The early going of the season has been a mighty struggle for the Edison High School softball team.
Through their first nine games the Eagles sported a 1-8 record, including three losses that came by 10 or more runs.
Edison’s fortunes changed on Thursday as they battled back from a two-run deficit to South Brunswick by rallying for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, coming away with a much needed 4-3 win in the Red Division battle.
“We’ve struggled a lot throughout our season so far and this was a great achievement that we all have been waiting for,” said winning pitcher Amanda Redman, who struck out seven and walked one while allowing two earned runs on six hits. “Especially because we were a little bit behind and then we came back and that just really got us going.”
Redman, a junior who played outfield last season, is filling the role as the Edison (2-8, 1-6) ace that had been held for four years by one of the most prolific players Middlesex County has ever seen, Valerie Cassell.
“It’s a big position to fill and at times I feel pressured,” Redman said. “It’s a big spot that I’m actually proud and honored to take over for Val, and she is a great friend and she did push me to be where I am today, so I thank her too.”
South Brunswick (6-3, 4-3) broke open a tied 1-1 game in the top half of the sixth when Melissa Mielko ripped a run-scoring triple down the left field line and two batters later, scored on Ashley Shor’s RBI bloop single to right, which put the Vikings ahead 3-1.
Edison showed fight in the bottom of the half of the sixth, as Mackenzie Valeriani led off the inning with a double.
Redman (2-for-3) singled two batters later and Nicole Miller then reached on an error, as Valeriani scored on the play.
Amanda Mercuro (2-for-3) hit a game-tying single with two outs up the middle on a line drive that deflected off the glove of Vikings sophomore pitcher Leann Panconi.
The Eagles finally scored the go-ahead run when lead off hitter Tatiana Yourstone singled to left with the bases loaded.
Redman than set down South Brunswick in 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh to secure the win.
“They stayed in it the whole game,” first-year Edison coach Dawn Penny said. “They thought they could do it and they went after it.”
The South Brunswick bats struggled on the day, as they went down in order four of the seven innings and squandered a sixth inning lead for the second straight game.
“We didn’t battle today,” Vikings coach Heather Wells said. “It looked like we didn’t even want to play today. Cheers up for Edison because they hit the ball when they needed to hit it and we did not.”
Panconi gave up four runs, all unearned, on seven hits in the loss.