JAY — Brooklyn Federico and Monmouth rolled through the first six innings then survived a miscue-induced seventh to earn a 7-4 MVC softball victory over Spruce Mountain on Friday.

Federico, a senior pitcher, was perfect through the first six innings while striking out 10 batters.

“I think it definitely was one of my stronger games,” Federico said. “I’ve been struggling with walking a few people a game, and today I don’t think I walked any. So I think, overall, that was good.”

Federico also scored two runs, one in the first and one in the second, to help the Mustangs (8-0) build a 7-0 lead.

Federico mowed through Spruce’s first 18 batters without allowing a base runner. When the Phoenix did make contact, it wasn’t solid and resulted in easy grounders or infield pop flies.

“Definitely, yeah, it was one of my better days,” Federico said. “And they’re a good team, they’re 7-1 (entering the game), and they came to play, too.”


Federico’s bid for perfection ended when Jaydn Pingree, Spruce Mountain’s first batter of the top of the seventh inning, reached on an error. Leah Burgess also reached on an error and advanced to second base, giving the Phoenix (7-2) runners on second and third with no outs.

Monmouth coach Dave Kaplan called for a team meeting at the mound, after which he signaled for an intentional walk of Spruce’s Rylee Turner, Federico’s only walk of the game, thereby loading the bases.

Federico stuck out the next batter for the first out.

She also got two strikes on Mallory Clark, but Clark hit a bases-clearing double for the first hit of the day off Federico and, more important, three runs to cut Monmouth’s lead to 7-3.

“That was a good hit. She’s got a good bat,” Phoenix coach Lisa Dube said of Clark.

Federico was still pitching well in the seventh inning. She reached two strikes on Spruce’s final six batters of the game.


“I think a lot of our hitters do good with the pressure of two strikes, they know they’ve got to hit it, so I think that helped,” Phoenix senior catcher Emma Towers said.

Federico struck out the next batter for the second out, but Towers followed with a long fly ball — probably Spruce’s hardest hit of the game — to right field that was dropped and allowed Clark to score.

“I’ve been in a pretty bad slump lately,” Towers said, “but I made contact in every at-bat, so that is kind of what kept my head in the game is that I’ve been making contact, it’s going to come.

“It was a pitch right down the middle. She was throwing me inside pitches the whole time, so I just kind of adjusted and saw it through.”

Sam Martin then singled to put runners at the corners, but Federico’s 13th strikeout ended the game.

“We didn’t make an error in the whole game and then gave up four errors in the seventh inning. It’s contagious,” Kaplan said. “And it cost her, it probably cost her a perfect game. It’s a learning experience. That’s all you can do, make a teachable moment.


“She pitched the game of her life, honestly. And you take that away from her.”

Spruce Mountain experienced the infectious effect of errors early in the contest.

The undefeated Mustangs opened the game with a two-run first inning. Rileigh Chase singled, stole a base and advanced one base on two separate errors to score Monmouth’s first run.

Federico singled, stole second and scored on a single by Grace Levesque to make it 2-0.

“Our hitting has definitely come around,” Federico said. “At the beginning of the season, we were kind of a later-in-the-game hitting team, so our goal has been to hit in all the innings, or start off, come out strong. So that’s what we’ve been trying to work on, and it shows.”

The Mustangs added four more runs in the second. Riley Smith reached on an error and scored when Federico hit into a fielder’s choice that went awry and yielded no outs. Federico later scored on Maddie Herr’s double.


“I’m real happy with the seventh inning. I can’t say the same about the first and the second,” Dube said. “We gave up six runs on six errors — unlike us and uncharacteristic of us — and kind of took us out of the game.

“I think, minus those two innings, we played with them.”

Chase singled and scored on an error, and Herr came home, extending the lead to 6-0, when Shanna Parsons reached on an error.

“We made one (error), next thing, it was a snowball effect. I think that maybe we were up in our heads a little bit,” Dube said. “We knew Monmouth was tough, and then you get kids that are all wrapped up in that.

“And we let it get away from us, for a minute, and then we stayed with them for the rest of the game. If we could erase inning one and two, we’re right there with them.”

Parsons drove in the Mustangs’ final run with a fourth-inning triple that plated Herr.


“I felt like we should have scored a lot more in that game, honestly,” Kaplan said. “… Kids were getting over-anxious … trying to catch the ball out front.”

Turner, a freshman, pitched the first four innings for Spruce Mountain.

“I thought, you know, she’s a freshman, she pitched a good game. Defense didn’t hold up behind her for a minute,” Dube said.

Turner was relieved by Jaydn Pingree in the fifth, and Pingree limited Monmouth to one walk while striking out four over the final three innings.

“We brought Jaydn in, who’s been out for a week or so, so we brought her in just to give her a couple of innings,” Dube said. “And she did good, so that’s a good sign.”

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