Radnor rallies past Nazareth Academy in 11th inning

Radnor's Bari Margolis and Michelle Gorson. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)

Radnor's Michelle Gorson was standing on third base in the 11th inning, with her team locked in a 2-2 tie with visiting Nazareth Academy on Wednesday.

Gorson decided she would try to score if the ball was hit on the ground.

She heard the crack of Holly Pachella's bat, but there was a problem. It was a fly ball, not a hard-hit shot up the middle. Gorson scurried back to the bag, tagged up, and raced home to score the decisive run in a 3-2 victory over the Pandas.

Afterward, Gorson, a third baseman, called the moment nerve-racking.

Pachella, the catcher and cleanup hitter for the Red Raiders (14-5), saw things a little bit differently. As soon as she hit the sacrifice fly to right field, she knew she had just knocked in the winning run.

"I hit it to the right side of the field and thought, 'All right, she's in,' " Pachella said. "It felt really clean off the bat."

The game was a pitchers' duel from the start. Radnor's Izzy Schaefer and Nazareth's Taylor Lichtenhahn were stellar in an important nonleague contest with District 1 Class AAA seeding implications.

But it was the Pandas defense that kept Radnor off the scoreboard for nine innings.

Whether it was turning two double plays, making a sliding catch in the outfield, or showing incredible range in the infield, the Pandas (12-5) put on an impressive defensive display.

The game was scoreless until the 10th inning, when both teams got a runner across. The Pandas added a run in the 11th to go up, 2-1, but they stranded two baserunners.

Then it was Radnor's turn to get the bats going.

A bunt by Gorson scored Brooke McClatchy from third, as the Pandas couldn't get the out at home and Gorson reached safely. Next up was Schaefer, who hit the ball hard through the middle, moving Gorson to third.

Then, Pachella was up. The ball may not have been hit on the ground, but Gorson went anyway.

Nazareth Acad. 000 000 000 11 - 2 4 0

Radnor 000 000 000 12 - 3 5 4

WP: Izzy Schaefer

LP: Taylor Lichtenhahn