Benincosa's late hit proves difference for Clearfield in battle against Weber

Tuesday , April 17, 2018 - 9:06 PM

CLEARFIELD — Macy Benincosa had just one hit Tuesday, which is somewhat unusual for the Clearfield sophomore. But it was a big hit.

Not just in the sense that the ball practically landed near the right-center field fence, brought all three runners around to score and put Clearfield ahead of Weber 6-4 in the sixth inning.

That hit showed the Falcons something in their eventual 6-4 win over the Warriors. 

“We really do have each other’s backs and will always be there to get the job done,” Benincosa said.

In a more practical sense, the win — a dramatic, topsy-turvy one — kept Clearfield within a half-game of first place, shared between Davis and Syracuse at the moment, in Region 1. Weber (4-8, 0-5 Region 1) hasn’t won a region game yet this season, but the Warriors were close.

“(We need to) have motivation, more focus through the team and get (every) out,” Weber catcher Ashlyn Tingey said through a sign-language interpreter.

Tingey helped keep the Falcons’ lead to just 1-0 in the third inning as she threw out Jessie Golder trying to steal second base, then threw out Benincosa on the very next at-bat as she tried to swipe second after a pitch in the dirt.

That ended the inning. Tingey fist pumped — she said she was excited, which may be an understatement — and the whole team mobbed her. Pretty soon, though, it was the Falcons celebrating at home plate.

Clearfield catcher Rachael Brown smoked a solo home run to left field over the 6-foot wooden fence that’s 10 yards behind the outfield fence. Two batters later, Brynnley Christiansen’s RBI single made it 3-0.

Tingey immediately responded when she led off the fifth with a solo home run, and five batters later, Brooke Merrill tied the game with a two-run triple to left field.

Miranda Dee drove Merrill home with a single on the next at-bat, and suddenly the Warriors’ dugout was alive. In the fifth, they cheered even louder when Dee, playing left field, sprinted into foul territory to catch a fly ball and end the inning.

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Clearfield came back in the sixth, leading off the inning with two singles. Merrill struck out the next two batters to seemingly kill the Falcons’ chances. Golder loaded the bases with a single, then Benincosa was next to bat.

But not before her and head coach Karly Bates talked about it.

“I told her right before she got up to bat when they called timeout, ‘You’re probably going to get an outside pitch, they’ve been pitching you outside the whole game, expect it, go with it and swing hard,’” Bates said.

Benincosa did just that, guiding the ball just out of reach of the glove of diving centerfielder Megan Bull. Then it was up to freshman pitcher Jayci Finch, who stayed in the game after allowing the four runs because, well, she had struck out nine batters up to that point.

Finch struck out Bull and Lexy Shaw before Merrill tripled and gave Weber a lifeline. The Warriors couldn’t capitalize on it as Finch notched her 12th punchout on the next batter to end the game.

You can reach prep sports reporter Patrick Carr at pcarr@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @patrickcarr_ or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/patrickcarr17.

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