While both the Lady Devils and Lady Dukes entered last Thursday night’s varsity softball contest undefeated, the two teams are not in the same group category, not to mention district.
But to the players and fans at Mathews High School, the game took on all the excitement and tension of Game 7 of the World Series as the squads battled for 14 grueling innings and three long hours before the visitors from Gloucester finally emerged victorious, 5-4.
More than 400 people filled the stands and first-base fence line to watch the battle of these talented, unbeaten squads, with the crowd growing as the game wore on.
Gloucester’s Makayla Jenkins ended up winning the pitchers’ duel, going all 14 innings and also helping out her own cause with a two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning. That shot, over the left centerfield fence, seemed to almost everyone to spell an end to this exciting contest.
Everyone, that is, except for the scrappy Lady Devils, who rallied to load the bases, tying the score at 4-4 and sending the game into its second extra inning.
The game would continue for six more innings, with both teams squandering chances to plate the go-ahead run. In the bottom of the 13th inning, Mathews stranded a runner at third base. In the next at-bat, Gloucester would make the Devils pay for that by scoring the winning run.