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PELHAM, N.Y. — The list of legitimate Class A contenders in the Section 1 softball keeps on growing.
Add Pelham to an already deep field in the region’s most competitive — and maybe the most talented — conference. The Pelicans picked up an impressive 7-3 victory over rival Eastchester on Thursday to avenge an eight-inning loss to the Eagles earlier this season.
“The last game was a tough one, going into extra innings,” Pelham senior Meghan Reynolds said. “We were right there with them and we knew we didn’t play our best. We knew if we did play our best, we knew we could beat them. We were so focused today.”
Sophomore Ellen Gardon smacked a home run deep over the fence in center to start a four-run fourth inning rally for the Pelicans, who improved to 8-2 on the season.
Seven different players drove in runs for Pelham, which was near-flawless defense behind pitcher Kelly Keith. The senior allowed just three hits and struck out two against an Eastchester team that had been scoring eight runs per game.
Pelham’s defense played a big role, especially senior shortstop Meghan Reynolds.
“Meghan Reynolds, she is the person I can rely on,” Keith said. “She is my rock. We’ve been playing together the last three years. I have full faith in her and I have full confidence in everyone behind me.”
“I think we can really count on our defense,” said Reynolds, who’ll play at College of St. Rose. “We have eight seniors on this team and I know that we can count on them all the time.”
The Pelicans head into the final stretch of the season primed to make a run at a top four seed in the Class A playoffs. Their only other loss was to four-time Section 1 champ Pearl River, a 7-1 defeat.
Caitlin Hearle doubled and drove in a run for Pelham, and Keith, Reynolds, Meaghan McDonough, Caitie Nesi and Samantha Wright had RBI in the win.
Anna Crowley led Eastchester with two hits, including an opposite-field home run, and two runs scored.
“This showed we can play with the best teams in the section,” Reynolds said. “Our goal is to make it to the sectional final. To beat a team like Eastchester, which has been named a top team, and we hadn’t gotten much recognition, this boosts our confidence.”
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