Shortly after an 11-3 loss to FCIAC title contender St. Joseph last Thursday, Brien McMahon head coach Dani Brown was still searching for consistency in the pitcher’s circle.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Lajoie started for the Senators and was unable to record an out in a six-run first inning by St. Joseph. Senior Jess Stamatis (seven innings, five runs) came in in relief and held the Cadets in check for the most part, until the seventh inning when she served up a grand slam to catcher Jenn Vazquez.
That six-run first inning by St. Joseph came less than 24 hours after Staples erupted for eight runs in the second inning of an 8-0 win over McMahon.
“It’s hard to figure out sometimes what’s the right plan of attack with pitching for us,” Brown said following the loss to St Joseph.
Despite those recent struggles, the Senators are in prime position to reach the state tournament for the first time since 2006. With a 7-12 overall record, all the Senators need is a victory over 1-17 Harding to clinch.
That shouldn’t be too difficult and the Senators aren’t going to overlook the opportunity.
“That’s what we’re playing for right now. Nothing’s handed to us. We’re going to go out and earn it,” Brown said.
Brown knows that the Senators will be relying heavily on Stamatis, who is a senior and has shown flashes of being a top starter.
“She’s been very confident this year and that has been all the difference,” Brown said. “(Opponents) underestimate her. They really do. I know it’s not the fastest thing that’s coming at them, but the ball has movement and she hits spots.
“That’s all that we can ask for. She gets the ball to do what it needs to do.”