WEIRTON - The girls on the Madonna and Toronto softball teams starred in this Spring's latest blockbuster - "The Marathon Game."
The game turned into a scorekeeper's nightmare as the teams sent 80 batters to the plate, combined to produce 25 hits and score 22 runs.
In the end, Madonna's Amanda Paul, one of 18 players to get at least one hit in the contest, ended the game with a single with no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning enabling the Blue Dons to down the Red Knights, 15-7, Thursday evening at Starvaggi Park.
SOLID BACKSTOP — Madonna catcher Annie Magnone reacts to a pitch in the second inning of the Blue Dons’ game against?Toronto on Thursday. Madonna beat the Red Knights.
-- Matthew Peaslee
"The game had a little bit of everything," Madonna head coach Chris Conti said. "We hit the ball well tonight. They came to the field with a positive attitude.
"We hit the ball well. We played well as a team. Courtney (Kaczmarek) pitched well, and we played good defense behind her."
Madonna (5-3) outhit Toronto, 15-10. The teams also combined to steal more than a dozen bases in the game and committ seven errors. Toronto also made multiple changes to its battling lineup as well as the lineup on the field.
"We hit the ball great today," Toronto head coach Kayla Mosti said. "We have worked hard on our at-bats (with) live pitching at practice. We have hit the ball tremendously the last two games.
"We are going to continue to work as a team, and we want to mesh as a team."
Kaczmarek picked up the win for Madonna, striking out three and walked two.
Offensively, Emily Pietranton ended up with two singles and three RBIs, Aubrey Platak tallied a single and three RBIs and Montana Mascio collected a single, a double and two RBIs. Also, Paul produced two singles and an RBI, Brianna Fierro finished with a run-scoring single and Becca Holt contributed three base hits.
Finally, Taylor Thompson totaled two base hits.
The Blue Dons scored at least one run in every inning except the third. Madonna sent 39 batters to the plate, and the Blue Dons were never retired in order.
The Blue Dons stole 11 bases in the game.
"We were aggressive," Conti said. "We are going to run when we have runners on base. We have a fast team, and we are going to use our speed when we get the chance."
Desiree Meadows took the loss for Toronto. The freshman pitcher struck out one and walked six in her four innings of work on the mound in relief of starter and classmate Serena Burkey. Burkey contributed two strikeouts and one walk in her one inning inside of the circle.
Offensively, 10 players produced hits for the Red Knights (1-5).
Individually, Burkey contributed a double and four RBIs, Lexie Berger, Emily Kosikowski and Meadows all recorded a single and an RBI and Emily Anderson, Allyson Kuntz, Chelsea Anderson, Meghan Rawson, Delaney Meredith and Hannah Parker all tallied a base hit.
"We have played Toronto for years," Conti said. "It is a friendly rivalry. It is always a good game when we play them. It is always a good game, and it is a nice-clean game."
The Red Knights had a runner thrown out at the plate in the third and fifth innings, and the Red Knights had a run taken away in the fourth when a runner was called out for leaving third base too soon on a tag play following a flyout to center.
The game took more than two hours to complete.
"It is a big win for us," Conti said. "We needed this win. We lost to Catholic Central and Oak Glen the last two days. The girls needed to win this game to get their confidence back. Hopefully, tonight's win will give them a confidence boost for the rest of the season."
Madonna is scheduled to play at 5 p.m. today at home against Bishop Donahue in a makeup game. The Red Knights will play two games Saturday at home, facing Lisbon at 2 p.m. and Buckeye Local in a makeup game at 4 p.m.
"We have played some tough teams this season," Mosti said.
Madonna 15, Toronto 7
Toronto 150 010 - 7 10 4
Madonna 150 151 - 15 15 3
TORONTO: Burkey (2K, 1BB), Meadows (LP 1K, 6BB) and E. Anderson and Kuntz (2); E. Anderson S; Berger S, RBI; Burkey D, 4RBI; Kuntz S; C. Anderson S; Rawson S; Meredith S; Meadows S, RBI; Kosikowski S, RBI; Parker S.
MADONNA: Kaczmarek (WP 3K, 2BB) and Magnone; Holt 3S; Thompson 2S; Paul 2S, RBI; Mascio S, D, 2RBI; Pietranton 2S, 3RBI; Platak S, 3RBI; Fierro S, RBI.