They just didn't know how big until the final crack of the bat.
Just a day removed from a crushing loss to state-ranked Monroeville, the Plymouth softball team was tasked with facing the Eagles again.
This time around, Plymouth completed the comeback to turn the tables — thanks to a Chaffins' two-run walk off blast to right field on an 0-2 count that plated Miller for the 3-2 Firelands Conference win.
With the win, Plymouth improved to 13-4 overall and 5-3 in the FC, while the Eagles fell a game behind Crestview (15-1, 9-0) by dropping to 13-2, 8-1.
"I wasn't going up to bat trying to hit a homer," Chaffins said. "I knew we had a runner on second base, so I was hoping to get a hit because I knew I could count on my team to get enough runs to win the game. When I hit the ball, it felt good — and when it went out, we were just happy to beat a team like Monroeville. We talked about them before the season even started and how they are one of the teams we needed to beat.”
After an error-filled game on Tuesday, both teams cleaned things up considerably in a pitcher’s dual that pitted Plymouth’s Ariel Plank against her counterpart Carley Helmstetter for the Eagles.
Monroeville drew first on a wild pitch that scored Hannah Lyons in the top of the fifth inning. The run was the eighth unearned run that Plymouth had allowed the Eagles to score. Lyons was the courtesy runner for Helmstetter, who reached base on an error and advanced thanks to a Scheid single and a sacrifice groundout.
The lead didn’t stand long. In the home half of the inning, Maycie Creveling beat out a throw on a bunt for a single. Creveling then stole third after reaching second base on a passed ball. She finally scored on an RBI single swatted by Kaela Plank to knot the game at 1-1.
Monroeville then seemed to score the game-deciding run in the sixth inning when Lydia Landoll drilled a hard hit groundball to shortstop Emily Akers for a single that scored Adelynn Kradlak, who had reached base on a walk.
Payton Scheid came on in relief of Helmstetter in the sixth inning with 2-1 lead and struck out two batters in in her first inning of work before going into the seventh inning. Mallory Miller led off the seventh with the double before the towering shot by Chaffins ended the game.
“This was a big one to get,” Plymouth coach Tracey Arnold said. “Last night we talked after the game about some of things that we weren’t happy about as far as the way we played and some of the other things that went on in the first game. It was a tough loss, but I knew that they would bounce back today. We still made a few more mistakes than what we wanted to, but I thought we played much better than we did last night in the field.
“Though we weren’t happy with the way things worked out (on Tuesday), we are still happy with the split,” she added.
Plymouth had highlight defensive gems all over the field as Emily Akers robbed the Eagles of no less than two hits and saved a possible run or two — not to mention a diving catch by Miller in the outfield to rob Monroeville’s Skiler Hershiser of a potential run-scoring hit in the top of the third.
“It was another good one tonight,” Monroeville coach Abe Helmstetter said. “We had something like 10 runners left on base, and they just made so many great defensive plays that prevented us from getting some runs. Their shortstop (Akers) made a couple of really nice diving stops in the infield, and then the diving catch by the outfielder (Miller) stopped us from getting a couple scores and a double.
“They are a very good team and they earned the win tonight,” he added. “Tomorrow is another day and we will have to regroup and try to come out and win in the next one.”
Scheid and Jessica Hayes each had two hits for the Eagles. Helmstetter allowed one earned run on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk in her five innings.
For Plymouth, Ariel Plank allowed an unearned run on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk in 4 1/3 innings. Miller got the win with 2 2/3 innings of relief. She allowed one earned run on two hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
Monroeville 000 011 0 — 2 6 0
Plymouth 000 010 2 — 3 5 3
WP: Miller; LP: Scheid
2B: (P) Miller, Wiley; HR: (P) Chaffins