Davis, Souhegan softball slip past Pembroke

AMHERST – Abrie Davis chooses not to over think the game of softball and that approach is what rendered her team’s winning runs on Monday.

Davis recorded the two game-winning RBI’s in the bottom of the seventh for Souhegan’s 5-4 Division II victory over Pembroke.

Trailing 4-3 in the frame and with runners at second and third, Davis clocked a low hit that whisked past Pembroke third baseman, Meghan Smith to bring home Val Mukai and Lauren McCormick.

“Don’t think, just do, is what I was thinking when I was going up there,” said Davis. “It feels really good being a senior captain to do what I need to do to pull us ahead and get the win.”

Mukai claimed a double when she drove a hit that was just out of reach for Smith and McCormick moved her to third when she popped a shot to right field for a double.

“We got a couple of timely hits and some aggressive base running,” said Sabers coach Tony Doucet who was available in Andrea Crocker’s absence.

Souhegan’s freshman pitcher Hailey Yabroudy (four strikeouts, 8 hits) set the table in the top of the seventh for Davis’s efforts in the bottom. The Spartans (6-6) were intent on padding their lead when they stepped up to bat, but instead were silenced when Yabroudy struck out the side.

“It was her best inning of the game,” Doucet said. “She got stronger as the game went on and it had an energizing effect on the offense.”

The bottom of the seventh was a moment of redemption for Davis who had a hand in Pembroke taking its 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth. With two on, Smith trickled a bunt down the third baseline that Davis snatched up, but her throw back to third base was off the mark and soared into left field opening the door for the Spartans to bring in both base runners.

“That got her down a little bit, but she’s been coming through at the plate all year,” said Doucet.

Davis was rattled from missing out on a recording an out when she had Brianna Connolly caught in a pickle between third and second base. Davis thought Connolly was out when she retreated to second after Hannah Mitchell had already tagged the base, but both runners were ruled safe upon returning to second and first.

“It stuck in our minds and it was hard for us to come back from that,” Davis said.

The lead changed hands three times over the course of the seven innings. The Spartans got the ball rolling in the top of the first with a sacrifice fly from Connolly that was answered in the bottom by Sam Allen’s RBI.

Hannah Mitchell gave the lead back to her Spartans with an RBI in the top of the third, but it was 3-2 Sabers after the bottom of the inning when Mukai and Davis each brought in a run.

“This has been our story all season,” said Pembroke coach Russ Saucier. “They had some good hits, but we’ve got to find a way to close it.”

The Sabers (8-4) had been averaging more than eight runs coming into the game, but the Pembroke fielding was able to cool off the production. Spartans pitcher Lyla Boyajian struck out one batter and allowed nine hits, but Souhegan ended up leaving seven base runners stranded.

“That’s one of the best defensive teams we’ve seen all year,” Doucet said. “They just didn’t give you anything for free.”