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Softball defeated West Orange, 6-5, in the 2019 Regional Quarterfinal

Softball shocks West Orange in Regional
5/8/2019 11:20:00 PM

Raychel Trocki's fifth inning grand slam vaulted Softball to a 6-4 lead and Dr. Phillips withstood two furious rallies in the final two innings to stun West Orange, 6-5, in the Regional Quarterfinal. DP (22-5) spotted West Orange two runs in the second and another two in third to trail 4-0 and despite hitting the ball hard early, couldn't muster any runs offensively until the fifth. With two outs and little momentum, Tiare Kong and Gracie Lopez ignited the offense with back-to-back singles and Dejia Benn kept the rally going with a walk. With the bases loaded, senior Kati Kelly stepped in and rapped a ground ball back through the box that slipped into center field to bring home Kong and Lopez to halve the deficiit to 4-2. That brought senior Megan Rush to the plate and after misfiring on the first two pitches, West Orange elected to go to the bullpen in the middle of Rush's at-bat. That proved to be disastrous. Rush drew a walk to load the bases for Raychel Trocki and after fouling off the first two pitches and taking a ball, Trocki belted the next pitch to dead center field all the way to the fence. West Orange's center fielder got a glove on the ball but couldn't haul in the catch and the ball bounced off her glove and over the fence for a grand slam home run. That capped a six-run burst for the Panthers and put them up, 6-4, heading into the final two innings. They wouldn't be easy. In the top of the sixth, West Orange loaded the bases with nobody out but Trocki picked up a huge strikeout, Dejia Benn gloved a pop-up to shortstop and Ailey Schyck ended the threat, snaring a liner to third for the final out. One inning later, West Orange led off the seventh inning with a triple into the left field corner to put the tying run at the plate. The next batter ripped a line shot to center field that was snared by Gracie Lopez, who then fired a strike to home plate but the runner beat the tag at the plate to cut the DP lead to 6-5. With one out, DP caught a break when West Orange's next batter popped out to catcher Megan Rush for the second out and on an 0-2 pitch, the next batter lifted a short fly into shallow left field that was gloved by Dejia Benn for the final out. The victory was historical on several counts. It marked the Panthers' 22nd of the season, tying the school record set last year, it was their first Regional Tournament victory in the school's 32-year history and snapped an 18-game losing streak to West Orange dating back through 2007. DP will host Apopka in the Regional Semifinal Tuesday night at 7:00 pm.

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