MONMOUTH — Spruce Mountain and Monmouth softball played hot potato with the lead in the middle and late innings Monday.

The Mustangs sixth-inning charge gave them key 8-7 Mountain Valley Conference softball win over the Phoenix.

“We put the leadoff hitter on six of seven innings, I believe,” Monmouth coach David Kaplan said. “For the kids, it was gut-check time and they came through. Shannah (Parsons) battled through a lot of bases-loaded situations and came back to strike out the key hitters, and we made the good plays when we had to.”

Spruce Mountain coach Lisa Dube said it was a tough loss, but the Phoenix battled and gave the Mustangs everything they had.

“We were right there. We were right there with a tough team like Monmouth — which we knew,” Dube said. “It would have been nice to get the W, but all in all, we never gave up, we came back more than once and we didn’t give up.”

Monmouth (9-2) entered the bottom of the sixth down 6-5. Raleigh Chase started the inning with a double, but Spruce Mountain reliever Jaydn Pingree got the next two batters to fly out. After intentionally walking Parsons, Lily Palleschi reached on an error, and Chase and Parsons both scored on the play to put the Mustangs ahead 7-6.


“I didn’t think that was going to happen, but it worked out for the best,” Palleschi said of two runs coming home on the play. “I was just hustling through it all.”

June Foyt later singled to center and brought in Palleschi for a 8-6 lead.

Spruce Mountain (11-2) made most of its final turn at-bat.

Jaydn Pingree and Leah Burgess each hit one-out singles, then Rylee Turner reached on an error in right field to score Pingree. Parsons struck out one batter but hit Jazmine Pingree with a pitch to load the bases before ending the game with another strikeout.

The offense started early in the game. The Phoenix left a runner at third base in the top of the first, then Monmouth capitalized on its chances in the bottom of the inning. Riley Smith had a one-out double to center and later scored on a two-out triple by Parsons to deep center for a 1-0 lead.

Monmouth loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, and Haylie Paradis took advantage with a single that drove in a run. A Chase line drive right to Jazmine Pingree at third gave Spruce Mountain a quick double play for two outs.


Riley Smith singled to reload the bases, and Madi Herr drew a walk to bring home the Mustangs’ third run.

Jaydn Pingree relieved starter Rylee Turner and got Parsons to groundout to end the inning.

“Rylee Turner did a great job at the plate,” Dube said. “Jaydn came in great in the circle in relief of Rylee, who was off her game today, which is very unusual. Those two had a good game.”

Turner singled twice and reached on an error.

Spruce Mountain loaded the bases in the top of the fourth inning, and Santika Hodgkin’s walk scored a run to get the Phoenix on the board.

The Mustangs scored two during Palleschi’s at-bat in the bottom of the fourth. Chase scored from third on a passed ball and Riley Smith scored when Jayden Pingree threw home and the tag on Smith was late.


“I am doing my job on the team,” Palleschi said. “That’s my job, to get RBIs. I don’t care if I get out, as long as I get the run in, that’s all it counts to me.”

Spruce Mountain loaded the bases in the top of the fifth. Sam Martin walked to bring in a run and Hodgkin reached on fielder’s choice to cut the deficit to 5-3.

Phoenix pinch hitter Ashley Nelson started the top the sixth by reaching first on a dropped third strike, and then Jaydn Pingree singled. Turner grounded out, but the throw to third to get Nelson went out of play, allowing Nelson and Jaydn Pingree to score and tying the game with one out.

Clark reached on an error and Turner scored on a Jazmine Pingree single for a 6-5 Spruce lead.

“The last two or three innings in a row, we had the bases loaded but we just couldn’t get it done,” Dube said. “We had some of our best hitters up, and that happens sometimes.”

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