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Twice, Avon erases three-run deficits but Hall outlasts Falcons in 12 innings

Avon freshman pitcher Jackie Pendel struck out a career-high 20 batters in a 7-6 loss to Hall in 12 innings Tuesday.

AVON, May 7 – Twice, the Avon High girls softball team erased three-run deficits in Tuesday’s CCC West contest with Hall High at Fisher Meadows.

But the visiting Warriors took advantage of two Avon errors in the top of the 12th inning to beat the Falcons, 7-6. Avon committed a season-high seven errors and gave up four unearned runs in the loss.

Both pitchers performed admirably in the marathon contest. Avon freshman Jackie Pengel threw 208 pitches over 12 innings, allowing five hits and striking out a career-high 20 batters. Hall hurler Sophia Garner-McKinnon also went 12 innings, allowing seven hits and fanning 22 batters. She threw 173 pitches.

Hall (10-3) took a 6-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning with two runs scoring on an error and catcher Megan Polon stealing home. But Avon rallied in the bottom of the ninth to keep the game going.

With one out, Avon’s G.G. Elwood reached on an error and moved to third base on Pengel’s single to right field. Elwood scored on Kaitlyn Hards’ single with Pengal moving to third. A walk to Avon catcher Amanda Hasler loaded the bases leading to Kendra Hards’ two-RBI single to right field to tie the game at 6-6.

But Gardner-McKinnon bore down and with runners on second and third bases, she got a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.

Hall’s Sophia Gardiner-McKinnon slides into third base Tuesday before Avon shortstop Elizabeth Jerger can apply the tag.

Hall, which has won eight straight games, took a 7-6 lead in the top of the 12th inning. Marissa Lazinsk reached on an error when an infield dropped a fly ball. She moved to second on the miscue. Lazinsk scored when Garner-McKinnon reached on an error.

Avon (7-4) trailed 3-0 after 5½ innings before Hasler put the Falcons on the board with her team-leading fifth home run of the season. In the seventh inning, Avon rallied with two outs to send the game into extra innings.

Pengel reached on an error and Nicole Detora scored. Kaitlyn Hards’ RBI single tied the game at 3-3. Again, Gardner-McKinnon got out of a sticky situation to keep her team in the game. With the bases loaded, she got Kendra Hards to ground out to second base to end the threat and send the game into extra innings.

Kaitlyn Hards was 2-for-6 with two RBI for the Falcons while Kendra Hards was 1-for-5 with a double. For Hall, Poulin was 2-for-6 while Gardner-McKinnon had a triple in the game.

Hall 7, Avon 6 (12)
At Avon
Hall (10-3)            201  000  003  001  — 7-5-2
Avon (7-4)            000  001  203  000  — 6-7-7
Sophie Garner-McKinnon and Megan Polon; Jackie Pengel and Amanda Hasler; WP: Garner-McKinnon; LP: Pengal (7-3); 3B: Garner-McKinnon; HR: Hasler

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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