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Mount St. Dominic's players are fired up as they prepare to greet their teammate Sydney Rosenkranz at home plate after the senior homered to give her team a 6-5 lead in bottom of the sixth inning in resumption of Non-Public, North A final vs. Immaculate Heart which had started this past Friday and was completed on Monday afternoon with Mount emerging with win. (Photo by Jeff

Rosenkranz Home Run Energizes Mount
As Lions Roar Past IHA In North A Final

By Steve Tober

CALDWELL- Whether it was during Saturday’s full schedule of senior events or Sunday’s all-important school graduation, Sydney Rosenkranz didn’t mind all the questions directed her way about ‘The Game.’

After all, whenever Mount St. Dominic takes on Immaculate Heart in the state tournament, which has now occurred nine times in the past 10 seasons, including in seven state sectional finals, there are eventful games to talk about.

However, the latest meeting between the two top teams in Non-Public, North A had plenty of added juice, including a marathon first five innings played this past Friday where there was a 67-minute lightning delay in the bottom of the fifth inning and an eventual postponement due to a torrential rain after action had resumed and the Mount scored twice to take a 5-4 lead into what would be a busy weekend away from softball with the resumption of action set for Monday afternoon back at the Mount.

“I thought about this game the whole weekend, and everyone kept asking me about the game, which was fine,” said Rosenkranz, the power-hitting senior catcher and No. 3 hitter with 11 home runs and a .885 slugging % coming in to go along with an incredible 1.090 OPS. “But, when we came back out today, I wanted to make sure I could do my part to make sure we won the game in the end.”

Rosenkranz, who had gone 0-for-3 in Friday’s portion of the game, then came through with a memorable at bat in the bottom of the sixth inning on Monday after IHA had tied the game 5-5 in the top of the inning.

She led off the inning for the Lions and worked a 2-2 count before she felt a pitch from IHA’s Arianna Barrett strike her in the left leg so she proceeded to first base on what she figured was a simple case of being hit by a pitch.

Getting on base to lead off an inning was fine, but -wait – because the home plate and first base umpires did not see the ball hit Rosenkranz.

She was summoned back to the batter’s box with a 3-2 count and proceeded to make the most of the umpire’s oversight as she hammered the next pitch from Barrett on a rising line drive over the center field fence to give the Mount a 6-5 lead.

“Thank God he didn’t see the ball hit my leg, which it did,” said Rosenkranz. “I’d much rather have the opportunity to hit a home run in that spot, that’s for sure!

“I knew right off the bat it was gone and I’ve dreamed about that moment for a long time. I’m just really happy that it happened today in the biggest game of the year!”

The energy boost provided by Rosenkranz’s dramatic homer jet-started a tremendous inning for the Lions who sent 11 batters to the plate and added four more runs to take a commanding 10-5 lead into the seventh.

Freshman left-hander Erin Toomey, who had done such a fine job of working out of trouble while allowing just one run in the sixth, went out in the circle after her team’s big rally and worked a quick 1-2-3 seventh to nail down the victory.

With its dramatic 10-5 triumph over IHA (25-5), the Mount (24-7) moves into thes Non-Public A state final for the second straight season and will face the state’s No. 1 ranked team, South champ St. John Vianney, 4 p.m., Friday, at Kean University.

While Rosenkranz (HR, 2 RBI), Olivia Sasfai (2-for-3, 2 runs 1 RBI), Cortney Somsky (2-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI) and Carlee Paez (2-for-4, 1 RBI) spearheaded the 10-hit attack for the Mount, the Lions still needed to withstand the constant pressure applied by IHA, which has its own array of offensive weapons spearheaded by leadoff batter Gabby Shadek, who had led off the game on Friday with her 15th home run of the season and also had a double in the second inning.


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