SALEM — The Windham High School softball team proved that it could compete alongside the best in Division I with a signature win on Tuesday at Salem.
The Jaguars exploded for four runs in the seventh inning and beat the Blue Devils 7-3. Sophomore Makayla Panich hit the game-winning RBI single in the seventh.
Leading the way on offense for the Jaguars (12-4) were sisters Peyton (2 for 3, triple, double, two RBIs, run scored) and Kendall Gravell (2 for 3, double, single two runs scored), while Panich went 2 for 4 with two singles, an RBI and a run.
“Any win is big for the team’s psyche,” said Jaguars coach Dave Hedge. “It was also big for two reasons because we are kind of the new kids on the block in Division I, and it’s Salem, who we are familiar with because of the proximity and they are a great softball team.”
The Blue Devils (10-3) were led by freshman Allison Olson (3 for 3, two doubles, triple, two runs), freshman Kendall Migliorini (3 for 3, triple, double, single, two RBIs) and senior Alexis LeFebre (2-for-4, double, single, RBI). Windham led the hits category, 9-8.
Windham trailed 3-1 heading into the fifth, but senior Lily McGinnis led off with a single down the left-field line. Two batters later, Kendall Gravell drilled a double on a two-strike pitch down the left-field line, sending McGinnis to third.
Peyton Gravell stepped to the plate with two runners in scoring position and took advantage, drilling a two-run triple to right, knotting the game at 3-3.
“The Gravell sisters did a great job,” said Hedge. “They came up with some big hits.”
In the seventh, Windham put a four-spot on the board in right field. Kendall Gravell led off with an infield single to short, and then during the ensuing at-bat, Peyton Gravell crushed a double to left. Panich connected on the game-winning RBI single to left, as Kendall Gravell crossed home with the game-winning run.
Peyton Gravell crossed home on a wild pitch, and then Panich scored off a suicide-squeeze play by sophomore Larissa Piessens.
Jasmine Moskowitz’ sacrifice fly capped the scoring.
“We did not mentally show up to play (Tuesday),” said Salem coach Haley Chandler. “That is the bottom line. Any time we walk onto the field with our heads down and our energy down; we cannot expect to win and that is what happened.”
The Jaguars opened the scoring in the second. Moskowitz tallied an RBI single through the left side with no outs, plating Piessens, who led off the frame with an infield single.
In the bottom of the second, Olson led off with a double to center for the Devils, and then evened the game at 1-1 on a two-out RBI triple to right by Migliorini. In the top of the third, Salem sophomore catcher Briana Boucher gunned out Peyton Gravell on an attempted steal at second with a perfect throw.
Migliorini came up with a one-out RBI single in the fourth, and then with two down, LeFebre crushed a one-run double to left, giving the hosts a 3-1 lead.
Jaguars junior starting pitcher Abby Bedient was impressive on the mound against a deep and talented Salem lineup. She earned the complete-game win, as she retired the final five batters she faced, including clinching the game with a 1-2-3 seventh. Bedient was on target all day, striking out five and walking none. She allowed eight hits and three earned runs.