Pressure reached a boiling point late last Thursday night. Navarre found itself on the brink of disappointment in a softball showdown at home against Milton, its two-run lead no longer as safe as it once seemed to be.
The bases were loaded, the fans were on the edge of their seats and the Panthers were poised to deal the Raiders another gut-wrenching defeat. The past four meetings against Milton had all been decided by a run. All four times Navarre was on the losing end of the scoreboard.
This could have been one of those ‘here we go again’ moments, especially when pitcher Allison Gutierrez dropped a pop fly for what should have been the third out.
“You have to smile and move on,” Navarre head coach Kelly Hayes said. “The next pitch is the one that matters. You can’t worry about the last one.”
Gutierrez took those words to heart, digging in one more time to fire another pitch at the plate.
“I had never actually missed a pop fly in the infield before, and being an outfielder, too, it’s even more embarrassing,” Gutierrez said. “But I had to tell myself to clam down, stay within myself and keep pushing forward.”
She did just that and the Raiders held on for a 5-3 win.
Read the full article in the April 18 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.