Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Frank's Blast Sends the Colonials to a Statement DCL Win

Acton-Boxborough's Winning Pitcher Lauren Meinhold deals an offering 

By John McGuirk (@Patsfan1313)

Acton, Mass – As soon as the ball jumped off of Kylie Frank's bat and sailed out of the ballpark Acton-Boxborough teammates let out a vicarious yell from inside its dugout. Frank's two-run home run sent the Colonials to a roller coaster 9-7 Dual County League victory over previously unbeaten Concord-Carlisle on Monday afternoon.

The timing could not have been better for Frank’s first home run of the season as it came in the bottom half of the sixth inning to put A-B into a virtual tie for first place with C-C in the league standings.

In a contest pitting the league's two top teams against one aother, the Colonials extracted some revenge against the Patriots, who secured a one run win back on April 26th during their first encounter.

Winning pitcher Lauren Meinhold did not receive stable support from her defense but still managed to persevere through er outing. The sophomore allowed eight hits, walked none and struck out six. The right-hander appeared to get stronger as the game progressed, fanning four over her final two innings of work.

"There were a lot of rare mistakes on their part because they don't usually make mistakes," said Colonials coach Mary Bassett, who has not beaten C-C since 2012. "I felt we put the pressure on them offensively and we had some big clutch hits. Kylie's first homer came at a perfect time for us. She leads our team in almost every offensive category. Her leadership has just been fantastic.”

Displaying a unique aggressiveness at the plate, A-B jumped on Patriots starter Hailey Beyer for three runs in the second inning thanks to a two run double by Niki Iyer and a RBI double off the bat of Sarah Keagy. The lead was short-lived. C-C stormed back, plating three runs in its half of the third to square things. Three A-B fielding miscues helped the cause along with RBIs from Alyssa Attonito, Virginia Ryan and Jill Chelton.

The Colonials wasted little time in re-taking the lead in the third. With one out, and nobody on, junior Julie MacMillan drilled a 1-1 fastball over the left field fence to put her club back in front 4-3.

One inning later, A-B took brief command of things sending seven batters to the plate and en route to four more runs. Olivia Comolli got things started with a lead-off single. After being sacrificed to second, C-C coach Lisa McGloin decided to pull Beyer (8 hits, 0 walks, 3 K's) in favor of Nicole Small but back-to-back singles from Keagy and Frank made it a 5-3 contest. Two Patriot fielding errors followed resulting in two more runs crossing the plate to give the Colonials a 7-3 lead.

"We struggled a bit defensively today," McGloin said. "I think this was good for the girls to see an learn from. Now is the time to do it and not later in the season."

C-C got a run back in the fifth on a Chelton RBI ground out. Then, one inning later, the Patriots climbed all the way back to even the game after A-B's defense simultaneously imploded, committing three more errors. After Meinhold retired the first two batters with ease, the Patriots came storming back.

Pinch-hitter Avery Kirkpatrick reached on an error before Caitlyn Lewis lifted a two run home run to left field. Two more A-B errors followed, putting base runners on first and second. Ryan next lined a blistering single into right plating Kingman with the tying run. Meinhold, however, showed no signs of panic, and recovered to set down Chelton to keep things knotted.

"I've been thrilled about the resiliency of our team throughout the year," said McGloin, a former standout catcher at Bishop Fenwick and the University of North Carolina. "We have a lot of girls that can contribute, who work hard and play hard. I have no complaints about their resiliency."
In the Colonials half of the sixth, with one out, Keagy reached on an error thus setting the stage for Frank's bomb shot well-over the left field fence.

"I knew I had to come through with a hit because Sarah was on base ahead of me," Frank said. "I was just trying to get the ball in play because she can run. Fortunately it turned into a home run. I'm a senior and I haven't beaten Concord-Carlisle in my four years here. This was an emotional game but we really wanted to win this.”

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