HARWICH – After a tense 10-inning standoff in the first round of MIAA tournament action that ended in victory for the Monomoy girls softball team, the Sharks suffered a heartbreaking loss in the quarterfinals, bringing their stellar 2018 season to an end.
Senior Emma Thacher was the hero of the team's June 7 game against Bellingham, a pitcher's duel that went into extra innings before Thacher stepped to the plate and swung into a two-run walkoff to clinch the win for the home team.
Before that, the visiting Blackhawks had taken a 1-0 lead at the top of the 10th on errors by the Sharks, but Monomoy refused to go down without a fight. First, Courtney Kelley drew a walk to land on first, advancing to second on a single from Michaela Crossen to put two runners on base with no outs. An attempted sac bunt from Caroline DiGiovanni drew the first out when Kelley was tagged at third, with the second coming on a pop fly from Julie Slade.
Enter Thacher. After earning two strikes, Thacher slammed a hit that set the crowd cheering and allowed Crossen and DiGiovanni to make it home and win the game.
Unfortunately for Monomoy, things didn't go as well on June 10 when the Sharks hosted the Case Cardinals in the Div. 3 South quarterfinals. Too many errors on the part of Monomoy's defense allowed the visitors to pack in the runs and take a commanding lead that was further extended in the sixth with an inside-the-park grand slam.
Monomoy was finally able to push across two runs in the sixth, the first when Maddie Crossen's single brought in Thacher, and the second when Michaela Crossen's single allowed Rachel Cardillo to score.
But the game did have a shining moment, albeit one that went largely unnoticed by fans. Sophomore pitcher Mollie Charest surpassed her goal of 300 strikeouts for the season by six. According to Charest's mother, who keeps track, she has 611 in total across all three years of varsity ball, 100 in eighth grade, and 205 last season.
“Mollie had a great season this year with more than 300 strikeouts,” said Monomoy head coach Stacy Yarnall. “And Emma went 2-for-3 against Case. She has gone the past two seasons without ever striking out, which is pretty amazing. She will be missed so much next year.”
Thacher was the team's lone senior and was celebrated at the start of the Sharks' May 29 home game.
While Yarnall was disappointed in the loss, she was pleased with the team's overall season, which ended with a 21-3 record.
“It was a great season for us this year,” Yarnall said. “Tough loss at the end, but Case was a great team. I was impressed that we stayed with them and I look forward to seeing them next year in tournament. I can't wait until next year.”