|VIDEO: 13th inning homer makes Mount St. Dominic state champs|
With one mighty swing, Bria Bartsch ended two droughts. Bartsch hit her first career home run on the last swing of her high school career to break up a tense marathon game and give Mount St. Dominic its first state softball title in 19 years.
Bartsch blasted a three-run homer in the top of the 13th inning as the Lady Lions went on to defeat Immaculata 5-2. Mount St. Dominic captured its first state title in Non-Public A; the Lady Lions' previous championship came in Non-Public B.
The winning hit came after innings of a nerve-racking deadlock. Both teams scored in the fourth, but after that Immaculata pitcher Josie Novak and Mount St. Dominic pitcher Kelsey Oh had matched zeros. Both teams remarkably failed to score in the 10th, 11th and 12th despite starting the innings with a runner on second base under the international tie-breaker rule.
Bartsch's big blast ended all that, and the Lions scored once more in the 13th on an RBI groundout by Ashley Kowalski. The Spartans got a run in the bottom of the frame but could not get the tying run to the plate.
Oh, a freshman, struck out 10 batters and allowed six hits. Novak, in her final game for Immaculata, had 18 strikeouts and permitted just five hits.
Mount St. Dominic took the lead in the fourth inning on Helyna Bissell's RBI single, but the Spartans answered back in the bottom of the frame when Megan Colline doubled in a run.
The Lady Lions finish the season at 29-4; in addition to this state title, they won their league and the Essex County crown. Immaculata, which surprised many by reaching the state final, ends up 17-10.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school state tournament girls' softball game, click play in the box at left.