Benet survives close call with Carmel

By D.J. Wanberg
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/14/2014 10:08 PM

Going into Wednesday's rematch at Benet, the Carmel softball team was determined not to have a repeat of Monday's 13-0 pasting at the hands of the Redwings.

And the Corsairs got their wish. Carmel battled Benet from the opening pitch and the Redwings didn't secure the 8-7 victory until Emily York connected on a double to right that scored Julianne Rurka with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

"We definitely brought it today. I thought we did," said Carmel center fielder Sam Melillo, who made two spectacular catches that kept the Corsairs in the game.

Carmel (15-13, 6-8 East Suburban Catholic Conference) led 7-5 going into the bottom of the sixth. With one out York connected on her third of four hits, a double to center. That set the stage for Steph Abello, who slammed her 19th home run of the season about 20 feet past the fence and tied the game.

"That's the way we've been playing. We hit the ball hard and we've gotten stronger as the game goes on," said Benet coach Jerry Schilf.

Later in the inning, Rowan McGuire singled to center for the third time of the game and Jessica Brown walked. But Melillo stretched out to make a spectacular diving catch of a flyball for the third out.

She wasn't done. Melillo sprinted just in the nick of time to reach over the fence to grab a flyball for the first out of the seventh.

"The first catch I just dived and went for it. On the second catch, if I knew where the fence was I might not have caught it," Melillo said.

It was a day of hitting with Benet finishing with 15 and Carmel with 11 and an indication of what kind of game it would be occurred early.

With a 1-1 count in the top of the first, Claire Petrus tripled to right center and scored on Jenny Behan's one-out single to left. Behan finished the day with 3 hits.

Benet responded immediately in its half of the inning. Leadoff hitter Marissa Panko hit her first of 2 doubles and 3 hits overall and scored on Rurka's double. Rurka also had 3 hits.

Then York stepped to her plate and her first of 3 hits was her eighth homer of the season and gave the Redwings a 3-1 lead.

"It feels really good," York said. "Carmel is a real good team and we knew they would give us a fight. We were really pumped (in the bottom of the seventh) and excited. We needed to come through, hit the ball hard and get the runner home."

RBI hits from Kathleen Felicelli and Behan in the second gave the Corsairs the lead back at 4-3.

It didn't last long as the Redwings scored twice to take a 5-4 advantage on Panko's run-scoring second double and Rurka's RBI single.

Carmel grabbed the lead back at 6-5 with two outs in the third. Emma Bartz doubled to left and then scored on a double by Danielle Delozier, who scored on the same play thanks to a Benet throwing error.

The Corsairs' moved ahead 7-5 on Bartz's homer to right in the fifth that also went about 20 feet past the fence.

"I'm pleased we bounced back. On Monday we did not play well," said Carmel coach Jason Raymond. "We've been juggling the whole lineup because of injuries and we've been trying to get some consistency back in it."

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