AUBURN – Andi Mitchell faced two very distinct challenges Wednesday afternoon.

She had to squeeze bunt in the game-winning run and then subsequently, had to find a way to retrieve her glove off the dugout roof.

“I was a little nervous,” said the Lake Region third baseman about the squeeze play in the ninth inning. “I’d just hurt my thumb. So I hadn’t been bunting a lot either. When he asked me to bunt, I was like ‘Oh God’, but I was pretty confident. I knew we were going to do it.”

The bunt plated Meghan Craffey to break the tie and two batters later Kim Rivet followed with a three-run homer to lift the Lakers to a 6-2 win over St. Dom’s.

Then came the glove dilemma. In her excitement over the victory, Mitchell tossed her glove in the air. It landed on the roof of the dugout. It took Kayla Nowell and a boost from teammates to retrieve it.

“I got a little excited,” said Mitchell. “It was pretty big. It was the last game of the season, but we needed it. We’re a Class B team and they’re Class C. So we just really wanted to win it.”

The Lakers (12-4) were third in the Western B Heal Point standings. St. Dom’s (9-5) was seventh in Western C and could have received a boost with a win.

“I told them ‘We lost the game and I can’t tell you it was a good game because it wasn’t a good game because of the unearned runs, but at the same time, going into the playoffs, I’m happy,'” said St. Dom’s coach Dan Samson. “If we keep playing like this, I am happy.”

The Saints have shown great improvement over the season and rallied twice against a quality club. St. Dom’s had chances to win in the seventh and eighth but stranded the winning run at third. The Saints left 11 runners on base.

“We just didn’t manufacture when we were supposed to,” said Samson.

In the ninth, Craffey and Chelsea Meyers each singled to leadoff the inning. Mitchell followed with her squeeze to break the tie. After the first out, Rivet padded the lead with a shot to center.

“Once we had both runners on and they didn’t have any outs, we knew we had to have it,” said Mitchell.

St. Dom’s tied the game in the seventh with two outs. Lewis walked and took third on a Murphy single. With Katelyn Bermudez at the plate, she feigned a bunt on the pitch. Murphy took off for second while Lewis came halfway to home. When Craffey threw the ball back to pitcher Jess Hutchins, Lewis raced for the plate. Hutchins’ return throw glanced off Craffey’s glove and hit umpire Bill Lawler in the face.

“She’s my go-getter,” said Samson of Lewis. “She’s the player of the team.”

Lawler had a nasty cut on his nose, was bleeding heavily and could not continue. After a delay, Bermudez walked and Erynne Landry’s sharply hit ball was caught at second by Powers to end the threat. Micaela Kelly was stranded at third the following inning after a single and passed ball advanced her.

The Lakers made it 1-0 in the first when Morgan McClean scored on a wild pitch with two outs. Lewis scored in the third on a double steal. Laker Kelsey Powers scored on another wild pitch in the fourth for a 2-1 lead.

“When you give them unearned runs, I don’t think we gave them an earned run in the first seven innings,” said Samson. “It should have been 1-0 us.”


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