NORTHAMPTON — Redemption rarely presents itself so readily.
Northampton's Marissa Badorini let Taconic's Rebecca Herbert hit a grounder through her legs with two outs in the sixth inning. The Blue Devils led by one at the time in the team's Western Massachusetts Division I softball first round playoff game.
And despite allowing the tying run to score after Ashley Keegan recorded a ground rule double to start the inning, eventually scoring to tie the game, Northampton won in extra innings 2-1.
That was in part because Badorini didn't let that error be her last mark on the game. She hit a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Although Taconic lost, pitcher Ashley Keegan pitched very well. She dominated the first time through Northampton's lineup and didn't allow a baserunner through the first three innings, finishing the game with 13 strikeouts.
"She does a phenomenal job. She's kept us in pretty much all of our games this year," Taconic coach Kevin Harrington said. "She's also won us two or three games."
Later in the game, after neither team scored in the seventh inning, No. 8 Northampton held No. 9 Taconic scoreless in the top of the eighth.
Allie Vanasse struck out leading off the inning, and Jenna Subocz pinch hit for her younger sister, Madelyn Subocz. Jenna, a senior, punched a single through the right side before Madelyn, a freshman, re-entered the game to run for her.
Anna Kerwood, the Blue Devils' pitcher, grounded out to move Madelyn Subocz to second, bringing Badorini to the plate.
"I just really, really wanted to get on base, no matter how, and get the win," Badorini said.
She took one pitch outside before making contact and floating the ball to the right. Madelyn Subocz ran on contact and rounded third.
"She was going. I was sending her the whole time," Northampton coach Andy Pelis said. "It was one of those games where we weren't going to put together hit after hit after hit. We needed to take advantage of any chance we had, so we were going to be a little risky."
With the run, Northampton prevailed to advance to the quarterfinals. The Blue Devils (12-8) will play at top-seeded Minnechaug at 4 p.m. Saturday.
"We know when we're playing well, we can compete with anybody," Pelis said. "These girls know a bunch of the girls on that team, so it'll be fun."
Badorini ended both Keegan's perfect game and no-hitter with a single up the middle with one out in the fourth inning. She finished 2-for-4 with the one key RBI.
Zoe Driscoll-Sbar struck out following Badorini's first single, but Abby Pelis brought her home with an RBI single to break a scoreless deadlock and put Northampton up 1-0.
Northampton put two runners on in the seventh inning thanks to singles from Driscoll-Sbarr and Abby Pelis. The Blue Devils just had to wait one more inning for their walk off.
Ashley Keegan and Kailey Bell. Anna Kerwood and Abby Pelis. W—Kerwood, L—Keegan. 2B — T 1 (Keegan).