WINTHROP — Winthrop softball coach Chuck Gurney made a request to Maddie Perkins before she moved into position at shortstop in the top of the seventh inning.  

Perkins followed through on her coach’s behest and collected a pop-up for the third out and hand the Ramblers a 9-7 victory over St. Dom’s on a sweltering Wednesday afternoon.

“We were up and down and in between and the kids battled and pulled out in the end. Great game,” Gurney said.

Perkins smashed an inside-the-park home run that brought the Ramblers out of the doldrums in the fifth inning. The Ramblers were down 3-1 when they marched on the Saints.

Second baseman Lydia Rice and teammate Sage Fortin got on with errors and Perkins sent a deep three-run homer into right field and brought everybody, including herself, home.

“We were down and it felt good to get a good hit and bring our team (out of it),” Perkins said. “It felt really good.”

The Ramblers later relied on Perkins’ glove to help secure the win.

“Maddie is our normal starting shortstop,” Gurney said. “She is battling a shin injury. I wasn’t sure if we were going to play her and we decided to put her in as (designated player) tonight. 

“I went to her one last time, and I said, ‘Hey, can you give me one last inning at shortstop in the seventh because we need your glove out there as well as your bat.’”

Winthrop got one more run in the bottom of the fifth when sophomore winning pitcher Bella Littler smashed a triple, held up for a moment at third and decided to race for home with the Ramblers’ fourth run of the frame and a 5-3 lead.

“She’s a backup. I don’t think she has thrown in a month and half,” Gurney said of Littler. “Our No. 1 went down yesterday. (Littler) is a warrior. She battled for us.”

The Saints responded in the top of the sixth with four runs, using a hit batter and several walks to get the ball rolling and Alyssa Hart belted a two-run single. Bella Perryman walked in a run and losing pitcher Kathleen Dean (13 strikeouts )had an RBI single to provide St. Dom’s with a 7-5 lead.

The Ramblers retaliated and used three errors, a hit and a walk to bring four runs home to make it a 9-7 game in the bottom of the sixth.

Dean’s performance on the mound was impressive, with 13 strikeouts.

“She is a great pitcher,” St. Dom’s coach Abigail Bowie said. “She practices on her own with a pitching coach so she has got really great game sense, so we are very happy to have her.”

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