NORTH CLARENDON — Here was Sadira Majorell’s day in Monday’s 19-13 softball victory for Mill River over previously unbeaten West Rutland — an RBI double, a three-run homer and a ton of respect. The respect came in the form of three intentional walks after Majorell ripped her 10th homer over the fence this season in the second inning.
Teammate Tessa Badgley also cleared the fence, another three-run blast.
It was the first time in her varsity career that Badgley has hit a home run over the fence.
“I didn’t think I had enough power,” Badgley said.
It might have been the 10th ball Majorell deposited over the fence this year, but the intentional walks she is receiving are pretty new. Prior to Monday, she had been walked intentionally only in the loss to Proctor.
“It’s very frustrating,” Majorell said of being sent down to first base without a chance to swing.
The Division IV Golden Horde brought a 10-0 record to town against the Division II Minutemen.
“I don’t ever pay any attention to what division a team is in. That doesn’t matter. They were undefeated,” Mill River coach Mary Colvin said.
West Rutland’s resume is impressive, and includes two wins over Green Mountain, a top tier Division III club.
It was a tough day for Mill River’s McKenna Ludden and West Rutland’s Kiana Grabowski to pitch. It was a raw, cold and rainy day. Gripping the ball was a challenge.
Ludden was ringing her hand in discomfort in the top of the seventh, trying to protect a 19-12 lead. She gutted it out, allowing a single run in that final frame.
The Minutemen got out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The first four hitters all hit safely — a double by Ludden, an RBI single by Badgley, a single by Grace Gilman and an RBI double in the right-center gap by Majorell.
Grabowski toughened and ended the inning with two straight strikeouts.
The Horde answered with two in the second. Madison Guay and Kiera Pipeling ignited the inning with base hits.
Then came the fireworks. In the bottom of that inning, Gilman had an RBI single and Majorell’s majestic left-handed swing put up three more with the home run, extending the lead to 7-2.
But the Horde was unbeaten for a reason and they showed it with a six-run fourth to take an 8-7 lead. They were getting good swings in that inning, rapping out six hits. The biggest was Kasey Serrani’s three-run triple. Guay had a two-run single in that inning and Grabowski, Alissa Covarrubias and Elizabeth Bailey also knocked in runs.
The Minutemen scored three times in the bottom of that inning to take a 10-8 lead, the big hit a two-run double by Gilman.
Westside tied it in the fifth on Covarrubias’ two-run triple.
Locked in a 10-10 tie, Badgley had the blast that put the Minutemen ahead for good — a three-run shot over the center field fence.
Becky Sanderson’s two-run double in the sixth cut the lead to a run.
But then came Mill River’s six-run explosion in the bottom of the sixth to take control of the game at 19-12. Olivia Jones made the Golden Horde pay for the decision to give Majorell a free pass to load the bases. Jones’ three-run double was the centerpiece of the inning.
Colvin said if they continue to walk Majorell, there are enough productive bats in the lineup around her.
“We have had others other than Sadira come through. Our 6-9 hitters have all gotten key hits the last few games,” Colvin said.
Colvin knows her Minutemen beat a very good team on this day and she hopes her players realize it as well.
“I hope they get some confidence from this,” Colvin said.
Badgley said the Minutemen were ready for the challenge of taking on a team with a perfect record.
”We were win hungry,” Badgley said.
Mill River (5-4) goes to Otter Valley on Wednesday.
Leading Mill River’s 16-hit attack was Gilman with four base hits and three RBIs. Badgley had three hits and five RBIs. Majorell had her extra-base show and with the intentional walks reached base all five times. Ludden and Casey Patch contributed two hits apiece.
”Everybody played a part in some way, either by hitting or making a defensive play,” Colvin said.
Leading the Horde’s 14-hit production were Covarrubias with three hits and three RBIs and Becky Sanderson with three hits and two RBIs. Bailey and Guay had two safeties apiece.
Despite the difficult conditions for pitching, Grabowski and Ludden piled up the strikeouts. Grabowksi had eight of them and Ludden seven.
The defensive play of the game came early. Mill River catcher Morgan Nemeth, on her birthday, made a spectacular diving catch of a foul pop off the bat of Grabowski, the game’s first hitter.