PLAINVILLE, Mass. – A storm is a-brewin’, better run for cover.
Thunder crackled in the distance and rain poured down in bowls as King Philip softball ace Meghan Rico put the finishing touches on a two-hit shutout against Somerset-Berkley in their Division 1 South quarterfinal on Thursday. Retiring the side on strikeouts in each of the first four innings, the reigning Division 1 state champions showed that they’re again a force to be reckoned with, behind the George Washington signee’s right arm.
“I told the team,” Rico said after the Warriors’ 2-0 win over the Blue Raiders at the Plainville PAL ‘We’re not going down. I will pitch until we get a run.’”
The Warriors (20-2) waited until their final at-bat to find the runs they needed in support of their pitcher.
Rico’s battery mate Olivia Godin’s two-run, two-out home run in the sixth plated the deciding runs.
Rico took care of everything else, striking out 18. She retired the first 11 Blue Raider hitters via the strikeout to start the game.
Scattering two hits by Paige and Ali Gouveia in the fourth and seventh innings, in addition to one walk surrendered, Rico turned in one of her top wire-to-wire performances of the season.
“I felt pretty good today,” Rico said plainly, “I had a good warm-up.”
THANK YOU NOTES
Rico and Godin operate as two hemispheres of the same brain when it comes to KP’s pitch calling. But Rico was particularly thankful for Godin’s plate heroics on Thursday.
The Warriors cobbled together seven hits against Somerset starter Megan Kay, but were unable to get any sort of a rally started. KP had a prime two-on, no-out situation in the third. However, the Warriors were held scoreless as Kay tagged out a runner trying to score at the plate after a wild pitch, followed by an unusual double play off of Rico’s pop out on a safety squeeze bunt attempt.
“Thank god for her,” Rico said of Godin. “It’s a little scary, we haven’t been hitting too well.”
The Warriors next face No. 5 seed Silver Lake in the semifinals, Saturday (11 a.m.) at Taunton High School's Jack Tripp Field.
WALKING ON AIR
Godin, a UMass-Amherst signee, can spray the ball to all fields and is adept at going the other way, especially with the inviting confines at the PAL and its power allies.
With lead-off hitter Hailey Mullen (2-for-3, run scored) on second with two outs, Godin shot Kay’s first offering over the right-center field fence. She barely took time to notice what had happened.
“Off the bat, I knew I was going for at least a triple,” Godin said. “I was hauling.”
As for what kind of pitch she saw? Well, that was a little fuzzy as well.
“Every time I hit a home run, it feels like a blur. All I remember is the bases, and remembering to touch them.”