Dogged determination helps Port softball team turn the tables for 11-10 victory over CG-Belgium
The famous late college basketball coach Jim Valvano would have been proud of the Port Washington High School softball team on Monday.
The host Pirates fell behind against Cedar Grove-Belgium, 5-0, after two and a half innings and looked cooked. Port had no hits while the Rockets were knocking the ball all over the diamond, rallying for runs in each of the first three frames.
But by the end of the contest, Port came away a 11-10 victory in nonconference play.
Valvano’s catch phrase he coined before dying of cancer was “Don’t ever give up.” It’s what Pirates coach Bob Snook teaches his team.
“Not giving up is one of the biggest things I try to instill in them. Even if you’re down by 10 runs, it’s a long game,” he said.
The tide slowly turned for Port in the bottom of the third. The Pirates tied the game before the Rockets bounced back with three runs in the fourth, taking an 8-5 lead.
Down 10-7 in the bottom of the sixth, the Pirates loaded the bases with two outs for Karley Lehtikangas. The senior grounded to short, but Megan Gonwa’s throw got by the first baseman. One run scored.
Erin Jozwowski tried to score from second base, and the throw home got by the catcher Morgan Green. That gave Morgan Esselman the opportunity to score from first, and she came in untouched.
After the wild play, the scoreboard read, 10-10.
Sarah Volesky then grounded to third, and the ball eluded Allie DeRuyter, allowing Lehtikangas to score the go-ahead run with three outs to go.
The Rockets had a runner reach second base in the top of the seventh, but Port ace Kate Snook got two popouts to end the game.