By Mike Zummo
It came down to an errant throw.
With the game tied, Middletown’s Sierra DiGiorgio smacked a leadoff double and then came around to score the winning run when the throw to first base on a sacrifice bunt went into right field as Middletown walked off the Vikings, 3-2, on Saturday morning.
“I thought they played well,” Valley Central coach Katie Farrugia said. “Middletown is always a great competition. I thought they didn’t give up and they kept pushing even though we were down for most of the game. We made a few mistakes, but I thought, overall, offensively, we came ready to play.”
Valley Central pitcher Isabella Mayo struggled in the first inning, as the Middie Bears put up two first runs as three of the first four batters – Allysha Cruz, Elyse Marcano and Ava Rodriguez doubled.
But from there, Mayo held the Middies’ offense down, only allowing two hits until the seventh inning.
“She pitched really well,” Farrugia said. “She gave up the runs in the first inning, and usually that can get a team down, but Bella stepped up and took them down for five innings. It was great.”
That gave her teammates an opportunity to draw even, scoring individual runs in the third and sixth innings.
Jackie Rometo, who had several days earlier recorded her 100th career hit, despite missing a season to injury and last year to the COVID-109 pandemic, singled and delivered a two-out single.
After Brianna Robinson’s single pushed her to second base, Sarah Congelosi drove Rometo home with a single to right field.
Then, Emilia Brundage blasted a triple to right field to lead off the sixth inning and came home on Megan Mann’s sacrifice fly to tie the game.
The Vikings got a runner to second base in the seventh inning and Megan hit a liner to center field that stayed up for Middletown’s Alyssa Platero to end the threat.
“We have a lot of heart going into each and every game and we’re starting to hit our stride a little bit offensively, and defensively,” Farrugia said. “We’ve had some bumps and bruises along the way with injuries, but there’s always somebody willing and ready to step up and seem to do the job. Everything about this team has been hard.”
It was the end of a week that saw the Vikings split four games, as they opened the week with a 3-2 victory over Pine Bush before dropping a 6-5 decision to Warwick, which ended their Division II scheduled with a 5-1 record, the best in their division.
They rebounded from the loss to Warwick with a 15-3 win over Goshen on Friday before falling to Middletown on Saturday.
They are scheduled to see the Middie Bears again on June 3.
“I’m hoping that we can come together and continue having heart and support each other and competition for sections with Monroe-Woodbury and Warwick, and any other team that gets in there with us,” Farrugia said.