MANCHESTER • Junior center fielder Ronnie Skorcz kept the Summit softball team’s season alive with a two-run double Wednesday.
Time will tell if it will be a game-winning hit, as well.
Skorcz’s two-out hit in the top of the seventh inning helped Summit battle into a 10-9 lead against Parkway South in the opening round of the Class 4 District 3 tournament.
With Skorcz standing on second base, the game was suspended because of darkness and is scheduled to be resumed at 2:45 p.m. Thursday at Marquette.
“Everybody wants to be the hero of the game and be the star of the show,” Skorcz said. “This was awesome for me. I would have loved for it to be our only senior, but I wouldn't trade it.”
After the Falcons (10-15) and Patriots (13-9) decide matters, the winner advances to play immediately in a district semifinal against defending Class 4 state champion Marquette (19-4).
Summit led 6-0 lead after two innings but fell behind 9-6 to the Patriots, who scored nine runs twice in regular-season victories against Summit.
“It's amazing, I looked at the scoreboard and thought, 'Holy heck, they got another nine spot,' ” Falcons coach Doug Robinson said. “I told our kids earlier we were up 6-0 and that it wasn't enough. South is comfortable and confident. They've hit our pitching, they're not going to quit.”
The Patriots got a two-run home run from senior pitcher Mary Burkhalter in the fifth and a grand slam from sophomore shortstop Emma Bovaconti in the sixth to tie the game before pushing across three more in the sixth for the 9-6 lead.
Patriots coach Dave McFarland said the offensive outbursts were similar to the team’s 9-6 and 9-8 wins earlier this season against the Falcons.
“A lot of times, we need those nine runs because that's a great team over there and they're going to put runs up, too,” McFarland said. “We just need to eliminate walks and errors and that would change these games around a lot.”
Summit scored five runs in the first inning, with the key hit being a Chloe Rhine run-scoring double. Summit added a second-inning run and was sailing before Parkway South stormed back.
The Patriots were three outs away from advancing with a 9-6 lead as darkness threatened. Summit’s four-run outburst assured the game couldn’t be decided before the bottom half of the inning, pushing the result back a day.
“We really want to get the chance to play Marquette, the girls really do, that's the big goal,” said Skorcz, whose double was only her third of the season and first since late August. “We have spectacular athletes and we'll make the plays.”