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Orange - It was the 13th inning of the state championship series, two games worth and then some, and the usually offensive-minded Mystic Little League softball team (ages 11-12) had yet to score.
That was until Karly Morales looped the first pitch she saw in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday afternoon into short right field to score Meagan Giwoyna for a 1-0 victory over Seymour, tying the series at one game each headed to today's deciding game three.
Manager Pete Georgetti, prior to the 11-year-old Morales' at-bat, saw tears in his batter's eyes.
"That's probably the most nervous I've ever been." Morales said.
"That was a perfect base hit," said Georgetti, whose team lost the opener 1-0 on Saturday. "That was a normal inning for us. The seventh inning was more typical of what we do. I was talking to my coach back in the sixth inning and I said, 'What's going on here?'
"I really thought we were going to come out and get decent runs today. But it's a good pitcher and a good team. We're obviously very evenly matched."
The final game against Seymour will be held at 7 tonight at Stankye Field in Orange with a trip to the New England Regional in Bristol on the line.
Allison Georgetti earned the victory for Mystic, pitching a three-hitter with three strikeouts and one walk. Mystic had only two hits entering the seventh against Seymour pitcher Molly Adamo, who struck out seven and retired 15 straight batters at one point.
In the seventh, however, Giwoyna hit the first pitch to left field for a single and Nora Ryan laid down a sacrifice bunt to push Giwoyna to second. Olivia Carney flew out to center field, but Aspen Ryan singled past the pitcher to give Mystic runners on first and third.
Morales followed with the game-winning hit, as Mystic has now followed both its all-star losses, one against Waterford in the District 10 championship series, with victories.
"It's just good ball," Pete Georgetti said of the matchup with Seymour, which yielded just one error between the teams Sunday. "You see the girls making plays, throwing across the field, diving, making plays like big girls."
Seymour had runners in scoring position in the first, second and third innings, with Allison Georgetti, the second left-hander in two days to face Seymour, pitching out of jams. In the second she fielded a two-out bunt and threw to first to end the inning with the potential go-ahead run on third.
In the third inning, Seymour's Megan Condo led off the inning with a single and stole second. With one out, Kolby Sirowich flew to left field to Giwoyna and Condo tagged and went to third. Mystic appealed that Condo left the base early and Condo was called out, but not without a few dramatics first.
Because the appeal was a live play, Condo took off for home and was thrown out by Olivia Carney with catcher Olivia Travers holding onto the ball as Condo slid in. The play at the plate didn't end up mattering, but the home plate umpire made the out call anyway, thus confusing the matter of which out counted.
The seventh inning marked Mystic's first runner to reach scoring position and the team took advantage.
"We have a really good offense and defense," said Morales, Mystic's third baseman. "(Monday), we just have to go into the game doing our best, play hard and pick ourselves up."