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Raiders walk off against Trinity

By David Barr, davidbarr@pressandjournal.com
Posted 4/19/17

Hayli Akakpo-Martin stole third base and scored the game-winning run on a passed ball in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Lady Raiders a 4-3 walk-off win over visiting Trinity Tuesday …

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Raiders walk off against Trinity

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Hayli Akakpo-Martin stole third base and scored the game-winning run on a passed ball in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Lady Raiders a 4-3 walk-off win over visiting Trinity Tuesday afternoon.

Akakpo-Martin laid down a bunt and was safe at first and advanced to second on a wild throw to first base which put her in scoring position with one out in the seventh. From there, she continued Middletown’s winning streak by taking advantage of a poor throw to third during a steal attempt to score the winning run.

For a while, it didn’t look as though either team would be able to muster enough offense to keep the game from going into extra innings after an offensive explosion in the first inning from both sides. Trinity jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. A double by Amanda Smith scored Erin Pfeffer and Jenna Barone to make it 2-0 and a triple by Samantha Coleman scored Smith increasing Trinity’s lead to 3-0. Middletown pitcher Noelle Zimmerman got Kayla Youch to pop out and stop the bleeding for the home squad.

Middletown answered Trinity’s three-run inning with a three-run inning of their own in the bottom of the first. Gabby Krupilis and Akakpo-Martin both drew walks to put runners on first and second with no outs before Krupilis stole third base and later scored to put Middletown on the board. A triple by Kylee Nester scored Akakpo-Martin and cut Middletown’s deficit to one run. Nester later tied it at three apiece but Middletown couldn't get the leading run home.

After the first-inning fireworks, both teams settled down on the mound and on defense. Trinity had an opportunity to break open the game in the top of the fourth after loading the bases with no outs following a single to center field, a walk, and a bunt single, but Zimmerman got out of the jam by striking out Maria Carroll and Kya Lee and getting Piper Johnson to ground to third for out number three.

The Blue Raiders’ best chance to take the lead came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Krupilis hit a bloop single to right field and later stole second base and advanced to third with two outs. Nester walked to put runners on the corners for Middletown, but Veronica Miller flied out to right field to strand Krupilis and Nester and end the threat.

It was more of the same in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jordyn Dupes popped out to third for the first out and Miller popped out to second for the second out. Riley Elhajj singled to left-center and advanced to third on Kate Fitzpatrick’s double to put two runners on in scoring position for Middletown. The Blue Raiders couldn’t bring Elhajj home after Hailey Hockenberry struck out for the final out.

After a three-up-three-down top of the seventh inning for Trinity, Middletown looked to end the game in their half of the inning and not send the game to extras. It wasn’t easy as Kruplis struck out for the first out before Akakpo-Martin’s heroics.

For the Raiders, Zimmerman went the distance, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out five and walking one. Akakpo-Martin was 1-3 with a single, a walk, two runs scored, and two stolen bases, while Nester was 1-2 with an RBI triple, a walk, and a run scored, and Krupilis was 1-3 with a walk, a run scored, and two stolen bases.

Middletown now stands at 5-4 overall, with a 3-1 Mid-Penn Capital Division record and they pushed their winning streak to three in a row after Susquehanna Township Monday and Eastern York on April 13.

“That was a big win,” Raiders coach Mike Thomas said. “We’re on a three-game winning streak, so we’re pumped. I’m very proud of my girls for not quitting.”

Next up for the Blue Raiders is a home contest against West Perry on April 20, on the road at C.D. East on April 21st, and a home game versus Milton Hershey on April 25.

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