• Dan Russoman

St. Joe tops Ocean City, wins tournament


St. Joseph Academy shortstop Katie Dainton (left) fields a throw as Ocean City’s MacKenzee Segich (right) slides into second base during last week’s game. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

HAMMONTON—St. Joseph Academy’s softball team overcame some sloppy play to defeat Cape Atlantic League rival Ocean City 14-4 last week.


The Wildcats committed several mental errors in the win, but were able to make up for those mistakes to pull out a win.


“That was maybe our worst game of the year,” a frustrated St. Joseph coach Les Olson said.


“We can’t play like that. Base running mistakes, errors, walks. We’re better than that and we have to start playing like it,” Olson said.


Both pitchers struggled with command during the game. St. Joe’s Ava Fisher labored through five innings, allowing just two hits but walking 10. Ocean City pitchers weren’t much better, issuing 12 walks and hitting four batters in the game.


St. Joe managed seven hits in the win, delivering when they needed to escape with their third-straight win.


“We’re lucky we hit the ball OK today. But we had some chances to put the game away and we didn’t do it,” Olson said.


St. Joe allowed a run in the top of the first as Fisher walked two batters in the inning. The Wildcats fought back in their half of the first, scoring 10 runs on just two hits. Xelynn Rodriguez had a RBI single to start the rally, and later Isabella Davis, Kylie Tomlin, Jenna Calchi and Brooke Tyndale drew bases-loaded walks to score four more runs. Katie Dainton drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and Abby Willis later singled in another run.


Ocean City scored once in the second before St. Joe added a run when Tyndale walked and eventually stole home on the front end of a double steal.


After allowing another run in the third, the Wildcats scored twice on Tomlin’s single to take a 13-3 lead.


Once again, Ocean City plated a run in the fourth, and St. Joe clinched the game in the bottom of the fifth when Rodriguez singled and came around to score on Davis’ fielder’s choice.


That win came after St. Joe had opened the week’s play with a 16-6 win against Oakcrest.


Rodriguez, Dainton and Willis each drove in two runs in the win, while Davis tripled twice and scored two runs.


Fisher earned the win with eight strikeouts.


Last weekend, St. Joe played in the Betty Howell Tournament at Oakcrest, taking home the title.


In the opener, the Wildcats topped Buena 19-3, powered by an 11-run fourth inning rally.


Fisher tripled and drove in four runs, Macie Jacquet scored four times and Dainton added three hits, including a double for her 100th career hit, scored three times and had three RBIs.


Fisher earned the win, striking out five.


The semifinals saw the Wildcats topple host Oakcrest 14-4. Angelina Bill earned the win in that game, striking out eight.


At the plate, Tomlin was 4-for-5 with a double, and four RBIs, while Calchi had three hits and drove in two and Willis Rodriguez and Tyndale each had two RBIs.


In the finals, St. Joe rallied past Atlantic City 20-10. The Wildcats fell behind 7-0 early in the game, but scored 13 runs in the fourth inning to break the game open.


Rodriguez led the Wildcats with three hits, scoring four times and driving in five runs. Fisher homered and had five RBIs and Jacquet was 5-for-6 with a double, three runs batted in and three runs scored. Bill earned the win, striking out three.


St. Joe’s next game is on May 4 against Cedar Creek at 4 p.m.