by John Rodock – Special to the News-Press
Freshman sensation Elizabeth Keener of district favorite Warren County hurled a four-hitter as the Wildcats knocked off visiting George Mason 5-1 on Friday, April 1, handing the undermanned Mustangs their first loss of the season. Mason was missing four players, including two starters, who could not resist the lure of traveling to Atlanta on one of band director Mary Jo West’s excellent adventures.
Keener also had two hits and an RBI and scored a run.
The Mustangs played superbly for six of the seven innings, but a fourth inning filled with not-so-excellent adventures cost them the game.
Down 1-0, the first two ‘Stangs batters reached base, but three consecutive baserunning miscues cost them a golden opportunity to take the lead. Then in the bottom half three errors led to four unearned Wildcat runs.
In the top of the sixth Mason scored its only run on a towering blast over the center field fence by shortstop Tea Abbracciamento, her first of the season.
Abbracciamento added two singles for a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate, and stole a base. Julia Ferris had the other Mustang hit on a drive over the right fielder’s head, and Mary Grace Lizotte reached base twice and had one steal.
Defensively, Jodi Cheung was outstanding in left field and Jules Carter a solid anchor at second base. Ferris pitched well enough to win. The Wildcats’ first inning run is the only earned run she has given up in 26 innings this season.
On Tuesday, April 5 George Mason lost a nail-biter to Strasburg, 9-8, in front of a hardy and boisterous home crowd.
The Mustangs fought back from 6-1 and 8-6 deficits to tie the game twice, but gave up a run in the seventh and saw their hopes to tie the game again evaporate when the potential tying run was thrown out at third to end the game.
The Mustangs played without their leading hitter and shortstop Tea Abbracciamento (.538 BA, 1.418 OPS), but were still productive on offense.
Junior Jules Carter scored two runs and batted in three runs, freshman Chelsea Lang went 2-4 and batted in three runs and senior Julia Ferris went 2-3 and batted in three more.
On the mound, Ferris (3-2, 33 IP, 1.70 ERA) fanned 13 to bring her season strikeout-to-walks ratio to 51:6.
The Mustangs play at Madison County on Friday, April 8 and return home against Central on Tuesday, April 12.