When the Spartans came off the field after giving up four runs in the top of the third inning, they could have easily closed up shop for the day.
The defense had booted the ball around a bit, committing three errors and giving Olympic plenty of extra bases and outs. When they finally escaped, they trailed by three runs, and it was time for a pep talk from the coach.
“The biggest thing is how you respond to those innings,” coach Haylee Baker said. “If you’re mentally tough, and you can dig yourself out of that, it keeps those innings from compiling and spiraling out of control.”
Bainbridge responded well, putting up a four-spot in the bottom of the third, setting them on the right track toward an 11-6 victory over the Trojans Monday.
Grace Colburn and Laura Carrillo started the third inning with back-to-back singles. Miranda Grogger put down a sacrifice bunt to move them up to second and third, and Leah Baker smacked a ground ball up the middle to score two runs. Isabella Wallen followed up with a long double to centerfield. The next batter, Chloe Lightle, was able to stay back on a changeup and hit it into the outfield to score the final run of the inning.
Olympic scored again in the top of the fourth to tie the game at six, but Bainbridge’s bats stayed hot.
Colburn and Laura Wikstrom singled to start the inning, and Grogger was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Carolyn Michaels then smashed a double into the left-centerfield gap, clearing the bases with 3 RBI. Wallen then picked up her second RBI of the day to extend the lead to 10-6.
“It’s just a matter of them believing it and buying in,” Baker said. “We’ve got talent one through nine, and we’ve got good subs to come in.”
Grogger held the fort for the Spartans in the pitcher’s circle, getting stronger as the game continued. She gave up just two hits and struck out four batters over the final three innings to shut the door.
And although the defense struggled early, it did make some good plays in the field. In the third inning, Carrillo snagged a ground ball at third base and threw to catcher Ruby Raymundo at home for an out, and Raymundo sent the ball right back to third to get a tagout double play.
The victory gave Bainbridge its fourth win in its past five games, improving its record to 5-5 in the Olympic League after a tough start.
“We’ve gone up and down a little, but we’re steadily climbing now,” Baker said.
Bainbridge 11, Olympic 6
Oly 1 0 4 1 0 0 0 — 6 9 2
BI 2 0 4 4 0 1 x — 11 17 5
WP: Grogger LP: Burdyshaw
Olympic — Tate 3 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, BB, K. Burdyshaw 3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, K.
Bainbridge — Grogger 7 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.
Olympic — Bode 3-3, BB, SB, 3 R; Tate 2-4, RBI; Richmond 2-4, R; Walters 2-3, SB.