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(photo credit: Courtesy )
The Israel Softball Association playoffs started in style, with the No. 2 seed Tigers B, made up of members of the junior women's national team, scoring three in the bottom of the seventh for a three-and-a-half-hour 21-20 epic victory over the third-seeded Beit Shemesh Fireballs.
In the final men's regular season game, the Galil Twisters also won in walk-off fashion, 17-16, over Penticon.
Tigers B 21, Beit Shemesh Fireballs 20
On Monday, the Tigers led 15-5 after five due to sloppy Beit Shemesh defense and RBI doubles forTal Meyerheim and Stephanie Aronovic. However, Tigers pitcher Allison Aronovic tired and she and reliever Aviva Lloyd allowed the Fireballs to score 15 runs over the next two innings, mostly on walks, with the big hits being a two-run single by Minna Wolf and Batya Jerenberg's RBI triple.
Trailing 2018, the Juniors rallied. With runners on second and third, Noa Lencovsky tied the game with a single and then came all away around to score the winning run when the ball got by the outfielders. The Tigers now await the outcome of Thursday night's semi-final between top-seeded ISP Tel Aviv and No. 4 Dimona Lady Judeans
Ziontours 21, Shimshon Hi Tech 0
On Wednesday, Aaron Levarko and Avrum Pachter combined for a no-hitter in the play-in game between the No. 4 division A team, Ziontours, and the top-seeded division B side, Shimshon Hi Tech. Ziontours now advances to play No. 1 seed Penticon on Sunday night.
Levarko struck out five and walked one in four innings while Pachter pitched a 1-23 fifth.
Ziontours scored five in the first and led 9-0 afer two. Every player in the Ziontours lineup had hits with Mike Hochman and Gil Siegel tallying multiple hit nights. Ari Shapiro played a fine centerfield for Shimshon Hi Tech and drew the only walk.
Galil Twisters 17,Penticon 16
On Sunday, with both teams fielding subs in a meaningless game, Penticon roared out to a 15-6 lead after four innings off Bill Arscott, while pitcher Sholom Menorah kept the Twisters' bats in check. With the insertion of relief pitcher Marc Bodner, the Northerners came to life, tallying six in the bottom of the fifth while Penticon countered with one in the top of the sixth.
Down 16-12, the Twisters rallied - Avishai Gross's home run made it 16-15 with one out and Menorah reentered to stop the bleeding, but a triple by Louie Miller followed by Alex Crane's single tied it, setting the stage for Jeffrey Zitomer's walk-off game-winning double, a fitting last at bat for him as he heads off to an MBA program at Northwestern University for the next four years.
On offense, Allan Paderson, Don Weintraub each had three hits for the Twisters. Howie Hirsch had a towering two-run shot among his three hits, and Mark Gassner and Ron Solomon each had three hits including a triple for Penticon.