St. John’s Giants senior girls pitcher Laurel Rolle scored the winning run at the bottom of the fifth inning as the team defeated defending champions, the St. Augustine’s College Big Red Machine, 6-5, in a nail-biter in the Bahamas Association of Secondary Schools (BAISS) senior girls best-of-three championship at Bankers Field, Blue Hills Sporting Complex yesterday afternoon.
Over at Queen’s College, the Comets defended their home turf in a close 2-1 victory as they went up 1-0 in the junior boys best-of-three championship.
Giants 6, SAC 5
After all was said and done, the Giants showed composure and resilience in the bottom of the fifth and final inning as they came out on top, 6-5.
Rolle, who also finished with two runs in the game, said they made the important plays.
“We had a lot of errors but at the end of the day we still kept ourselves and we made the
important plays that we needed to make. It was crucial on that last run watching the ball go through the circle and scoring and winning the game for my team and having a big bat,” Rolle said.
The 12th grader put her team up 4-3 in the bottom of the third inning when she got an in-park home run. She also brought home third baseman Allissa Cumberbatch.
Rolle knows how important it was to come away with the win. Last year, she was a part of the Giants team that lost the first game to SAC in the championship game.
“Last year, we went through this same scenario where they won first game and we won second game and we had to come back and win the third game and we didn’t. Securing this game was very crucial for us winning the series,” Rolle added.
The Big Red Machine took a 5-4 lead at the top of the fourth inning when first baseman Iranique Roker came home on a hit from Anne-Marie Oriakhi.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, SAC held on to that lead and hoped to end the game quick.
The Giants had other plans as Cumberbatch scored her third run of the afternoon to tie the game putting the pressure on SAC.
Rolle got on third base and Christina Richardson, the diminutive right fielder, was at the plate. She got the hit as Rolle sprinted home to score the winning run, giving her team a 1-0 lead.
Rachel Rolle, the SAC pitcher, was not able to get any runs but said they expect to win game two.
“The game for me wasn’t what I expected but I know the team behind me were better than that. It was just simple errors that we had. For game two I expect way better and to win the game,” Rachel Rolle said.
Game two swings to SAC’s campus as they will rely heavily on their fans to give them that extra push.
Willow Sturrup, SAC’s catcher who scored the first run for her team in the third inning, said they will get the win.
“It is very important to us to go home and get the win because we want this and we played hard everyday, practiced and put our all into it. Today was just unfortunate that we didn’t come out with the win,” Sturrup said.
Sharma Johnson, coach of the Giants, said she wanted to play SAC again this year.
“This season was a rough one seeing that the third and fourth seed threw out the first and second seed so I knew it was going to be a challenge but I wanted to meet them again for payback and that one killed me. We are not going to game three. We have to finish it at SAC,” Johnson said.
Game two is set for tomorrow at SAC, 3:30 p.m.
Comets 2, SAC 1
The Comets got two runs from third baseman Sebastian Walcott. Those two runs were the only runs for the Comets as they take a 1-0 lead into game two.
Scoring the only run for SAC was shortstop and leadoff batter Dwayne Cartwright, who scored at the top of the third inning to tie the game at 1-1.
The game was very defensive as both teams knew what was at stake. QC knew they could not take the series to SAC down 1-0 and SAC, who wanted to take the series up 1-0, headed home to finish it off.
SAC had a chance at the top of the fifth inning to at least tie the game while second baseman Khalon Christie was on third base. The batters were unable to get him to home plate.
The winning pitcher was the Comets’ Mustapha Strachan. Otto Laing was tagged as the losing pitcher.
QC has a chance to end the series tomorrow as it looks to get the upset. On the other hand, SAC will look to defend home turf and send the game back to QC.
That pivotal game two will take place at SAC at 3:30 tomorrow afternoon.
The BAISS championships continue today with the junior girls and the senior boys. In senior boys action, SAC will play at home against the Comets at 3:30p.m. In the junior girls game, the C.W. Saunders Cougars will play at home against SAC. That game will also start at 3:30 p.m.