Brooke Harner's motivation was simple: She did not want to face the top of the West Chester Rustin lineup again.
Not Anna Steinmetz. Not Caela Abadie, and not Elaina DiPrimio.
Harner had already faced the dangerous trio three times Friday afternoon, so the senior pitcher for the Kennett softball team made sure she took care of business before she saw the three again in the top of the seventh inning.
Harner recorded the first out on a ground ball to third and followed that with two strikeouts, retiring the side. It meant she wouldn't have to face the top of the Rustin lineup - and it solidified her squad's 9-7, come-from-behind win in the Ches-Mont American matchup.
"We play really hard from the first pitch to the last out," Harner said. "That's something we work really hard all year to do."
Harner, who started in the circle for the Blue Demons, pitched the first 52/3 innings before giving way to Katie DeStefano. Harner returned in the seventh to complete the game. She finished with nine strikeouts.
"I am the kind of person who can't stand not being in the circle," Harner said. "Then we got the lead and all we needed was three outs."
The Golden Knights (9-6 overall, 7-4 division) led by 6-2 after the top of the sixth inning, getting a three-run shot from Abadie in the fifth and a two-RBI double from Steinmetz in the sixth.
But being down didn't faze Kennett (12-4, 11-3). In fact, the Blue Demons had rallied in the first meeting between the teams, as well.
Pinch-hitter Maddie Bowe got things going for Kennett when she hit an absolute rope to start the bottom of the inning. Three straight walks put the Blue Demons back on the board. and a two-run single by DeStefano brought Kennett within 6-5.
A couple of errors gave Kennett the lead. Harner later knocked in two more runs.
"I think we are the best team in the division, and we are the team to beat," DeStefano said.
W.C. Rustin 000 033 1 - 7 7 4
Kennett 010 017 x - 9 7 2
WP: Katie DeStefano. LP: Caela Abadie. 2B: WCR-Anna Steinmetz, Elaina DiPrimio; K-Brooke Harner, DeStefano. HR: WCR-Abadie.