By John Goralski
A leadoff single was Southington’s only hit through three innings as Simsbury’s freshman ace picked apart Southington’s power lineup while the Trojans pushed the go ahead run over the plate in the second inning.
On Monday, April 29, it took Southington hitters four innings to manufacture a run, and the 3-1 victory seemed like a nail biter when compared to the recent string of lopsided Lady Knight wins.
For Southington coach John Bores, it was a breath of fresh air as he tries to prepare his team for a postseason run in a schedule that’s riddled with lesser opponents.
“I think this was just the second game we’ve played this season that wasn’t decided in the first two innings,” he said. “Bristol Central was close. We had two okay games with Bristol Eastern, and our other games were mostly blow-outs.”
The tight contest gave Bores a chance to see his team perform under pressure. Jordyn Moquin fell behind, 1-0, in the early innings but finished with five strikeouts and five hits over seven innings. Sarah Carangelo opened the fourth inning with a double, and Moquin drove her in with a two-out single.
“This was a good game for us, and I think it showed what we’re made of,” he said. “I thought Jordyn was spectacular pitching, hitting her spots. We got some clutch base hits. Natalie Wadolowski got a bunt down to move the runner over, and I thought we did a really nice job today.”
The difference was a two-run rally in the fifth inning. Hayley Arduini reached on a single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Caitlin Downes hit an RBI double, and Carangelo drove her in with two outs.
Bores said that he wasn’t worried about the early deficit and Southington’s struggles at the plate in the early innings.
“I figured that it would just be a matter of time,” he said. “What I was disappointed in was that we were letting first pitch strikes go, and we were swinging at stuff up top and popping up. I told the kids to make adjustments at the plate. Get back in the box or swing at the first pitch and get aggressive.”
Simsbury was the only challenge of the week for the Knights as they rallied for two more lopsided wins to push their win streak to 10 games.
On Wednesday, they opened May with a 16-1 home win over East Hartford. Southington rallied for five runs in the second inning, six in the fourth, and four in the sixth inning to force the mercy rule ending.
Moquin scattered seven hits and five strikeouts over six innings. Kaitlin Paterson (4-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBI), Moquin (2-for-4, RBI), and Kendra Friedt earned triples. Moquin and Nicole Wadolowski (2-for-2, 2 runs, 2 RBI) scored doubles, and the Knights scored 16 runs on 18 hits.
“We hit the ball well. I thought we defended well, and I thought Jordyn pitched well,” said Bores. “There were no problems with anything we did.”
The offense continuedinto Friday’s road win at New Britain. Southington scored at least two runs in every inning, and capped the offense with an eight-run rally in the fifth to end the game in five innings.
Moquin got the win with just one hit and eight strikeouts over five innings. Paterson (3-for-4, 4 runs, 5 RBI), Sydney Ferrante, and Lauren Zazzaro scored home runs. Caitlin Downes (4-for-4, 3 runs, RBI) scored a double, and Moquin went 4-for-5 with a run and 4 RBI.
Nine Knights combined for 21 hits and 21 runs as the Knights improved to 12-1 (7-0 in the CCC West).
“We had three girls hit homeruns, and Jordyn pitched another great game. But this was a game where we played great defense once again,” said Bores. “We’re getting there. We’re making strides.”
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer John Goralski, email him at jgoralski@ southingtonobserver.com.