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Jackets hold share of first
McAllister pitches, scores winning run
By DAVE UTNIK
Mickey McAllister's thumb was sore, her leg was bleeding
and her white Osbourn Park softball jersey was a filthy, dirt-streaked mess.
As she stood on the infield grass following a 6-5 victory over rival
Gar-Field Friday afternoon, the Yellow Jackets junior wondered if she'd ever
felt better in her life.
Knowing that the Yellow Jackets needed a win to keep their Cardinal
District championship hopes alive, McAllister pitched until her bruised
right thumb was swollen. Then, after giving her teammates four gutsy innings
in the circle, she sprinted home from third base with a bloody left knee in
the eighth inning to knock the visiting Indians out of first place.
McAllister, who was advised not to play softball until her thumb had
time to heal, singled into right field to lead off the game-winning rally. She
stole second, advanced to third on Gar-Field's fifth error of the day and
scored without a throw home when freshman Erin Myers hit a one-out chopper
"I didn't even see the play," McAllister said. "I just looked down and
She didn't stop running until she was swarmed by screaming teammates
outside the Osbourn Park dugout. With their first victory over Gar-Field in
Willie Lemay's four years as head coach, the Yellow Jackets improved to 12-6
overall and held onto a share of the district lead at 10-2.
"I'm not supposed to play right now. It would be better for me if I
didn't, but it's for the team," McAllister said.
Because of her sore thumb, McAllister was limited to throwing fastballs
and changeups, but that combination worked just fine.
McAllister faced 18 batters and left the circle with a 5-3 lead. She
allowed four hits, struck out two and was backed up by a pair of double
plays as the Yellow Jackets knocked defending champion Gar-Field into third
"I didn't know how many innings I could go, but I definitely wanted to
play. All season long we've talked about beating Gar-Field," McAllister
said. "I wish I could have finished the game, but I knew after the fourth
inning I couldn't throw any more pitches."
The Indians rallied to tie the game at 5 on pinch-hitter Angela Zamora's
two-run single in the sixth. But sophomore reliever Claire Sanchez shut
Gar-Field out without allowing another hit the rest of the way to earn the
"We knew what we needed to do, we just didn't get it done," Gar-Field
coach Mike McDonald said. "We helped them out a little bit."
With one week remaining in the regular season, a three-team race for
first place swayed in Osbourn Park's favor. The Yellow Jackets, who earned a
day off from practice today so the team's juniors and seniors can attend
tonight's prom, have a game against co-leader Stonewall Jackson on Tuesday.
They finish up against Forest Park Thursday.
Gar-Field (14-4, 9-3) hosts Osbourn Tuesday and travels to Woodbridge on
"We just have to regroup from this," McDonald said. "Today was a big game
for both teams, but there is a lot of season left. We have to come back
The Indians started strong against OP. Sophomore catcher Sam Posey
doubled twice and scored two runs, but Gar-Field stranded four runners in
scoring position and couldn't build on an early 2-0 advantage.
The Yellow Jackets, who combined for nine hits against Indians' ace
Kelly Brown, came up with three runs in the third and two more in the
Sophomore Laura Davis, who went 2 for 2, scored in both innings. Freshman
shortstop Tamara Poles and senior catcher Katie Stauffer each had RBI
singles and Myers capped a two-hit day by beating out Leilani Mafuli's throw
to first on the final play of the game.