PLAISTOW — Timberlane Regional hurler Kate Hoadley struck out 13 batters and Kaleigh Fitzpatrick hit a two-run triple as the Owls handed Salem its first loss, 5-3, on Friday.
Timberlane improved to 10-2. The Blue Devils dropped to 9-1.
Hoadley, who helped lead the Owls to the 2013 Division I title as a freshman, is having another solid season for Timberlane. “We just try to get the batter and the first out and try to make good plays on defense, which we did,” said Hoadley.
“She has a mental toughness. She bears down,” said Timberlane coach Jim Clavette. “You can get a couple of hits and she comes right back at you.”
Salem outhit Timberlane 10-5 but Hoadley frustrated Salem batters all afternoon as the Blue Devils left baserunners in six of seven innings, a total of 11.
“We left a lot of our runners stranded,” said Salem coach Harold Sachs.
The Owls struck first with two runs in the first inning aided by two Salem errors. The Blue Devils evened the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth. Jess Walsh then drove home pinch runner Jennifer Trodella to give Timberlane a 3-2 lead.
In the sixth Clavette used Fitzpatrick to pinch hit with one out and she responded with a two-run triple to make it 5-2 Owls.
In the seventh, Montana Davis hit a solo homer to make it 5-3 Timberlane, but Hoadley shut the door for the win.
Sachs took the result in stride. “When we wake up tomorrow morning we’re still in first place with a lot of games to go,” said Sachs. “We have a lot of challenges ahead but this is not the playoffs.”