Shevlin’s grand slam leads Lions past Freehold Township


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MIDDLETOWN — There are moments during competition that will always stay with an athlete.

One of those moments happened to Middletown North High School senior softball player Mallory Shevlin on April 16 in Middletown when the Lions faced Freehold Township High School in a Shore Conference A North Division showdown.

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Shevlin stood at home plate in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded, two out and the Lions trailing the Patriots, 4-2.

With the contest on the line, Shevlin swung at the first pitch she saw and smashed a grand slam over the centerfield fence to give the Lions a 6-4 lead and send them to a victory over the visiting Patriots.

“It was such a great feeling,” Shevlin said. “We had the adrenaline going. Everyone was hitting the right spot at the right time. It was just my time to go ahead.”

Shevlin’s grand slam capped a five-run rally by the Lions (5-2). The Patriots had taken a 4-1 lead by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth.

All five of Middletown North’s runs in the bottom of the sixth inning came with two out, starting with a solo home run by Maya Yesalonis.

“It felt good to get a big hit and get the team going,” Yesalonis said. “We were kind of down for a second. It (the home run) started something bigger and got everyone on the team hyped up.”

After the home run made the score 4-2, freshman Julie Sickler walked. That brought sophomore Amanda Ellison to the plate and she singled to right to reach base for the third time.

“It was my turn and I just wanted to keep (the rally) going for the team,” Ellison said. “Everyone was doing their job and contributing.”

Freshman Hailey Kesier followed with a single to center to load the bases for Shevlin, who stepped to the plate in search of her third hit of the afternoon.

“I just wanted to get my bat to the ball,” Shevlin said. “Two runs would tie the game and we would see what would happen from there.”

Shevlin made contact with the first pitch she saw and drove a shot to the gap in left center. The ball carried and as Shevlin reached first base she saw the ball go over the fence. She threw both hands in the air as she rounded the bases and was met at home plate by her teammates after giving the Lions a 6-4 lead.

Shevlin’s work was not done. She returned to the pitching circle in the top of the seventh and retired the Patriots in order to seal the win. The victory was the Lions’ third in a row.

“It was a bit of relief knowing my teammates had my back,” Shevlin said. “We all put everything (into the game) and did what we needed to do to get the job done.”

Shevlin went the distance and allowed one earned run while striking out nine hitters.

Junior Grace Gomez contributed a run-scoring single for the Lions.

Shevlin went 3-4 at the plate to make it a day she will always remember.

“It’s definitely one of them,” she said with a smile.

Middletown North will host Marlboro High School on April 18. The Lions are scheduled to face Ocean Township High School in the quarterfinals of the Monmouth County Tournament on April 19.

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