PARSIPPANY _ Home runs always lift a team's spirits, as did the one hit by Roxbury's Hailey Womer in the first inning versus Parsippany Hills.
The Gaels, after putting up four runs quickly, would hopefully not have to try to catch up as was the case when they fell to the Vikings a month ago.
Womer's three-run blast, which came off a 1-0 pitch, put Roxbury up 4-0 on the way to a 9-3 win over Parsippany Hills on Monday, May 15, providing confidence and an early edge.
"It increased our energy," said Womer, of the homer, her fifth this season. "It gave us life and let us know we could do it. It carried us through the game."
Roxbury coach Diane Naugle Douglas agreed, saying the home run by the junior catcher, which landed over the fence in left center field, provided incentive and momentum for the Gaels, still delighted by their triumph over Mount Olive last week.
"We got some zip from Hailey's home run," Naugle Douglas said. "Today, Hailey had one of our biggest hits. They've been spreading it around for the most part. Many players in our lineup have come through on different days."
Parsippany Hills (5-16) put across its three runs, two on Paige Restaino's double, in the bottom of the second. Roxbury, though, pulled away with a five-run fifth inning which featured RBI base hits by Womer, Sarah Richman and Madison Ketch.
In the sixth inning, the pitcher Emily Song and the Gaels survived a one-out, bases-loaded situation, escaping with two groundouts.
"Em Song made a few good pitches and fielding plays there," Naugle Douglas said. "She got it done. She performed when the pressure was on."
Michaels, Ketch and Womer finished with two hits apiece. Womer displayed her defensive prowess in the fourth inning, picking a runner off third.
Leaving the bases loaded in the sixth inning irked Parsippany Hills, which often has failed to get clutch hits.
"We've had good at bats," Vikings coach Alex Hill said. "We haven't capitalized when we needed to. We got ourselves in a hole early today and kept ourselves in it. We need to be more consistent."
Parsippany Hills pitcher Jaclyn Carifi, normally excellent with her control, gave up seven walks and was reached for eight hits. Song struck out four, walked none and yielded four hits in four innings in relief of Kayla Corrente. Restaino rapped out three of the Vikings' eight hits and knocked in two runs. Alexa Ziler and Izzy Mansur had two hits each.
The Gaels (12-8) have prevailed in six of their last eight games and will meet rival Randolph on Wednesday before facing Indian Hills in first-round state tournament action on Thursday.
"Indian Hills is a very good team," Naugle Douglas said. "Anyone can win on any day. That's what makes this game so much fun."
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