Team breaks tie with 16-run explosion in one inning

Cameron Smith

Usually, a softball game that enters the seventh inning tied will finish with a score that is sufficiently narrow on one side or another. That has never been more of a false trail than in late April in suburban Philadelphia in a game that finished with a final score of 24-9 … after starting the seventh with an 8-8 score.

According to the PhillyBurbs.com and the Philadelphia Inquirer, Neshaminy (Pa.) High and William Tennent (Pa.) High entered the seventh inning of their Suburban One League National Conference softball faceoff tied 8-8. By the end of the inning, visiting Neshaminy was heading home with a 24-9 victory, thanks to one of the largest single-inning softball explosions in recent Pennsylvania history.

"We fight back through a lot of mental mistakes the innings before … I challenged them and they answered the challenge," Neshaminy coach Dave Chichilitti told PhillyBurbs.com. "Those last two innings, every single person who came in did their job, from the leadoff batter to the 15th batter.

"We didn't get off the bus until the sixth inning. We stole the momentum back and were able to tie the game there. It carried into the seventh inning."

Given the final score, it seems incredible that Tennent actually led throughout much of the game. In fact, the victorious Redskins trailed by a sizable 8-3 mark entering the sixth inning. That's when Neshaminy rallied for five runs in the sixth, followed by its monumental offensive eruption in the final frame.

While there were any number of statistical oddities to emerge from the late-inning blowout, perhaps the most notable trend from the game was how spread out Neshaminy's offensive production was. Only one Redskins batter -- Courtney Clee -- had as many as six RBis, and both teams had two home runs (admittedly, one of those was a grand slam by Neshaminy's Diana LaPalombara, a hit which accounted for all four of her RBIs). Clearly, it wasn't a simple power surge that lifted Neshaminy's tide.

That hardly put a damper on a memorable game for both teams, even if only Neshaminy is likely to look back on it with wide smiles.

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