Perturbed by her inability to make the play, Carr relished a chance at redemption and got it, driving in what proved to be the winning run for the third-seeded Golden Panthers when they handed previously undefeated and second-seeded Whippany Park its first loss, 4-2.
Carr's single to left field in the sixth inning plated Dana Torchia, who had doubled, snapping the 2-2 deadlock.
"I felt bad after missing the ball but everyone picked me up," Carr said. "No one was down on me. The team gave me confidence and talked me up."
As Carr made her way to the batter's box in the top of the sixth, she could hear her teammates' words of encouragement.
"You got this," one player yelled. "Don't worry about it," said another. "You can do this," someone else called out.
And, Carr, hitless in two previous at-bats, responded by lashing the ball to left field for an RBI. The hit provided relief and helped erase her role in the miscue.
"Bridget is one tough kid," Pequannock coach Maryann Goodwin said. "She's hard on herself. She was upset but she made up for it. Compliments to Bridget for doing that."
There was a little more that made that trip to the plate special. Carr had been getting under the ball and "needed to stay on top of it and hit it hard."
"She kept dropping her hands and popping up," Goodwin said. "I reminded Bridget to keep her hands up."
Pequannock (16-2) scored its fourth run when Christina Brizek slid in under a tag at home on a groundball off the bat of Gina Martucci.
Senior right-hander Dana Nielsen picked up the pitching victory with a three-hitter. She struck out 13 and helped herself by going 4 for 4, including two doubles, for the Golden Panthers, who are seeking a fourth consecutive MCT title.
Nielsen, who issued an uncharacteristic five walks, realized early on she had to adjust to a small strike zone. She relied heavily on her curveball and screwball.
"Everything had to be right there. I had to pinpoint my pitches," Nielsen said.
Her first-inning double, a shot to right field, was Pequannock's first hit.
"During my first at-bat, I just kept telling myself that I had to protect because I had two strikes on me," Nielsen said. "After that, I was confident and kept getting more hits."
Ally Thomas smacked an RBI single to left field to give the Golden Panthers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Whippany Park (16-1) tied it up, 1-1, in the lower half of the inning on Brianna Cetrulo's base hit.
Pequannock went ahead, 2-1, in the third inning on Dana Torchia's RBI line drive to left field. Once again, the Wildcats came right back and pulled even, this time on an error.
The two-run sixth inning allowed Goodwin and the Golden Panthers to exhale. Still, they had to contain a Whippany Park lineup that has been potent all season.
"I thought this would be a difficult game," Goodwin said. "Whippany Park was undefeated. We wanted to be here and everyone's been doing their best to keep us from winning. This was a very challenging game. Getting to the MCT final is great. Dana and these kids want this more than anything else in the world."
Pequannock's 10-hit attack also was paced by Thomas (2 for 4, walk) and Torchia (single, double). Besides Cetrulo, Taylor Trifiolis and Sam Mellea had hits for the Wildcats.
Now the Golden Panthers have the opportunity to match the four MCT championships Whippany Park claimed between 1989 and 1992. They'll oppose fifth-seeded Morris Knolls, a 3-2 winner over Chatham in the other semifinal, on Friday, May 10 at 6 p.m. at Peterson Field.
"I'm so happy," Thomas said. "We wanted this so much. For the seniors, it means even more. We've had closer games this season but everyone is coming together. Everyone steps up. We're all so motivated. We've learned to jell and make things work."