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Cambridge's Corcoran shuts down Somerville softball

Posted by Marcia Dick  May 17, 2012 07:39 AM

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Cambridge Rindge & Latin sophomore Kourtney Corcoran struck out a career-best 12 hitters Wednesday, completing a two-hitter and giving her team an 8-1 win over Somerville at St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge.

Corcoran kept the Highlanders off-balance all night. Her rising fastball confused hitters, repeatedly appearing headed down the middle of the plate as it left Corcoran’s hand but finishing above the letters as it crossed the plate. The Highlanders usually either swung and missed or popped it up harmlessly.

Corcoran retired the Highlanders 1-2-3 three times, including in the top of the seventh (final) inning. She struck out at least one in every inning, giving up just one earned run in seven innings.

“Probably her best pitch is her fastball,” said Cambridge coach Renee Mello. “She’s been working on her change and working on her rise.”

The Highlanders only hit two balls out of the infield, and the first led to their only run of the game. Leadoff hitter Ashley Auciello (.360 batting average entering the game) doubled to shallow left to open the game, then quickly stole third base. Senior Maegan Auciello then hit one toward shortstop Rebecca Sadock.

Sadock fielded the ball cleanly and fired home, but the speedy Ashley beat the throw for a 1-0 lead.

Corcoran settled down after Maegan’s hit, striking out the side.

The Falcons took the lead in the bottom of the first. Sadock walked to lead off,  then reached second when catcher Ashley Auciello’s throw popped out of shortstop Maegan Auciello’s glove. Senior captain Deneesha Barrett’s double moved Sadock to third. Sophomore Kelsey Dwyer’s sacrifice fly tied the game, and junior Lydia Vital’s double put the Falcons up, 2-1.

Corcoran needed no more support than that. She allowed just three baserunners after the first on a hit batter in the second, a walk in the fifth, and a double in the sixth. No Highlander reached third base again.

“We didn’t really have a batting practice because we’ve had so many games,” Ashley Auciello said. “That was a problem, but we have a practice tomorrow, and we’ll come to play on Friday.”

The Falcons didn’t have any such problems against Highlander starter Jackie Homsi, who struggled with her command and couldn’t finish off hitters after reaching two strikes.  She allowed at least a run in each of her first three innings, exiting after four innings down, 5-1. She gave up five runs on seven hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.

“She was aiming instead of throwing,” said Somerville coach Bill MacDonald.   “And when you aim, you’re taking something off, and that gives them a little better opportunity to hit the ball.”

Cambridge got plenty of production out of its bottom three hitters. Junior Samara Powell, senior Jazzlynne Cruz, and senior Kasie Corcoran combined to go 5-for-7 with two walks, three RBIs, and three runs. Back-to-back-to-back extra-base hits from this trio put the Falcons up, 4-1, in the bottom of the second.

“You don’t always have the lineup that you want, but this lineup was pretty good,” said Mello.

Cruz gave the Falcons two more runs in the bottom of the fifth, when she tripled off reliever Verna Estes to drive in Powell and senior Alexa Guevara.  Guevara’s double earlier that inning put the Falcons up, 6-1.

“Be fearless up at the plate, and don’t try to kill the ball,” said Cruz. “Take your time, and be patient. Wait for your strike.”

Cruz finished the game 2-for-2 with a walk, while Barrett went 3-for-3 with a stolen base, a run, and a walk. 

Though only Ashley Auciello and Melissa McGovern (.438 average beforehand) recorded hits off Corcoran, both were doubles.

While the Highlanders struggled at the plate, they turned two double plays. In the top of the second, second baseman Hannah Lambert – the only Highlander to get on base twice, on a walk and a hit-by-pitch – snared a liner from Sadock, then ran to second base to double-up Kasie Corcoran. And in the sixth, reliever Brianna Dell’Isola got Guevara to fly out to right, and Brittany Cassidy threw a one-hopper to Ashley Auciello to gun down Vital at the plate.

With the win, Cambridge improved to 2-11 overall and 1-6 in the Greater Boston League. Somerville fell to 3-9 and 1-5 in the GBL.

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