HANOVER — When the 2021 softball season first began, Amelia Freitas wasn’t truly sure if she would be able to enjoy her final campaign with Plymouth South, as she continued to recover from a fractured wrist.
It finally came time to return to the mound on Wednesday, however, and the senior only needed one inning to revert back to being an ace. The Albany commit fired a complete game, striking out 14 as Plymouth South staved off a late comeback bid by Hanover to pick up a 5-3 victory.
“It’s finally good to be back and playing with my team on the field,” said Freitas. “It’s been hard. We missed last season, and I was missing this season. So it’s just good to be back out there, and the fact that I did well is a nice plus.”
Initially, Freitas struggled to find the plate in the first inning, bouncing a few pitches in the dirt as she tried to regain her rhythm. When the Panthers needed her to step up, the senior came away with a key strikeout to end the frame, as she stranded a pair of runners to keep it a scoreless game.
Plymouth South finally managed to break through at the plate in the top of the third inning. Following a series of miscues by Hanover in the field, freshman Lauren Trostel connected on a bloop single to right to plate a run, as the Panthers took a 1-0 advantage.
Later on in the frame, freshman Elli Ciccetti lined one to center, and the ball was dropped, allowing another run to cross. Alyssa Briggs then ripped an RBI single to center, providing Plymouth South a 3-0 lead.
While Freitas would surrender a run in the bottom of the third off an RBI single by Hanover senior Ellie DiCarlo, she had found her stride by that point, striking out three in the inning.
Then in the fourth, Freitas struck out the side in order. By that point, she had already racked up 11 strikeouts in the game.
Outside of a few minor hiccups along the way, she would coast to the seventh inning, looking to finish things off. However, Hanover is considered one of the better teams from the Patriot League for a reason, and the Hawks made things interesting late.
Trailing 5-2, and down to its final out, Hanover had runners on the corners, with the tying run at the plate. Freitas proceeded to fire a wild pitch, allowing a run to score.
“I just tried to level myself,” Freitas said. “Be level-headed, breathe through it, and I knew that I had a good defense behind me.”
With the game hanging in the balance, Freitas eventually slammed the door, forcing a lineout at second to end it.
Briggs finished 2-for-4 with two RBI for Plymouth South offensively.
DiCarlo had a pair of hits in the effort for Hanover.
“(Amelia’s) done a great job,” said Plymouth South coach Stephanie Finn. “She’s really put us in a good place, despite her injury. It’s been very frustrating for her, but she’s been here everyday, just ready to go. Today was exciting for her to be here. We’re looking forward to the next few weeks, having her around.”
High School Sports, Sports, Hanover, High school softball, Plymouth South, Plymouth South softball, Wednesday’s high school scoreboard