July 19, 2024
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July 19, 2024
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Ma’ayanot Rapids Softball Are Champions Once Again

(Ma’ayanot) After a slow start to the season, the Ma’ayanot Rapids refocused their energies and worked their way into the playoffs, ending the season with a 5-2-1 record. After long commutes to beat HANC and Hillel in the first two rounds, the Rapids faced the Bruriah Lightening in the championship game, this past Monday night. There were many fans and supporters in attendance from both sides, which added a level of excitement to the game.

Bruriah started off with two runs in the first, and added to their lead in the fourth to take a 7-0 lead into the top of the fifth. After a quick team huddle, where the focus was on changing the momentum of the game, the team came out swinging. Freshman Naama Prager started things off with a single, followed by hits from sophomore Sivan Sher and senior Yakira Mermelstein, which allowed the Rapids to break through with their first run of the game. Junior captain Tali Zelkowitz walked to load the bases, and senior captain, and star pitcher Kayla Antosofsky hit into a fielder’s choice, which allowed the second run to come in. Sophomore outfielder Atara Gamss, who had an incredible catch in the sixth inning, hit a line drive down the third base line to reload the bases. Senior Shifra Prager then hit a single to bring the score up to 7-3. Senior captain Ayelet Eizkovitz hit a single to score another run, followed by senior third baseman Meital Rimberg hitting a sacrifice fly ball to the outfield, and sophomore outfielder Liana Kahan’s single to help bring the score to 7-6 after five innings.

Strong pitching by Antosofsky and some amazing defensive plays in the field kept the score the same through the sixth. Bruriah’s incredible fielding, which was strong throughout the game, held the Rapids in the sixth as well.

With the score still at 7-6 going into the seventh and final inning, Gamss hit a long shot to the outfield, which was caught by Bruriah. Shifra followed that with another single to the outfield.   Eizkovitz then hit four long foul balls, before hustling out a single, bringing runners to the corners with one out still down by one run. Rimberg hit a strong shot to shortstop, which led Shifra to score from third, and tied the game at seven. Naama came up to bat with two outs, and hit a line drive which got Eizkovitz to score and take an 8-7 lead, the Rapids first of the game.  Sher got another hit which gave the Rapids an insurance run and brought the score to 9-7.

The Bruriah Lightning fought back in the bottom of the seventh, and managed to load the bases, after an important strikeout by Antosofsky. With both teams eager and giving it their all, the final batter hit a line drive to second base, which was caught by Eizkovitz and ended the game.

“It was an incredible comeback” said Coach Yoni Lieber, who coached his final game. “Down 7-0, our players didn’t give up, and fought their way back, as they did all season.  It really was a great way to end the year, and I am extremely proud of this team.  Bruriah is a great team, and this was a great game overall.”

“I am so proud of our team” added coach Tali Antosofsky, “They just would not quit, no matter what the score was. They took advantage of all seven innings, and showed everyone what this team is capable of.”

Ma’ayanot now has won two softball championships over the past three seasons.

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