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Fillies rally to win D-3 showdown

It appeared like Weatherly not only was in great shape to beat Marian, but do it in mercy-rule fashion.

But the Fillies had other ideas.

Marian rallied from a seven-run deficit to edge the Wreckers, 12-11, in a battle of Schuylkill League Division 3 softball unbeatens on Monday.

Surely, the Wreckers were jumping for joy after rallying from a 3-0 first-inning deficit to grab the lead and then expand it.

When Weatherly’s big bopper, Marissa Hoffman, unloaded a three-run homer in the fifth inning, Marian’s ship had taken a huge blow to the hull.

The Wreckers (6-2, 3-1) were elated, and seemed well on their way to winning this showdown matchup for first place, building their advantage to 11-4 on Hoffman’s bomb. And the way Weatherly was swinging the bats, it was quite possible another rally was in the offing.

Yet as quickly as the clouds swirled in, that’s as fast as things started to turn around.

However, the Fillies (6-0, 4-0) were about to tilt the scales in their favor.

“When you are down, it’s hard to come back, especially when you are with a whole new group of players,” said Mia Nemeth, Marian’s veteran third baseman who had a monster afternoon at the plate droving in three runners, with a double and two singles, along with making web gem plays at the hot corner. “It’s an inexperienced team and your saying ‘oh no, what’s going to happen.’

“As a leader, you’ve got to keep the energy up. We have some things that we need to learn, and I’m confident that we’re going to learn (from a game) like this.”

Indeed, Marian can build off this rally.

“I told our kids before the game, the first five games we played were kind of one-sided; this game was going to have a beginning part, a middle part and an ending part,” said Marian coach Joe DeAngelo.

DeAngelo was right on the money.

The beginning part was surely good for Marian when it used two hits and a pair of walks to jump out to the three-run lead. Leadoff hitter Athena Matenkoski cracked the Fillies whip with a triple, and Alise Heisey added an RBI-single later in the inning for the key hits.

But the middle part was all Weatherly.

The Wreckers stranded runners in the first and second, before finally hitting the jackpot with a four-run rally in the third. Two one-out walks set the table for Hoffman who singled in a run. After another walk, Maddie Von Frisch helped her pitching cause with a two-run single, before Beth Houser added a single for the go-ahead run.

It looked like lights out for the Fillies when the Wreckers finished off very productive fourth- and fifth-inning rallies.

An error in the field by Marian, coupled with singles off the bats of Alexis Colecio and Hoffman, increased the Wrecker lead to 7-3.

In the fifth, the Wreckers had another rally. A Houser triple, an RBI single from Adriana Dotzel, and a booming double from Alesia Colecio set things up for Hoffman, who delivered her three-run homer to put the Wreckers in command 11-4.

But the end part was still to come, and Marian made the most of it.

Marian didn’t smack the ball around with extra-base hits. Instead, it dinked, dunked and was clutch as it used eight singles and a triple to rally for the win. Consecutive singles from Eden Arnold, Heisey and Anna Grabosky filled the sacks.

Weatherly got a huge out when Hoffman pegged a runner at home on a ball hit to short. Von Frisch struck out a batter for the second out and looked as if she might escape the jam.

But the Fillies had other ideas. After Matenkoski walked, Gracie Gallagher stroked a two-run single, and Kelly also singled. Arnold, batting for the second time, singled in another runner before Heisey lashed a triple that put her team in front for keeps.

“One game is not going to define us. We hit the ball today; they made more plays then we did,” said Weatherly manager Will Bartel. “We have five kids who never played high school ball, they’re growing ... we’re only a few games into the season.”

AIN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER … Yogi Berra would have loved this one. Marian’s early lead didn’t hold up, and neither did the Wreckers late lead.

HITTING GALORE … Nemeth had three hits for Marian, including a double. Heisey also had three hits and knocked in a pair. Arnold and Matenkoski each finished with two singles. For Weatherly, Hoffman collected three hits and five RBIs. Houser and Colecio both had two hits.

Weatherly 004 340 0 - 11 9 3

Marian 300 180 x - 12 12 4

Von Frisch and Colecio; Kelly and Grabosky. W - Kelly. L - Von Frisch. HR - Weatherly: Hoffman (5th, two on).

Marian's Athena Matenkoski slides safely into third base as Weatherly's Ashley James awaits the throw. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS