Henninger senior pitcher Meghan Karasinski put her anger to good use in a 6-5 win over Auburn in a CNYCL varsity softball game Thursday afternoon.
Karasinski, annoyed at three errors the Black Knights committed in the top of the seventh inning against the Maroons, blasted a three-run walk-off home run to give Henninger a dramatic come-from-behind win.
"I was running around the base when it cleared the fence," Karasinski said. "I started clapping my hands around the bases. My whole team was at home plate waiting for me. It was so fun. They all jumped on top of me."
It was Karasinski's first career walk-off homer and just the third home run of her career. She attributed her sudden power surge to being ticked off about her team's fielding miscues. The Maroons scored an insurance run in the seventh for a 5-3 lead over the Black Knights (6-3).
"When I went to the plate I was angry because of all the errors we made in the inning before," Karasinski said.
Karasinski got the start against the Maroons and went toe-to-toe with talented Auburn freshman Ali VanGiesen, who fired a no-hitter April 15 against the Black Knights. Karasinski struck out five with no walks for her third win of the year. VanGiesen recorded nine strikeouts but walked five including one to Megan Mills in the bottom of the seventh.
Mills then advanced to second when Rachel Mertens reached first on an error. With one out, Karasinski stepped to the plate and launched the first pitch she saw over the center field fence at Henninger.
"I just wanted to get a hit for a couple of RBIs and tie it up," Karasinski said. "But I did more than that."
Karasinski classified her game-winning homer as her most memorable varsity moment in a softball career that started when she was a freshman. She is one of the three pitchers in the Henninger rotation this season with Mills and Mertens. But Karasinski still sees plenty of action even when she's not on the mound.
When Mills pitches, Karasinski plays shortstop. When Mertens pitches, she moves to second base. Karasinski, a three-sport athlete at Henninger, is also one of the team's top hitters. Karasinski played volleyball in the fall and wrapped up an outstanding bowling career this winter. She went to the state bowling tournament as a junior and made second team all-league this season.
Karasinski plans on enrolling at Syracuse University in the fall where she'll major in sports medicine. She said she may attempt to make the SU softball team as a walk-on.