AUBURN – Wednesday was finally a nice enough day for a walk, maybe even two depending on your schedule, but it’s safe to assume neither St. Dom’s nor North Yarmouth Academy wanted anything to do with 16 walks, no matter the weather.
Thanks in part to 10 walks issued by Panther pitching and a clutch stand-up triple in the sixth inning by Laura Robitzek, the Saints supported starting pitcher Danielle Jamison with nine runs to take a 9-3 softball decision from NYA at St. Dom’s, the team’s seventh straight win.
“It was a rough opener,” said Jamison, “but now that we have it going, we’re on a pretty good streak.”
Jamison, who is coming off a hand injury, had trouble finding the strike zone from time to time and issued six free passes, but managed 11 strikeouts over seven innings despite throwing 142 pitches.
“It wasn’t all there,” admitted Jamison. “It was a little iffy at some points, but it came through. I really didn’t have enough grip on the ball, so it was mainly a fastball.”
Robitzek, meanwhile, broke open a 5-3 game in the sixth with her second hit of the game, a stand-up triple deep to left-center that plated Autumn Bell and Kate Elsinger.
“You know, all I did was hit it and start running,” said Robitzek. “I run as fast as I can and get as far as I can go.”
Robitzek then came around to score, as did Mary Lewis to put the Saints more comfortably ahead.
“It’s really important to get them in there when it’s a tight game,” said Robitzek. “Those are the kinds of things that wake everybody back up and get the team going.”
After an error to open the top of the seventh, Jamison shut the Panthers (3-5) down with a pop-up and two strikeouts to earn the win.
“We’re not going to baby (Jamison),” said Samson. “She’s the pitcher with the most wins for us, she’s our go-to pitcher and she did well enough to win today.”
St. Dom’s (7-2) was on the board early, as Elsinger and Robitzek crossed the plate on an error and a single, respectively. NYA answered in the third as Allie Tocci and Grace Hyndman scored on a single, three consecutive walks and another single.
“We hit the ball much better today (than the last time we faced them),” said NYA coach Mick Rogers. “They’re a good team, though. They execute very well and don;t make many mistakes.”
St. Dom’s used small-ball tactics to earn its next two runs, both in the bottom of the fifth following a pair of walks, a wild pitch and two consecutive sacrifice bunts.
“That’s really our greatest asset,” said Robitzek. “We have a lot of people on the team who can come in and either have enough speed to get onto first on a bunt or they can just move the people along.”
NYA plated its last run in the sixth before the Saints (7-2) exploded in the bottom of the inning.