By John Goralski
Southington was leading 6-0 in the first game of the double header finale when Coach Davina Hernandez flashed the bunt sign to Sydney Ferrante. Why do you force one of the best power hitters in the state to hold off? Hernandez thought a bunt was a better decision.
“She hits for power. She hit the fence in the air during our second game, but sometimes that doesn’t matter,” said the coach. “ We had a hard time with Farmington’s pitcher, but our first six runs were off bunts and our small game. Rachel Dube bunted, too. It shouldn’t matter. One through nine should all be able to drop a bunt if we need them to mix things up a little bit.”
The Knights capped their regular season with three straight mercy-rule contests as Southington prepares to defend their state championship banner.
On Tuesday, May 27, the Knights stormed past New Britain, 18-0. Two days later, Farmington broke the defense for one run, but the Knights cruised toa 16-1 victory. In the second game of the double header, the Knights blanked Newington, 15-0.
The trio of victories capped a perfect 20-0 season.
“It’s not a perfect season yet,” Hernandez said with a laugh, “We really have done a good job of keeping it one game at a time. We’ve worked so hard. We’ve had a couple of bumps in the road with some injuries. Caroline Burke, our starting left fielder, has been out with some rare virus. Things happen. Things come up, but one of the things they’ve shown me is that we’ve got a lot of depth.”
Both of the final games were late reschedules from last week, but the Knights still found a way to honor their three seniors, Ferrante, Burke, and Dube. The games were also a backdrop for recent fundraising efforts as the girls colored the bases purple to raise Lupus awareness.
The team also raised money at a recent Lupus walk, and came together to support their coach. Hernandez was struck by the chronic inflammatory condition when she was still in her early 20s.
“It blew me away that they did this. I never expected it, and they didn’t have to,” said Hernandez. “They’re just so great. All of them were at the walk, and that made a great statement. They made cupcakes today. They sold bracelets to their friends, and all the proceeds are going to the Lupus Foundation. That’s just how they are.”