes these lessons aren’t learned as easily.”