NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH — Senior Erin Barry registered 11 strikeouts and scattered just four hits as the ninth-seeded Braintree girls’ softball team advanced to the Division 1 South quarterfinals with a 2-1 win over eighth-seeded North Attleborough Saturday afternoon.
“[Barry] kept her composure,” said Braintree coach Katie Jenkins. “She knew what needed to get done and she did a great job.”
Offensively, Braintree (17-4) did all of its damage in the third inning. With one out and a runner on first, a soft grounder by Lily Adams to North Attleborough second baseman Andrea Miceli took a bad hop leaving both runners safe. After Braintree loaded the bases with a walk, Meghan Duffy lined a two-run single to right for a 2-0 lead.
“It wasn’t as routine a play as it looked,” said North Attleborough coach Bill Wallace. “Whenever there’s a tournament game, once you give up that first run your anger kicks in.”
In the circle, the Assumption College-bound Barry was efficient throwing 87 pitches, 61 for strikes. North Attleborough hitters had just two fly balls over the whole game, struggling to make solid contact.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Red Rocketeer bats came alive. Abby Gallagher led off the frame with a double and scored two plays later on a fielder’s choice.
With the tying run on second base, Barry zoned in and struck out the final two North Attleborough hitters to clinch the victory.
“I wasn’t worried about the run scoring because I didn’t know it was the last inning,” said Barry. “So I just gave it 100 percent, kept throwing the pitches the catcher was calling.”Dan Shulman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.